just to mess with your head (english speakers only!)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 124c41, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. 124c41 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #1
    Gerard Nolst Trenité - The Chaos (1922)

    Dearest creature in creation
    Studying English pronunciation,
    I will teach you in my verse
    Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

    I will keep you, Susy, busy,
    Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
    Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
    Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

    Pray, console your loving poet,
    Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
    Just compare heart, hear and heard,
    Dies and diet, lord and word.

    Sword and sward, retain and Britain
    (Mind the latter how it's written).
    Made has not the sound of bade,
    Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

    Now I surely will not plague you
    With such words as vague and ague,
    But be careful how you speak,
    Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

    Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
    Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
    Woven, oven, how and low,
    Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

    Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
    Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
    Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
    Missiles, similes, reviles.

    Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
    Same, examining, but mining,
    Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
    Solar, mica, war and far.

    From "desire": desirable-admirable from "admire",
    Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
    Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
    Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,

    One, anemone, Balmoral,
    Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
    Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
    Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,

    Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
    Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
    This phonetic labyrinth
    Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

    Have you ever yet endeavoured
    To pronounce revered and severed,
    Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
    Peter, petrol and patrol?

    Billet does not end like ballet;
    Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
    Blood and flood are not like food,
    Nor is mould like should and would.

    Banquet is not nearly parquet,
    Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
    Discount, viscount, load and broad,
    Toward, to forward, to reward,

    Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
    Right! Your pronunciation's OK.
    Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
    Friend and fiend, alive and live.

    Is your r correct in higher?
    Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
    Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
    Buoyant, minute, but minute.

    Say abscission with precision,
    Now: position and transition;
    Would it tally with my rhyme
    If I mentioned paradigm?

    Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
    But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
    Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
    Rabies, but lullabies.

    Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
    Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
    You'll envelop lists, I hope,
    In a linen envelope.

    Would you like some more? You'll have it!
    Affidavit, David, davit.
    To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
    Does not sound like Czech but ache.

    Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
    Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
    We say hallowed, but allowed,
    People, leopard, towed but vowed.

    Mark the difference, moreover,
    Between mover, plover, Dover.
    Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
    Chalice, but police and lice,

    Camel, constable, unstable,
    Principle, disciple, label.
    Petal, penal, and canal,
    Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,

    Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
    Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
    But it is not hard to tell
    Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

    Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
    Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
    Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
    Senator, spectator, mayor,

    Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
    Has the a of drachm and hammer.
    *****, hussy and possess,
    Desert, but desert, address.

    Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
    Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
    Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
    Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

    "Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",
    Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor",
    Making, it is sad but true,
    In bravado, much ado.

    Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
    Neither does devour with clangour.
    Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
    Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

    Arsenic, specific, scenic,
    Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
    Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
    Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

    Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
    Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
    Mind! Meandering but mean,
    Valentine and magazine.

    And I bet you, dear, a penny,
    You say mani-(fold) like many,
    Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
    Tier (one who ties), but tier.

    Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
    Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
    Prison, bison, treasure trove,
    Treason, hover, cover, cove,

    Perseverance, severance. Ribald
    Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled.
    Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
    Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

    Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
    And distinguish buffet, buffet;
    Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
    Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

    Say in sounds correct and sterling
    Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
    Evil, devil, mezzotint,
    Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

    Now you need not pay attention
    To such sounds as I don't mention,
    Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
    Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

    Nor are proper names included,
    Though I often heard, as you did,
    Funny rhymes to unicorn,
    Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

    No, my maiden, coy and comely,
    I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.
    No. Yet Froude compared with proud
    Is no better than McLeod.

    But mind trivial and vial,
    Tripod, menial, denial,
    Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
    Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

    Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
    May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
    But you're not supposed to say
    Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

    Had this invalid invalid
    Worthless documents? How pallid,
    How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
    When for Portsmouth I had booked!

    Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
    Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
    Episodes, antipodes,
    Acquiesce, and obsequies.

    Please don't monkey with the geyser,
    Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
    Rather say in accents pure:
    Nature, stature and mature.

    Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
    Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
    Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
    Wan, sedan and artisan.

    The th will surely trouble you
    More than r, ch or w.
    Say then these phonetic gems:
    Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

    Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
    There are more but I forget 'em-
    Wait! I've got it: Anthony,
    Lighten your anxiety.

    The archaic word albeit
    Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
    With and forthwith, one has voice,
    One has not, you make your choice.

    Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
    Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
    Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
    Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

    Hero, heron, query, very,
    Parry, tarry fury, bury,
    Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
    Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.

    Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
    Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
    Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
    Puisne, truism, use, to use?

    Though the difference seems little,
    We say actual, but victual,
    Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
    Put, nut, granite, and unite.

    Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
    Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
    Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
    Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.

    Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
    Science, conscience, scientific;
    Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
    Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

    Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
    Next omit, which differs from it
    Bona fide, alibi
    Gyrate, dowry and awry.

    Sea, idea, guinea, area,
    Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
    Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
    Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

    Compare alien with Italian,
    Dandelion with battalion,
    Rally with ally; yea, ye,
    Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

    Say aver, but ever, fever,
    Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
    Never guess-it is not safe,
    We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.

    Starry, granary, canary,
    Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
    Face, but preface, then grimace,
    Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

    Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
    Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
    Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
    Do not rhyme with here but heir.

    Mind the o of off and often
    Which may be pronounced as orphan,
    With the sound of saw and sauce;
    Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

    Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
    Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
    Respite, spite, consent, resent.
    Liable, but Parliament.

    Seven is right, but so is even,
    Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
    Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
    Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.

    A of valour, vapid vapour,
    S of news (compare newspaper),
    G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
    I of antichrist and grist,

    Differ like diverse and divers,
    Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
    Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
    Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

    Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
    Is a paling, stout and spiky.
    Won't it make you lose your wits
    Writing groats and saying "grits"?

    It's a dark abyss or tunnel
    Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
    Islington, and Isle of Wight,
    Housewife, verdict and indict.

    Don't you think so, reader, rather,
    Saying lather, bather, father?
    Finally, which rhymes with enough,
    Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??

    Hiccough has the sound of sup...
    My advice is: GIVE IT UP!
     
  2. ethical macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #2
    I got a 2/5 of the way down and thought "man this is long, how much further?"... so I scrolled down.....and down....and down. Way too long to bother reading it all, what I did read was interesting though. Makes you wonder where the logic/pattern is with words of the English language, compared to other languages where there are obvious patterns.
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
  4. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    In my Corner
    #4
    umm... cliff notes? Seriously, how the hell does someone come up w/ this kinda stuff ?! :confused:
     
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #5
    My girlfriend linked me to this during a game of Left4Dead. Needless to say our team was 1 man down for a while :eek:.
     
  6. Creative One macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ontario
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #9
    Ahaha. Glad I wasn't the only one.

    Cleverly written for sure -- and yes, English is a pretty crazy language!
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    tl;dr

    Isn't it true that English is one of the hardest languages to learn for non-native speakers?

    I forgot most of the Spanish I took in high school, but I remember it had simple rules for conjugating verbs or making nouns plural. English doesn't have any of that. Sure, there are rules but it seems like every word is an exception to those rules.

    There's also this poem I saw awhile back about why you shouldn't rely on spell check :p

    Eye halve a spelling chequer
    It came with my pea sea
    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 am 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 awl the weigh
    My chequer tolled me sew.
     
  10. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #11
    In case you haven't had enough . . . :D

    Hints on Pronunciation:

    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 mastered it when I was five.
     
  11. thesmall macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #12
    what ae u trying to say??? ellaborate it in u r own words...
     
  12. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #13
    It's an old language that's not used much now . . .
     
  13. King Mook Mook macrumors 6502

    #14
    You mean, most of the SNL skits! :p

    I read the first five lines and thought, "Wow, how long is this?" Then I scrolled. I scrolled again. And then I scrolled some more. Ad infinitum.

    I mean interesting, but too long. Much too long.
     
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #15
    short version:

    English is a mix of Anglo-Saxon, French, German, Latin, Greek, Old Swedish and several others. Words with similar spellings will sound different depending on which language they come from.

    Longer words are often Latin or Greek. (The Romans, from Italy, occupied England for several centuries) Shorter words are often Anglo-Saxon, especially swear-words. Algebra is from Arabic. Curry, Yoghurt, jodhpurs etc are from India (British Empire). Word-pairs eg 'neat and tidy', 'out and about' etc are from Swedish (Viking invasion from Scandinavia who then settled in the UK).

    Yah, it's all a bit of a mess. Now for some chillaxin' while I update my blog and google myself.
     
  15. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #16
    it's the teal deer for this one

    http://upc.*************/uploads/macros/tealdeer.jpg

    Can't you mess with my english speaking head in a way that accommodates shorter attention spans? :p
     
  16. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #17
    Exactly. The Bees would've been funnier.
     
  17. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #18
    I read the entire thing, and loved every line. There were quite a few words in there that I'd read but never spoken aloud, I'm amazed at how many had the pronunciation I imagined.
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #19
    *saves for future avatar consideration*
     
  19. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #20
    Interesting poem. I think the seeming randomness of the English language definitely makes it difficult. And it's not just in pronunciation, but also in expression, euphemism, humor, abbreviation, slang, etc. etc.
     
  20. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #21
    I love this! Sometimes I write like that just for fun. (I know, I know, I'm a barrel of fun :p)
     
  21. quadG5guy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #22
    The archaeologists of the future are gonna have a hell of a time deciphering this language. Gonna have to leave them a rosetta stone and pronunciation guide for sure.
     
  22. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #23
    "And here we have an example of a unique language that appeared at the beginning of the 21st century simply referred to as text speak. It's quite a funny language that seems to be the worst possible version of English as we know it."

    :D
     
  23. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #24
    Wow, that actually was harder to read than expected. Not the length, but the double take to make sure I am saying the words right.


    English is very irregular indeed.

    Phonetic languages FTW.
     
  24. Xavier macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus

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