Wednesday, April 05, 2006

English spelling is inconsistent

I found a site that is dedicated to simplifying English spelling. Of note to edutainers like myself are the poems that highlight crazy English pronunciation and spelling.

Poems showing the absurdities of English spelling.

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, 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 sake
don't call it deed!


Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).


Here are some of the spelling changes they suggest be adopted.

1. SR1/short E - use E always as in: eny, meny, frend, hed.
2. PH - replace
by F as in: foto, telefone.
3. augh - either delete the GH as in caut,
dauter, nauty or replace UGH with F as in laf, draft.
4. ough - either
(a) drop the GH as in bou, drout, plou, or
(b) change to AU as in baut,
thaut, saut, or
(c) change to OF or UF as in cof, trof; enuf, tuf; or
(d) cut to O as in tho, altho, or
(e) cut to U as in thru.
5. DUE -
as in hav, giv, negativ, opposit.

3 comments:

Nathan B. said...

I absolutely love that poem, Brian! First rate!

As for the spelling, it's likely too late. When everyone was using MS Word Microsoft actually was able to change American spelling, but now so many people are using other word processors.

kwandongbrian said...

Thanks, Nathan. Just to be sure - you know I didn't write the poem, right?
There are several more on the site linked to.

Nathan B. said...

I knew; I guess my comment was a little ambiguous, though. Credit to you for digging it up!