domingo, 15 de enero de 2012

The chaos of English pronunciation

This is a fun poem about the chaos of the English language by Gerard N. Trenité. There are many different versions of this poem. This poem was first published as an appendix to his book Drop your foreign accent . It was a book of pronunciation exercises for students learning British pronunciation. The book was first published in 1909. The Chaos first appeared in the 1920 edition. With each successive edition of the book, the poem was expanded. The most complete version can be found on the website of The English Spelling Society ( That version is 274 lines.

Don't worry about understanding the poem - there is no meaning! It's just a fun collection of many of the ridiculous irregularities of English spelling! Just listen to the pronunciation. Most native speakers would have difficulty pronouncing all these words, so don't worry if you find it difficult.

Finally you will find that some of the words at the end of a line don't rhyme. It is due to the fact that the poem is read with American English pronunciation, and not British English, as the poem was initially meant for.

H/T Teacher Melanie.