English Spelling & Pronunciation 1
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).
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!
English Spelling & Pronunciation 2
We’ll begin with a box and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes,
Then one fowl is goose, but two are geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
But the plural of house is houses not hice.
If the plural of man is also called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be called cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine,
And I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
But 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?
If the singular is this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss be nicknamed keze?
Then one may be that, and three may be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim.
So our English, I think you will all agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see!
English Spelling & Pronunciation 3
Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea see
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye Kin knot sea
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye an wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect all the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew