My Twitter followers (@nemalki) know I do this from time to time.
The English language is, for lack of a better word, stupid. It’s the bulk of the American language, but the rules are weird and wrong.
For example, let’s look at this word:
Upon first look, you’d pronounce it “gaw-tee,” and you’d be right.
However, consider this:
While words like ghetto, ghost, and Ghent pronounce GH as a hard G, words like tough, laugh, and cough make GH sound like the letter F. Sometimes, it doesn’t make a sound at all, like borough or though.
In grade school, we learn there are two O sounds. the hard O as in open or opine or the short O sound like, well, opera and sound. The O in women has neither the long O or the short O sound. It almost doesn’t exist, sounding like a low I sound, like ill or trick, which I assure you this is not. It too could be quiet, like people.
TI is another strange one since we know it sounds like “TYE” like time or tightrope or “TEH” like timber or tickle. But in the case of words with -TION in it, the TI sounds like SH like demonstration or humiliation. Also, at times, the letter T or I could be silent. Ballet has a quiet T and business has a silent I.
Now, go back to the word GHOTI.
Do you pronounce it “gaw-tee” or do you say “fish?” Or so you say anything at all?
Next time, why Xuxa doesn’t sound like it’s spelled and why the plural of house isn’t hice … or not. Maybe I’ll just paint a picture for you.