Re: English Spelling

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Dec 10 1999 - 12:50:55 EST

"Alain LaBonté " wrote:

> unlike English "ough" which is pronounced I don't know in how many ways
> (ut, up, o, etc., 11 ways, was I told)

        bough (rhymes with now)
        dough (rhymes with go)
        enough (rhymes with cuff)
        cough (rhymes with off)
        bought (rhymes with taut)
        through (rhymes with sue)
        hough (rhymes with lock, probably unique)
        hiccough (rhymes with up, probably unique, also spelled "hiccup")
        thorough (schwa vowel or short o, depending on dialect)

And there are only about 25 words (not counting derived forms) in which
"ough" even appears!
> There are of course some exceptions,
> but far less than in English.

My favorite is "oignon", which should obviously be pronounced /wanjo~/,
and I understand that some people do say that.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:56 EDT