RE: (OT) The Chaos

Subject: RE: (OT) The Chaos
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 17:18:06 -0500

David Neeley uttered, subversively:

> 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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