One of the most striking examples of the inconsistencies of English pronunciation is with the many different ways
of saying: "ough":|
By the way, the above pronuciations are influenced somewhat by my Australian, but I've tried to make them as close
as possible to neutral "English", as opposed to American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander, or any of
the other regional variations of the English language.
- Bough and Plough are pronounced "OW" (as in "NOW").
- Cough and Trough are pronounced "OFF" (as in "OFF").
- Dough and Though are pronounced "O" (as in "NO").
- Fought and Thought are pronounced "OR" (as in "FORT").
- Rough and Tough are pronounced "UF" (as in "CUFF").
- Hiccough is pronounced "UP" (as in "HICCUP").
- Through is pronounced "OO" (as in "TOO").
- Thorough is pronounced sort of like "AH" (somewhere between "ERA" and "HORROR").
Ian Fieggen, 2000
This could be turned into an interesting poem:|
"The English Boy's Lament"
I climbed on the BOUGH but fell off and said "Ow!"
I started to COUGH and my Mum told me off.
I needed some DOUGH and asked Dad, who said "No."
I met Bob and FOUGHT but we quickly got caught.
I did a HICCOUGH and spilled drink from my cup.
I fell in the ROUGH and got mud on my cuff.
I lived the day THROUGH and by evening I knew:
My lament is THOROUGH, my life is a horror.
Ian Fieggen, 02-Sep-2016
Finally, as someone else wrote: "Yes, English can be weird. It can be understood through tough thorough thought, though."