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Abridged from

English is Tough Stuff The Simplified Spelling Society


http://www.spellingsociety.org/journals/j17/caos.html
While most of us non-native speakers of English speak
English quite well, there is always room for improvement
(of course, the same could be said for every person for any subject, but that is another matter). To that
end, I’d like to offer you a poem. Once you’ve learned to correctly pronounce every word in this poem,
you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
If you find it tough going, do not despair, you are not alone. Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic
Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language
... until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were
devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labour to reading six lines
aloud. Try them yourself.

Dearest creature in creation Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit


Studying English pronunciation, Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
I will teach you in my verse But it is not hard to tell
Sounds like corpse, corps, and worse. Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

I will keep you, Susy, busy, Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,


Make your head with heat grow dizzy; Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear; Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, hear and heard, Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Dies and diet, lord and word. Neither does devour with clangour .
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant .
(Mind the latter how it's written).
Made has not the sound of bade, Arsenic , specific, scenic ,
Say - said, pay - paid, laid but plaid. Relic, rhetoric , hygienic.
Gooseberry , goose , and close , but close,
Wholly, holly, signal, signing, Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Now you need not pay attention
Solar, war and far. To such sounds as I don't mention,
Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
From "desire": desirable - admirable from Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
"admire",
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Renown , but known, knowledge, done, Don't you think so, reader, rather,
lone, gone, none, tone, Saying lather, bather, father ?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Have you ever yet endeavoured Though, through, bough, cough, trough,
To pronounce revered and severed, tough??
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol? Hiccough has the sound of sup...
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!
Billet does not end like ballet ;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet .
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.

Is your R correct in higher?


Keats asserts it rhymes with Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot ,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,


Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.