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The Chaos

The Chaos is a poem often used to demonstrate how difficult it is to pronounce words in English, as the spelling and pronunciation varies so. It was written by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité, who first published it in 1909, then revised and lengthened it several times before his death in 1946. More lines were added posthumously. The Spelling Society published The Chaos in its entirety. Here are the first few (and the easiest) lines:

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,

I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;

Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

The poem is now 274 lines long, meant to be read out loud. How much of it can you manage before mispronouncing something? Link -via Geeks Are Sexy

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January 30th, 2010

Stranger to the World


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