Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What`s That You Say

Come on. I double dog dare you.
Try it. Forget twenty times.
Just once. As fast as you can.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.



Kris, in New England said...

Well - wow. 90% of native English speakers can't say all those words correctly? There really isn't anything truly difficult there - for a native speaker.

I think this speaks to the quality of education rather than the speaker.

MMC said...

I suppose ... my 15 year old with a LD actually did much better than I expected. But I strugled with some - a very few I had no clue and others, I knew, but as I read it out loud I would stumble over/screw up.

I have a terrible time with new words. I can sound them out just fine but if there is any possible way to mutilate the accent ... I will. So I thought this was quite amusing, a justification for my ... patheticness! :D

Kris, in New England said...

if there is any possible way to mutilate the accent ...

There is a line there, waiting to be said - about accents and speaking. I won't go there cuz I know my Bahstin accent will do me in every. single. time.