For all you grammar nerds

Hints on Pronunciation for Foreigners

I take it that you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh 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.)

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 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.

T.S.W (only name given), published in the London Sunday Times. January 3, 1965.

Posted by Portia at October 1, 2006 03:10 PM | TrackBack