I take it you already know

Of tough and bough and cough and dough?

Others may stumble, but not you,

On hiccough, thorough, lough 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

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’d mastered it when I was five!


Here I am at five, when according to the poem I had already mastered the English language. Not so sure about that! If you are wondering about the poem I spotted it in Vivian Cook’s ‘Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary or why can’t anyone spell?‘ Vivian doesn’t know who authored it but apparently she came across it being used by English teachers. Thought it might make you smile this Six Word Saturday!

PS Did you try and pronounce them as you read it?! Ooh now there’s another one – reading and Reading!


4 thoughts

  1. Becky, I find it amazing that we actually get through some days with all of the different pronunciations we have… and then there are the words which have totally different meanings yet when we read them, we know the one intended. We’re a lot cleverer than we think, really.

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