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Summary Details


Query:   Summary - Pronunciation Poem
Author:  Karen Smith
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonetics
Phonology
Semantics

Summary:   SOME TIME AGO I SENT A QUESTION REGARDING THE ORIGIN OF THE
PRONUNCIATION POEM BEGINNING 'I TAKE IT YOU ALREADY KNOW, OF TOUGH AND
BOUGH AND COUGH AND DOUGH', (LINGUIST 13.2672). I RECEIVED A LOT OF
REPLIES, INCLUDING MORE EXAMPLES OF PRONUNCIATION POEMS WHICH I THINK
WILL BE OF INTEREST TO LINGUIST READERS.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE FOR THEIR HELP: BILL
RAPAPORT, LAURIE BAUER, ROBERT HAGIWARA, MARINA SAMSONOVA, HALE I?EPHANIE BURDINE, PETER T. DANIELS, VERONIKA KOLLER AND MARIELLE
LANGE.

THE POEM, REPRODUCED IN FULL BELOW, IS ATTRIBUTED TO T.S.WATT (1954)
AND APPEARED IN THE GUARDIAN. IT CAN BE FOUND IN THE FOLLOWING
PUBLICATION:

TAYLOR. I. AND TAYLOR, M. M. 1983. _THE PSYCHOLOGY OF READING_, NEW
YORK: ACADEMIC PRESS, P. 99

FROMKIN, V. AND RODMAN, R. 1998. _AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE 6TH
EDITION_, LONDON: HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH COLLEGE PUBLISHERS, P. 251

YULE, G. 1985._THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE_, CAMBRIDGE: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
PRESS, P.33

HOWEVER, IN THE FOLLOWING PUBLICATION IT IS ATTRIBUTED TO RICHARD
KROUGH, SEE:

O'GRADY, W., DOBROVOLSKY, W. AND KATAMBA, F.1997. _CONTEMPORARY
LINGUISTICS: AN INTRODUCTION_, LONDON: LONGMAN, P.614

SO, I AM NONE THE WISER REALLY. HERE IS THE POEM IN FULL:


RECOVERING SOUNDS FROM ORTHOGRAPHY
BRUSH UP YOUR ENGLISH

I TAKE IT YOU ALREADY KNOW
OF TOUGH AND BOUGH AND COUGH AND DOUGH.
OTHERS MAY STUMBLE BUT NOT YOU,
ON HICCOUGH, THROUGH, LOUGH AND THROUGH.
WELL DONE! AND NOW YOU WISH, PERHAPS,
TO LEARN OF LESS FAMILIAR TRAPS.

BEWARE OF HEARD, A DREADFUL WORD
THAT LOOKS LIKE BEARD AND SOUNDS LIKE BIRD,
AND DEAD--IT'S SAID LIKE BED, NOT BEAD.
FOR GOODNESS'S SAKE, DON'T CALL IT DEED!
WATCH OUT FOR MEAT AND GREAT AND THREAT:
THEY RHYME WITH SUITE AND STRAIGHT AND DEBT.

A MOTH IS NOT A MOTH IN MOTHER,
NOR BOTH IN BOTHER, BROTH IN BROTHER,
AND HERE IS NOT A MATCH FOR THERE,
NOR DEAR AND FEAR FOR BEAR AND PEAR,
AND THEN THERE'S DOSE AND ROSE AND LOSE--
JUST LOOK THEM UP--AND GOOSE AND CHOOSE,
AND CORK AND WORK AND CARD AND WARD,
AND FONT AND FRONT AND WORD AND SWORD,
AND DO AND GO AND THWART AND CART.
COME, COME, I'VE HARDLY MADE A START.

A DREADFUL LANGUAGE? MAN ALIVE,
I'D MASTERED IT WHEN I WAS FIVE.


SEVERAL PEOPLE POINTED ME IN THE DIRECTION OF SIMILAR POEMS, SUCH AS:


THE CHAOS

THIS WAS WRITTEN BY DR GERALD NOLST TRENIT頨1870-1946) WHO WAS A
DUTCH OBSERVER OF ENGLISH AND WROTE UNDER THE PSEUDONYM CHARIVARIUS.

IT FIRST APPEARED IN _DROP YOUR FOREIGN ACCENT - ENGELSE
UITSPRAAKOEFENINGEN_, BY G. NOLST TRENITE (5TH REV. ED., H. D. TJEENK
WILLINK & ZOON, 1929).

IT CAN ALSO BE FOUND IN THE FOLLOWING:

CRYSTAL, D. 1995. _CAMBRIDGE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE_,
CAMBRIDGE: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, P.273

PURCELL, HUGH DOMINIC. 1990. _SPEAKING AND WRITING ENGLISH FOR GERMAN
SPEAKERS_. 2ND ED. VIENNA: BRAUM? PP.23-29.

TRIM, J. 1975. ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION ILLUSTRATED, CAMBRIDGE: CAMBRIDGE
UNIVERSITY PRESS

GERARD NOLST TRENIT頧'HE CHAOS FOR JSSS 94/2 THE CHAOS? // A VERSIFIED
CATALOG OF 800 ENGLISH SPELLING IRREGULARITIES // ? 2646 WORDS, 275
LINES. SOURCE: THE JOURNAL OF THE SIMPLIFIED SPELLING SOCIETY 1994 /
2

HTTP://VICTORIAN.FORTUNECITY.COM/VANGOGH/555/SPELL/CHAOS.HTML


HERE IS THE POEM IN FULL:

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.
PRAY CONSOLE YOURR LOVING POET,
MAKE MY COAT LOOK NEW, DEAR SEW IT.

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.

IVY, PRIVY, FAMOUS; CLAMOUR
AND ENAMOUR RHYME WITH HAMMER.
RIVER, RIVAL, TOMB, BOMB, COMB,
DOLL AND ROLL AND SOME AND HOME.
STRANGER DOES NOT RHYME WITH ANGER,
NEITHER DOES DEVOUR WITH CLANGOUR.
SOULS BUT FOUL, HAUNT BUT AUNT,
FONT, FRONT, WONT, WANT, GRAND, AND GRANT,
SHOES, GOES, DOES. NOW FIRST SAY FINGER,
AND THEN SINGER, GINGER, LINGER,
REAL, ZEAL, MAUVE, GAUZE, GOUGE AND GAUGE,
MARRIAGE, FOLIAGE, MIRAGE, AND AGE.

QUERY DOES NOT RHYME WITH VERY,
NOR DOES FURY SOUND LIKE BURY.
DOST, LOST, POST AND DOTH, CLOTH, LOTH.
JOB, NOB, BOSOM, TRANSOM, OATH.
THOUGH THE DIFFERENCES SEEM LITTLE,
WE SAY ACTUAL BUT VICTUAL.
REFER DOES NOT RHYME WITH DEAFER.
FEOFFER DOES, AND ZEPHYR, HEIFER.
MINT, PINT, SENATE AND SEDATE;
DULL, BULL, AND GEORGE ATE LATE.
SCENIC, ARABIC, PACIFIC,
SCIENCE, CONSCIENCE, SCIENTIFIC.

LIBERTY, LIBRARY, HEAVE AND HEAVEN,
RACHEL, ACHE, MOUSTACHE, ELEVEN.
WE SAY HALLOWED, BUT ALLOWED,
PEOPLE, LEOPARD, TOWED, BUT VOWED.
MARK THE DIFFERENCES, MOREOVER,
BETWEEN MOVER, COVER, CLOVER;
LEECHES, BREECHES, WISE, PRECISE,
CHALICE, BUT POLICE AND LICE;
CAMEL, CONSTABLE, UNSTABLE,
PRINCIPLE, DISCIPLE, LABEL.

PETAL, PANEL, AND CANAL,
WAIT, SURPRISE, PLAIT, PROMISE, PAL.
WORM AND STORM, CHAISE, CHAOS, CHAIR,
SENATOR, SPECTATOR, MAYOR.
TOUR, BUT OUR AND SUCCOUR, FOUR.
GAS, ALAS, AND ARKANSAS.
SEA, IDEA, KOREA, AREA,
PSALM, MARIA, BUT MALARIA.
YOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTHERN, CLEANSE AND CLEAN.
DOCTRINE, TURPENTINE, MARINE.

COMPARE ALIEN WITH ITALIAN,
DANDELION AND BATTALION.
SALLY WITH ALLY, YEA, YE,
EYE, I, AY, AYE, WHEY, AND KEY.
SAY AVER, BUT EVER, FEVER,
NEITHER, LEISURE, SKEIN, DECEIVER.
HERON, GRANARY, CANARY.
CREVICE AND DEVICE AND AERIE.

FACE, BUT PREFACE, NOT EFFACE.
PHLEGM, PHLEGMATIC, ASS, GLASS, BASS.
LARGE, BUT TARGET, GIN, GIVE, VERGING,
OUGHT, OUT, JOUST AND SCOUR, SCOURGING.
EAR, BUT EARN AND WEAR AND TEAR
DO NOT RHYME WITH HERE BUT ERE.
SEVEN IS RIGHT, BUT SO IS EVEN,
HYPHEN, ROUGHEN, NEPHEW STEPHEN,
MONKEY, DONKEY, TURK AND JERK,
ASK, GRASP, WASP, AND CORK AND WORK.

PRONUNCIATION -- THINK OF PSYCHE!
IS A PALING STOUT AND SPIKEY?
WON'T IT MAKE YOU LOSE YOUR WITS,
WRITING GROATS AND SAYING GRITS?
IT'S A DARK ABYSS OR TUNNEL:
STREWN WITH STONES, STOWED, SOLACE, GUNWALE,
ISLINGTON AND ISLE OF WIGHT,
HOUSEWIFE, VERDICT AND INDICT.

FINALLY, WHICH RHYMES WITH ENOUGH --
THOUGH, THROUGH, PLOUGH, OR DOUGH, OR COUGH?
HICCOUGH HAS THE SOUND OF CUP.
MY ADVICE IS TO GIVE UP!!!

OUGH

LL Issue: 13.3353
Date Posted: 18-Dec-2002
Original Query: Read original query