A nice slice of English advice with no malice
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!!!
Screwy pronunciations can mess up your mind! For example:
If you have a rough cough, climbing can be tough when going through the bough on a tree!
When the English tongue we speak
Why is break not rhymed with weak?
Won't you tell me why it's true
We say sew, but also few?
And the maker of a verse
Cannot rhyme his horse with worse?
Beard is not the same as heard.
Cord is different from word,
Cow is cow, but low is low,
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose and dose and lose,
And think of goose and yet of choose,
Think of comb and tomb and bomb,
Doll and roll and home and some.
And since pay is rhymed with say,
Why not paid with said, I pray?
Think of blood and food and good;
Mould is not pronounced like could.
Why is it done, but gone and lone --
Is there any reason known?
To sum it up, it seems to me
That sounds and letters don't agree.
This is really fun...!
We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;
yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never be hose
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.
No wonder English is so hard to learn
We polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
A farm can produce produce.
The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
The present is a good time to present the present.
At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
The dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my clothes.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.
A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
If one dismantles something, does one end up with mantlepieces,
which may be then remantled?
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly,
boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital,
ship by truck and send cargo by ship,
have noses that run and feet that smell,
Park on the driveway and drive on the parkway?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
If Dad is Pop, how come Mom isn't Mop?
And why, if an employer mistreats his employees, are they disgruntled?
If that were the case, a good employer's employees would be gruntled.
A girl walked up to the information desk in a hospital and asked to see the 'upturn'.
"I think you mean the 'intern', don't you?" asked the nurse on duty.
"Yes", said the girl. "I want to have a 'contamination.'"
"You mean 'examination'", the nurse corrected her.
"Well I want to go to the 'fraternity ward', anyway."
"I'm sure you mean the 'maternity ward'."
To which the girl replied: "Upturn, intern; contamination, examination; fraternity, maternity.... What's the difference? All I know is I haven't demonstrated in two months, and I think I'm stagnant."