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That gives us an extraordinary eight different and distinct pronunciations for the same letter group.

There is an old I Love Lucy episode in which Ricky is trying to read aloud a child's story in English in preparation for his baby to come. He runs into just this situation with the various iterations of pronunciation for "ough." He finally throws up his hands in despair and gives up.

https://youtu.be/uZV40f0cXF4

For those of us raised in the English language, it is a funny episode. But I have often thought how frustrating it must be for ESL (English as a Second Language) students.

The nice thing about Spanish and Italian is that the words pretty much follow simple rules as to pronunciation. Even with French, while more challenging, there are basic rules that one can sort of count on. With English, having borrowed from so many languages, there are times when all bets are off. 🤔

I am sometimes thankful that I was born to English, as I feel that learning other languages is easier.

Best regards,
Kathie
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