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O-U-G-H

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Jun. 15th, 2017 | 12:38 pm

On the subject of English pronounciation (which you should definitely study, dearest creature in creation), here's a very amusing poem by France's Charles Battell Loomies, simply titled "O-U-G-H" (one imagines that the title is really pronounced as an annoyed "U-R-G-H!"):

I’m taught p-l-o-u-g-h
S’all be pronouncé “plow.”

“Zat’s easy w’en you know,” I say,
“Mon Anglais, I’ll get through!”
My teacher say zat in zat case,
O-u-g-h is “oo.”

And zen I laugh and say to him,
“Zees Anglais make me cough.”
He say “Not ‘coo’ but in zat word,
O-u-g-h is ‘off.’”

“Oh, Sacre bleu! Such varied sounds
Of words make me hiccough!”
He say, “Again mon frien’ ees wrong;
O-u-g-h is ‘up’

In hiccough.” Zen I cry, “No more,
You make my t’roat feel rough.”
“Non, non!” he cry, “You are not right;
O-u-g-h is ‘uff.’”

I say, “I try to spik your words,
I cannot spik zem though.”
“In time you’ll learn, but now you’re wrong!
O-u-g-h is ‘owe.’”

“I’ll try no more, I s’all go mad,
I’ll drown me in ze lough!”
“But ere you drown yourself,” said he,
“O-u-g-h is ‘ock.’”

He taught no more, I held him fast
And killed him wiz a rough.

As Trenité quipped: "My advice is to give up!"

(And let's not forget about the rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman who strode through the streets of Scarborough and, after falling into a slough, coughed and hiccoughed.)

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Comments {5}

allaboutweather

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from: allaboutweather
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 11:44 am (UTC)
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It goes to show that learning English as a second language must be pretty tough. :O)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 05:59 pm (UTC)
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Pretty tow, too, toff, tup, tuff, towe or tock? :P In any case, I agree.

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allaboutweather

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from: allaboutweather
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 06:17 pm (UTC)
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Thankfully English is my first language. XD

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Mikazo

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from: mikazo
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 07:56 pm (UTC)
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The writer makes a good point. They ought to have thought this through.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Yeah — and then they say that French is difficult to pronounce...

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