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Mysteries of the English Language (Posted on 2003-03-20) Difficulty: 3 of 5
A man who only spoke Greek came to America for the first time. He realized that he needed to learn English, so he took a class. When questioned by his teacher, "How do you spell fish?" he replied "g-h-o-t-i". The teacher was very surprised as to how he could get such an answer since he was learning English so well. He asked the man, "How did you get that answer?" When the man replied, the teacher accepted his answer with a chuckle. What was his answer?

Hint: Think about the many oddities of the English language.

See The Solution Submitted by Erin    
Rating: 3.5000 (6 votes)

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Hints/Tips Good show - attributed to G.B.Shaw Comment 14 of 14 |

George Bernard Shaw (GBS) was a famous Irish writer. He wanted to reform English spelling so that it was more logical. He asked the following question as an example:

How do we pronounce the word "ghoti"?

His answer was "fish".

How can "ghoti" and "fish" sound the same? GBS explained it like this:

  • the gh = f as in rouGH
  • the o = i as in wOmen
  • the ti = sh as in naTIon

Of course, this was a joke. The word "ghoti" is not even a real word. But it showed the inconsistency of English spelling.

It is very important to understand that English spelling and English pronunciation are not always the same.


Cut and paste - from Mother Internet

  Posted by Ady TZIDON on 2010-05-26 19:09:06
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