Funny English
(Page One)

It's no wonder the English language is so notoriously difficult to learn.
Sometimes it's amazing we manage to communicate at all!

English Pronunciation ~ The English Lesson ~ The Funny English Language
Mysteries of Anatomy ~ Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer


English Pronunciation

Dearest creature in creation,
Studying English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
It will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer.
Pray console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it.

Just compare heart, beard 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 durely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.

Previous, precious; fuchsia, via;
Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir;
Cloven, oven; how and low;
Script, receipt; shoe, poem, toe,
Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and terpsichore;
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles;
Exiles, similes, reviles;
Wholly, holly, signal, signing;
Thames, examining, combining.

Scholar, vicar and cigar;
Solar, mica, war and far;
From desire-desirable; admirable from admire;
Lumber, plumber; bier but brier;
Chatham, brougham; renown but known;
Knowledge, done but gone and tone:
One, anemone, Balmoral;
Kitchen, litchen; laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German; wind and mind;
Scene, Melpomene; mankind;
Tortoise, torquoise, chamois - leather;
Reading, reading, heathen, heather.

This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth and plinth.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like would and should.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rhyme with "darky",
Viscous, viscount; Load and broad;
Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation's OK
When you say correctly croquet;
Rounded, wounded; grieve and sieve;
Friend and fiend; alive and live;
Liberty, library, heave and heaven;
Rachel, ache, 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
And enamour rhyme with hammer.

Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf; countenance; lieutenants
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival; tomb, bomb, comb;
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul but foul, and gaunt, but aunt;
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger,
And then: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal; mauve, gauze and gauge;
Marriage, foliage, mirage and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual.

Seat, sweat; chaste, caste; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite but unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer.
Feoffor does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull; Geoffrey, George; ate, late;
Hint, pint; senate, but sedate;
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific.
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, and succour, four;
Gas, alas and Arcansas.
Sea, idea, guinea, area.
Psalm; but malaria,
Youth, south, southern; cleanse, but clean;
Doctrine, turpentine, marine,
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
Sally with ally, yea, ye
Eye, I, oy, aye. Whey, key, quay.

Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure skein, receiver,
Never guess - it's not safe.
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Heron, granary, canary;
Crevice and device and eyrie;
Face but preface, but efface;
Phlegm, phlegmatic; ass, glass, bass;
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, but scourging,
War, earn; and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here and there, but ere.

Sever is right, but so is even;
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen;
Monkey, donkey; clerk and jerk;
Asp, grasp, wasp; and cork and work.
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, plough, cough, hough, or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of "cup".
My advice is, give it up!


The English Lesson

We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
This was a good time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with the planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of injections my jaw got number.
Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
She could not live with a live mouse in the house.
It was just a minute prick and over in a minute.
His mistake was putting his left foot forward while putting.
We would probably read more Shakespeare if we understood what we read
There was a bow tied in the ropes on the bow of the ship.
You should spring that on us next spring!


The Funny English Language

We'll begin with a box and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.

The one fowl is a goose but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a whole set of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why should not the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural wouldn't be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats and not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim.

So English, I fancy you will all agree,
Is the funniest language you ever did see.


Mysteries of Anatomy

Where can a man buy a cap for his knee,
Or the key to a lock of his hair?
Can his eyes be called an academy
Because there are pupils there?

Is the crown of your head where jewels are found?
Who travels the bridge of your nose?
If you wanted to shingle the roof of your mouth,
Would you use the nails on your toes?

Can you sit in the shade of the palm of your hand,
Or beat on the drum of your ear?
Can the calf in your leg eat the corn off your toe?
Then why not grow corn on the ear?

Can the crook in your elbow be sent to jail?
If so, just what did he do?
How can you sharpen your shoulder blades?
I'll be darned if I know - do you?


Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer
(I Have a Spelling Checker)

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plain lee 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 rarely ever wrong.

A chequer is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme
It helps me right awl stiles two reed
And aides me when aye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your please two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

(Sauce unknown)

For more hilarity, turn to Page Two >>>


Home ~ The Stories ~ Diversions ~ Links ~ Contact