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Thread: ghoti/fish


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    #1

    ghoti/fish

    Hello, ladies and gentlemen
    I’ve got to know about Bernard Shaw’s word “ghoti” that sounds like “fish”. In this word the “gh” comes from such words as “laugh”, “enough”, “rough” The “ti” comes from “station”, “motion”, “dictionary” etc. The “o” like in “women”, but I don’t know any more words where “o” sounds like [e].
    Would you remember any words similar to “women”? It’s so interesting! :)
    PS. Does it make sense? Please do not forget to correct me.
    Thanks in advance!!

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: ghoti/fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Anatoly
    Hello, ladies and gentlemen
    I’ve got to know about Bernard Shaw’s word “ghoti” that sounds like “fish”. In this word the “gh” comes from such words as “laugh”, “enough”, “rough” The “ti” comes from “station”, “motion”, “dictionary” etc. The “o” like in “women”, but I don’t know any more words where “o” sounds like [e].
    Would you remember any words similar to “women”? It’s so interesting! :)
    PS. Does it make sense? Please do not forget to correct me.
    Thanks in advance!!
    The "o" in that "word" supposedly makes a short "i" sound. I doubt that you will be able to find any words where it makes an "e" sound. (In cases where the "gh" is actually used at the beginning of a word it makes a hard "g" sound as in "ghost".)

    8)

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    #3
    I know of no other word pronounced like 'women'.


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    #4

    Re: ghoti/fish

    Thank you very much, dear teachers! It certainly means that this word as unique as women are beautiful. :)


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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I know of no other word pronounced like 'women'.
    How about swimming, pronounced as "swimmen".

    English is a germanic language; the "ing" sound evolved from "en" sound, for example "Komen". In some parts of the UK at least, the "ing" sound is still pronounced - at times - like "en".

    I liked saying "Gut Mornen" - still English - when I lived in Germany. :)

    Iain

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    #6
    I meant with the spelling of 'o' for the short /i/ sound.


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    #7

    pronunciation

    I find it is difficut to teach pronunciation to students as there seem to be no basic rules, one time you pronounce a letter this way and another time another way.. I get asked "why?" all the time, and just have to say there are no rules, and you have to learn to pronounce every word.. I too have used GHOTI a lot, as an explanation of the crazy pronunciation.

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    #8

    Re: ghoti/fish

    It has also been suggested that "ghoti" could be a spelling of "huge":

    "h" [h]
    "g" [j] as in "lasagne";
    "o" [u] as in "move",
    "t" [d] as in "Taoism", and
    "i" [Z] as in one pronunciation of "soldier".

    In the same vein is "ghoughpteighbteau":

    P hiccough
    O though
    T ptomaine
    A neigh
    T debt
    O bureau

    Supposedly, this is an example of how awful English spelling is, and why it ought to be reformed. In fact, it argues that English spelling is kind and considerate, and easy. Why? Because "potato" isn't spelled "ghoughpteighbteau". It's spelled "potato"! O.K, O.K., "neigh" isn't spelt "ne", and we can get into all the old arguments, but these really fun examples overstate the case and strike those of us opposed to spelling reform as self-defeating.

    SOURCE: http://www.alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxwhat04.html

    By the way, the reason <o> in "women" is pronounced as [I] (i.e. [I] as in "swim" [swIm]) and <o> in "woman" is pronounced as [U] (i.e. [U] as in "book" [bUk]) has to do with articulation.

    The first two sounds of the word "woman" (wo-) share lip-rounding, making them similar in sound. As a means of differentiating the two sounds, speakers take the lip-rounding off "o", a back vowel, and make it a non-rounded back vowel, [U].

    woman => w[U]man.

    The same holds true for "women"; but, in this case, [U] adopts the same place of articulation from a neighboring vowel.

    women => w[I]m[E]n

    Both [I] and [E] are front vowels. They share the same place of articulation.

    Compare:

    wombat = w[a]mb[ae]t

    Both [a] and [ae] are low vowels. They share the same place of articulation.

    :D

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    #9
    Wow! I'm glad potato isn't spelled that way.

    :wink:

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Wow! I'm glad potato isn't spelled that way.

    :wink:
    D'ya want salad, fries, rice or ghoughpteighbteau with that? :D

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