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A Few More Speed Bumps September 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play.

As we observed (or heard) in Pronunciation Variations, learning to speak  English is not intuitive.  

In fact, sometimes, it’s downright counter-intuitive.

Words spelled the same often are pronounced differently, and words spelled differently often share a common pronunciation.

Here are a few more speed bumps to master while learning the English language:    

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) A buck does funny things when does are present.

15) A seamstress, a tailor, and a sewer fell into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) You may find that the wind is too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of Novocaine injections, my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

22) I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

23) Even without a rough cough, climbing the bough on a tree is tough!

24) I live under a live Oak tree.

No matter how long we wonder and ponder, the pronunciation variations of the English language are apt to remain a mystery.

It’s one/won of the reasons I love to write/right!

Want to join the fun?  Share a few of your favorite English language idiosyncracies below!

Related Post:  Foxes With Sockses


1. Richard W Scott - September 1, 2010

Sometimes it isn’t ALL pronunciation:

This month I will record a record number of records.

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

Good one, Rik!

2. Naomi - September 1, 2010

Excellent, Nancy! Enjoyed reading through this list and thinking of the poor people who have to learn English as a foreign language. Particularly having done a TEFL course and taught for a little while, my heart goes out to them!

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

It’s quite challenging . . . few rules, just counter-intuitive mish-mash. : )

3. Paula - September 1, 2010

He said “It’s tough enough to throw the ball once,” though when he threw it two times, he said, “I’m through throwing the ball twice, too!”

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

Good one, Paula

4. Greg Camp - September 1, 2010

This is what happens when we use a language that is the child of German grammar and French spelling, along with a bunch of aunts and uncles around the globe. It’s the linguistic explanation for how English has become the international language. (I’ll leave geopolitics out of this for the moment.)

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

Ah, yes . . . a melting pot of Old English, Latin, French, German, and other assorted ancestral languages.

5. tsuchigari - September 1, 2010

I attempted to teach an English class once, didn’t go over as easy as I thought. At the time I had NO idea what really made English work. Turns out no on else does either!

nrhatch - September 1, 2010

I collected many of these examples to help our AmeriCorps members help struggling students to improve their reading skills.

The message: you can’t just ask kids to “sound out the English language.” : )

6. Hope - September 15, 2011

These are very useful & interesting examples. Also, the comments are very smart. I enjoyed reading those. I’m an English teacher who is trying to find ways to teach English effectively to those who are going to be English teachers in near future. But actually, it is really a tough work to accomplish.

nrhatch - September 15, 2011

If you search categories using the “word play” tag . . . you’ll find some more fun posts about words.

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