Monday, March 17, 2008

Our Wonderful English Language--who's for re-awakening Latin?

The Chaos

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 it up!!!

-Gerald Nolst Trenite (1870-1946)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Laugher, Tears, Fights, Elations (and much more = LIFE

I feel very comatose and, well, for lack of a better word, blah lately. Maybe lethargic is a good word... I don't know. Life seems to move so slow, and yet amazingly fast. Some minutes seem like hours and some weeks like days. I'm in a rambling mood so bear with me.

The other day I was reading Proverbs and something really incredible dawned on me: You know how in Proverbs 1 the last part of the chapter is all about Wisdom "calling in the streets" etc? (yes, you should know but if you don't--look it up!). Well, for some reason I had always thought, well, let me pull in my horses here, and let you read the verses for yourself first (yep, you don't have to look it up after all).

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof,behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused to listen,have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;I will mock when terror strikes you,
when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.

Wisdom is always calling out to me, all day long. I can either choose to ignore her, or gain from her knowledge. The point of this part of Proverbs 1 is this: Wisdom will call, but eventually she'll STOP. If I ignore her long enough, she'll stop attempting to help me and instead ignore me as I have ignored her. But there's more than that. Not only will she ignore me when I WANT her to ignore me, but when I actually want her, she may not be there. This is tough stuff here! And it scared me the other day... To think that Wisdom would "mock" and "laugh" when we needed her most... Haven't you ever seen a family or individual who has made many many bad choices and now has a genuine desire to do better, yet seems to only make worse mistakes (out of ignorance, or what-have-you)? Now I understand why that happens... I'm not saying it's ever too late to change and God can definitely do anything; but this took my attention and I've made a renewed commitment to listen to Wisdom as opposed to ignoring her. I am pleased to find that throughout the day I realize that I'm internally telling myself (within different situations) "Wisdom is crying out--come on, Katie, LISTEN!" I am still a long way from listening even half the time *sigh* But with God's help I will never become insensible to what Wisdom has to say to me... Now read that part about Wisdom again (above) and put it within those little circumstances when you have choices all throughout the day... It's incredible and hard, but so good... God bless and thanks for reading my ramblings :)

PS I put a few pictures on our family blog, if you're interested.