Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The English Language

A friend at work was trying to teach me a little Mandarin yesterday. Oh man! It's tough to learn a new language at %^&*@ years old! My mouth isn't used to making those kinds of sounds. Let's just say we had a lot of laughs and I hope I didn't offend him with some of my awful pronumciations.

It did get me thinking though of this great poem that I heard on the radio over 10 years ago. Still love it! Give it a try and see how you do. :o)

The English Language

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough;
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, thought 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
To say it right is quite a deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat
They rhyme with suite and stright and debt
A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, nor 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
Then look these up - goose and choose.

And cork and work, and cord and word
And font and front, and word and sword
And do and go, and wart and cart,
Come, come we've hardly made a start!

A dreadful language? Man Alive!
You mastered it when you were five!

A. Nonimous


  1. Oh my!! I LOVE that poem!!!

    You have NO IDEA what I go through EVERY night with my grade 2 and Grade 4 boys and their spelling!!

    I feel like banging my head on a wall every night as they get frustrated with why they don't spell the same as the other word or sound the same as that other word etc. etc.

    I keep saying... "I know bud! It's makes NO SENSE!!!" lol

    I'm sooo keeping a copy of that poem!!

  2. Wow that was great. I'll have to keep a copy of that.

  3. I have never seen this poem, but I LOVE it. I remember learning English and asking my English teacher why one word was pronounced one way, but another was pronounced completely different, even though they were spelled similar. His answer: I don't know; there are no rules, you just need to learn them".

  4. ROFL, love that poem. I went to French school and while my English is basically perfect, I don't know the rules of grammar and such, it's more of an intuitive thing for me. Anyhow, when my son started learning to read and we stumbled upon all the inconsistencies, I was horrified to not be able to explain most issues... it just is what it is... and boy oh boy, do you realize how this language really makes no sense at all!!lol


  5. That is a GREAT poem. I shough make that my final this year. If they can read that they pass. :)

  6. What is shough? Oh! MY!! I need a break.

    That is supposed to be should. :)

  7. That poem is awesome, ive never heard it before. Definetly 100% true!

  8. I guess when you put it that way - you start to realize the complication of the language!

    Great poem!

  9. Love it! I'm keeping a copy of this one.

  10. CUTE! I've never heard that before!
    I still to this day can't figure out why the plural of goose is geese but the plural of moose is not meese! Pretty complex language we have "ain't "it!

  11. I tried a little mandarin at the last moms night I just have to remember it!

  12. Love this poem... I actually stumbled reading it and it made me really apprectiate those that have to take our language on late in life. I am amazed as we have such a difficult one!

  13. Sweet poem!!!
    Well I was going to try and learn some Chinese prior to China, but I dont think that will happen. I will let my daughter teach me....I think once I'm in China I will be forced to learn some!!!

  14. That iz a veree gud poem. The english langwaj iz sumtimz rillee hard, iznt it? Glad wiy lernd it wen wiy wer kidz!Now if wiyd only lernd mandarin two! :-)

  15. Oops. That wuz Janet. Soriy. Eye forgot to rite my nam.


  16. Oh my Catherine, it must have been rough for you to utter those words.

    Great poem

    (Olivia's lucky mom)


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