Category Archives: language

ghoti #1

Have you ever noticed how silly the English language is?

You might have passed over the ridiculous inconsistencies in your every day usage. But you tend to notice them more when you start to teach it to someone else. Our boys are at school learning language at various levels, and it’s in that process that the silliness stands out big time!

I have decided to start this series of posts, really as a venting point about these eccentricities of my native tongue.

The title? It comes from the famous little story about the language. A teacher writes ‘g-h-o-t-i’ up on the board, and asks the class, ‘What does that say?’

The class stares at the seemingly random collection of letters, baffled at what the teacher could possibly be on about.

After an awkward silence, the teacher decided to put them out of their misery. ‘It says “fish”.’

A bright spark in the front row shoots up his hand and says, ‘How on earth did you get that, miss?!’

‘It says “fish”. The ‘gh’ says ‘f’, as in ‘enough’; the ‘o’ says ‘i’, as in ‘women’; and the ‘ti’ says ‘sh’, as in ‘admonition’.’

So, there you have the reason for the title.

Now, here’s my first vent:

how on earth do you get an ‘ot’ sound from ‘acht’, as in ‘yacht’??!?

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