English Pronunciation

Katia Millar posted a link to this article on facebook and I just had to try it out but it wouldn’t be any fun if there were no witnesses.

Listen to Reggy reading “English Pronunciation” by G. Nolst Trenité

Just in case you’d rather read the words off my blog, here you are:

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.
Foeffer 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!!!

— written by G. Nolst Trenité

I made a lot of mistakes along the way but this was a lot of fun to record. I’m sure I could’ve cheated and tried again but I already got to cheat twice because people called in the middle of my first two tries.

Also, just in case you’re wondering: I was listening to Graydon James & The Young Novelists and that’s who you can hear in the background. The fan sound is from the kitchen exhaust.

If you happened to do the same and you’ve recorded yourself reading this out loud, please leave a link in the comments so I can follow along!

Cancer Can’t Dance Like This

I had heard about Daniel Stolfi from my good friends over at Riverlife Productions last year but I had not been able to catch his show until this week. Dan is extremely charming, engaging and very easy to watch & listen to. Sadly, some of what he covered in his show were not new to me; my Grandfather died of Prostate Cancer and I have met and continue to meet people who have been affected by this horrible disease every year that I volunteer at the Terry Fox Run1; What was refreshing was his candor.

In the past, when I have spoken to people about their experience with Cancer, they prefer to talk about how the experience changed them. They don’t want to talk about their hardship in detail. But I think that sometimes talking about the negative experiences can help others learn before they have to go through it themselves. And as Dan ran through the parts of himself that he loved and lost2, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would be able to be as strong. But Dan is, strong enough to turn his hardest moments into something entertaining for people to watch yet still deals with some very hard moments. Even as I read the synopsis on his website for the first time last year, despite all my3 experience, I was taken aback at the thought of having to deal with the loss of five4 of my most treasured activities. I’m sure once you see the show, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars too that he made it through to show us all a thing or two about courage.

Hilarious but poignant, I couldn’t help but fall a little bit for this talented Canadian-born, Italian Actor & Comedian who is making sure cancer knows he has not only won the fight, but he’ll continue to win it. I am so glad I was able to catch a performance of ‘Cancer Can’t Dance Like This‘, and if you haven’t already you should go to eventbrite now to buy your tickets! The show has been running and is playing at the Pia Bouman Theatre (6 Noble St) tonight at 8:30pm, Saturday5 at 2:30 pm & at 8:30 pm!

Footnotes:
  1. since 2002[]
  2. and still continue to fight to get back[]
  3. so-called[]
  4. FIVE[]
  5. that’s tomorrow[]