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> Somehow, I had never before stumbled upon the poem titled "The Chaos"
> which includes some 800 notoriously difficult and irregular spellings
> in English. It is practically guaranteed to boggle the mind of anyone
> studying English as a foreign language--and is ample testament to the
> need for substantial spelling reform.
> I hope you find it as fascinating as I have:
Relentless, wasn't he...
Many, you just have to shake your head.
Some you can see how they came from (mostly) the French and then got variously mangled.
Some are just dirty-rotten-nasty. Like "groats" ("grits" aw, c'mon). But then the work was written by a Brit, and those'd be the same folk who can read Cholmondeley and have the gall to say it Chumly. And don't get me started on Wooster...
I sometimes imagine a group of Brits, having sunk a keg too many, deciding something like:
"Well lads. It seems those Frogs have wrapped up the practice of not bothering to pronounce multi-letter endings of words. What say we get our lot in the habit of leaving out middles, then? Buy 'em a couple of pints, and they're well on their way!"
I'm reasonably literate, so I know a lot of the actual pronunciations (many from smaller collections and explanations of the sort (not usually in rhyme), but I'd still embarass myself badly in England. "Sinj'nsmith" for "Saint-John Smythe", indeed!
But then, we know of groups that go the other way.
I once knew a fellow from the deep(ish) south of the USofA.
His name was Dale.
His mother pronounced it with (I'm pretty sure...) five syllables.
- Kevin (Canajun, eh?)_
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