A Special Test For You!

Posted by M ws On Saturday, January 7, 2012 6 comments
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
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.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt 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, gouge 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, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Thanks to Maybs and MC who sent this to me on two consecutive days! Have a wonderful day!

6 comments to A Special Test For You!

  1. says:

    pak yeh Cow = kaw (Malay spelling)
    Crow = kraw(if pronounce as Cow is spelled) or kro {Malay spelling).
    The obvious is Malay spelling is far better than English spelling.
    English people are horrible at spellings.

    Also, the English language is a dangerous language as depicted by the 2 cases below.
    1)A japanese was loking out the wndow of a train that was going through a tunnel.
    Suddenly someone yelled, "look out"!"
    The Japanese looked out further and bang, his head was crushed by the tunnel.
    2)A Japanese was driving a car with an Englishman.
    They arrived at a junction. The Jap asked. Shall we turn left.???
    Right ! said the Englishman. So the Jap turned right and tumbled into a drain.

    Hence, English is a very2 dangerous language.

  1. says:

    Anonymous Hi Masterwordsmith

    Thanks for dropping by. I'd be honored if you added my blog.

    This is a cute posting. Good thing my kids didn't fail me reading it. LOL.

    Alas, I can't say the same for many of the kids coming out of our education system.

  1. says:

    walla where's "if we continue to poke eye, we'll soon be pok kai."?

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Pak Yeh

    Haha!! Thank you for sharing such a humorous response. :-) I am really happy to hear from you! Take care and do keep in touch!



  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear proud2bmalaysian

    :-)Wow! You shared this post with your kids! You are an exemplary parent!

    It is true that standards are dropping in our country. Just take a look at the new syllabus for PMR and SPM Literature and you would be horrified.


    I worry for my children and grandchildren.

    Take care and have a great week. Do stay in touch..

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Walla

    Love that pun! Spoken by a true blue Hokkien lang!

    Great to hear from you again!


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