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    • Join Date: Jan 2006
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    #1

    Would you kindly tell me ....

    Hi every body ... I want to ask a question ... why are there silent letters in the English words although they don't appear in the pronounciation ..for instance gh in most English words are silent letters ... I'd be grateful if someone answers me back ...!!!


    • Join Date: Jan 2006
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    #2

    Re: Would you kindly tell me ....

    Quote Originally Posted by supernetpal
    Hi every body ... I want to ask a question ... why are there silent letters in the English words although they don't appear in the pronounciation ..for instance gh in most English words are silent letters ... I'd be grateful if someone answers me back ...!!!
    Tricky subject. The spelling system of Engish is among the most irregular, and there is no institution (like the Real Academia Espaņola for Spanish) that oversees the language and implements reforms. English has many more phonemes than letters in its alphabet and there are no rules that can help us non-natives predict how a certain word will be pronounced. Which is why good pronunciation dictionaries are a must.

    Don't despair; the system is chaotic, but not impossible to learn.

    That reminded me of the anonymous poem:


    When the English tongue we speak
    Why is break not rhymed with weak?
    Won't you tell me why it's true
    We say sew, but likewise few?
    And the maker of a verse
    Cannot rhyme his horse with worse?
    Beard is not the same as heard,
    Cord is different from word,
    Cow is cow, low is low,
    Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
    Think of hose and dose and lose,
    And think of goose and yet of choose,
    Think of comb and tomb and bomb,
    Doll and roll and home and some.
    And since pay is rhymed with say,
    Why not paid with said I pray?
    We have blood and food and good;
    Mould is not pronounced like could.
    Wherefore done, but gone and lone -
    Is there any reason known?
    And in short, it seems to me
    Sounds and letters disagree."

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