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Off topic: Why English and not Esperanto
Thread poster: Sol

Sol  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 29, 2004

I found this at Enjoy

Why English has become the international, global, world language


language -



 English has become

the international,

global and world

language not because of

linguistic imperialism,

but because English is logical,

systematic, unambiguous

and consistent.

English is easy to learn

and contains few irregularities.

The English language

has replaced French as

the lingua franca,

and if you czech it out

you'll find it's more Polished

than than polish.

This eulogy, written by

a Dutchman,

praises the many virtues of

the English language.

Dearest creature in creation

Study 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;

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!

Just compare heart, hear and heard,

Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain

(Mind the latter how it's written).

Now I surely will not plague you

With such words as vague and ague,

But be careful how you speak,

Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,

, oven, how and low,

Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:

Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,

Branch, ranch, measles
, topsails, aisles,

Missiles, similes, reviles.

Wholly, holly, signal, signing,

Same, examining, but mining,

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,

Solar, mica, war and far.

From "desire": desirableadmirable from "admire",

Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,

, brougham, renown, but known,

Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,

One, anemone, Balmoral,

Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.

, German, wind and wind,

Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,

Reading, reading, heathen, heather.

This phonetic labyrinth

Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured

To pronounce revered and severed,

Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,

Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;

Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

and flood are not like food,

Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,

Which exactly rhymes with khaki.

Discount, viscount, load and broad,

Toward, to forward, to reward,

and crocheting, croquet?

Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.

Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,

Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?

Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.

Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,

Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,

Now: position and transition;

Would it tally with my rhyme

If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease
are easy,

But cease, crease, grease and greasy?

Cornice, nice, valise, revise,

but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,

Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,

You’ll envelop lists, I hope,

In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You'll have it!

Affidavit, David, davit.

To abjure, to perjure. Sheik

Does not sound like Czech but ache.

, library, heave and heaven,

Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed,

People, leopard, towed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,

Between mover, plover, Dover.

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,

Chalice, but police and lice,

, constable, unstable,

Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, penal, and canal,

Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,

, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit

Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",

But it is not hard to tell

Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

, muscular, gaol, iron,

Timber, climber, bullion, lion,

and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,

Senator, spectator, mayor,

, privy, famous; clamour

Has the a of drachm and hammer.

Pussy, hussy and possess,

Desert, but desert, address.

, wolf, countenance, lieutenants

Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.

Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,

Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",

Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor",

Making, it is sad but true,

In bravado, much ado.

does not rhyme with anger,

Neither does devour with clangour.

Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,

Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,

Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.

Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,

Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,

Make the latter rhyme with eagle.

Mind! Meandering but mean,

Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,

You say mani-(fold) like many,

Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,

(one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel
; pray, does erring

Rhyme with herring or with stirring?

Prison, bison, treasure trove,

Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severance
. Ribald

Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.

Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,

Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw

Don't be down, my own, but rough it,

And distinguish buffet, buffet;

Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,

Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling

Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.

Evil, devil, mezzotint,

Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention

To such sounds as I don’t mention,

Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,

Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,

Though I often heard, as you did,

Funny rhymes to unicorn,

Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,

I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.

No. Yet Froude compared with proud

Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,

Tripod, menial, denial

Troll and trolley, realm and ream,

Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely

May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,

But you’re not supposed to say

Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid

Worthless documents? How pallid,

How uncouth he, couchant, looked,

When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite

Paramour, enamoured, flighty,

Episodes, antipodes,

, and obsequies.

Please don’t monkey with the geyser,

Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,

Rather say in accents pure:

Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,

Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,

Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,

Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you

More than r, ch or w.

Say then these phonetic gems:

Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,

There are more but I forget ’em

Wait! I've got it: Anthony,

Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit

Does not rhyme with eight—you see it;

With and forthwith, one has voice,

One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does
. Now first say: finger;

Then say: singer, ginger, linger.

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,

Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

Hero, heron, query, very

Parry, tarry fury, bury,

, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,

Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.

Though the difference seems little,

We say actual, but victual,

Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,

Put, nut, granite, and unite.

does not rhyme with deafer,

Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,

Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.

, Arabic, pacific,

Science, conscience, scientific;

Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,

Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,

Next omit, which differs from it

Bona fide, alibi

Gyrate, dowry
and awry.

, idea, guinea, area,

Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,

Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,

Dandelion with battalion, Rally with ally; yea, ye,

Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

Say aver, but ever, fever,

, leisure, skein, receiver.

Never guess—it is not safe,

We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.

Starry, granary, canary,

Crevice, but device, and eyrie,

Face, but preface, then grimace,

Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,

Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;

Ear, but earn; and ere and tear

Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often

Which may be pronounced as orphan,

With the sound of saw and sauce;

Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?

Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.

Respite, spite, consent, resent.

Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,

Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,

, donkey, clerk and jerk,

Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.

A of valour, vapid vapour,

S of news (compare newspaper),

G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,

I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,

Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.

Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,

Polish, polish, poll and poll.

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel

Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,

Islington, and Isle of Wight,

Housewife, verdict and indict.

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,

Saying lather, bather, father?

Finally, which rhymes with enough,

Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??

has the sound of sup

My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

-  G Nolst Trenité       


......and that is why  Esperanto never had a chance....

Definition of an anglophone: 

Telecommunications apparatus with earpiece and microphone on ingenious contraption of
springs and levers so they stay poised wherever you angle them - rather like one of those
desk lamp thingies.

Definition of a francophone:

One-way telecommunications apparatus consisting of microphone only. It was
devised in Spain during the 1930's to enable Fascist dictators to issue orders to their
minions without them having the chance to answer back.

Embiggen your vocabulary with
these cromulent words

var PUpage="76001084"; var PUprop="geocities"; yvSM = 0;yvSMU = '';yvVP = 0;yvVPU = '';var yviContents='';yviR='us';yfiEA(0);geovisit();setstats

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
And nobody mentioned Double Dutch!! Jun 30, 2004

At least we don't get tangled up in German gender...

[Edited at 2004-06-30 17:53]

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Charlotte Blank  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
Czech to German
+ ...
I really wonder... Jul 13, 2004

how anybody on this world could possibly be able to learn this terrific language (of course I do NOT mean Esperanto);)
There has been a thread about "the awful German language", based on an article by Mark Twain, but English is by far more difficult!

Thanks for this "poem" - it must have been a tremendous work to compile!


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