Archive for the ‘Teacher Development’ Category

Ode to Plurals

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,

But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his, and him,

But imagine the feminine: she, shis, and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;

neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins weren’t invented in England .

We take English for granted, but if we explore its


we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are


and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing,

grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one


If you have a bunch of odds and ends

and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian


Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English

should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play

at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.

We have noses that run and feet that smell.

We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.

And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,

while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language

in which your house can burn up as it burns down,

in which you fill in a form by filling it out,

and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing,

if Father is Pop, how come Mother is not Mop?

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Lesson 186. Words in which U is sometimes mispronounced. tulle      col’umn           in au’gu rate
joust      sut’ure           ce ru’le an
guide      pup’pet           vi tu’per ate
yours      su’mac            ac cu’mu late
ghoul      ful’some          co ad ju’tor
gi’aour    con’duit          pu’pil la ry
de but     cu’cum ber        in’sti tute
duc’at     tru’cu lent       eu re’ka
U’lan      con nois seur’    cae su’ra
sup’ple    ju’gu lar         con’sti tute
du’ty      nu’mer ous        tour’na ment

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Lesson 185. Words in which O is sometimes mispronounced. front’ier       ap ro pos’         ab do’men
plov’er         vo’ca ble          dis com’fit
a mour’         pos til’ion        court’e ous
hov’er          pre co’cious       pa rot’id
sur tout’       o’o lite           con do’lence
sloth’fu1       dol’or ous         cog no’men
Sou chong’      ca lor’ic          op po’nent
caout’choue     front’is piece     co ro’na
re volt’        prob’i ty          col’port eur
fort’night      pome gran’ate      po’ta ble
com’pass        sov’er eign        a ro’ma

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Lesson 184. Words in which 0 is sometimes mispronounced. holm     tro’phy      mon’as ter y
yolk     on’ly        proc’u ra tor
scoff    mon’grel     mi cros’co py
nonce    be troth’    drom’e da ry
cost     proc’ess     zo ol’o gy
won’t    doc’ile      al lop’a thy
wont     prov’ost     au tom’a ton
shone    grov’e1      hy drop’a thy
sloth    fore’head    La oc’o on
forge    joc’und      pho tog’ra phy
doth     don’key      in ter loc’u tor

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Lesson 183. Words in which the Sounds of I are often mispronounced. fu’tile      as pir’ant        ad ver tis’er
ar tiste’    in quir’y         tri syl’la ble
fi nesse’    sub sid’ence’     ka lei’do scope
stir’rup     chas’tise ment    ad ver’tise ment
sub’tile     di gres’sion      in ter ne’cine
chlo’rine    di men’sion       lar yn gi’tis
Al’pine      di plo’ma         mi rac’u lous
chi cane’    sim’o ny          in ci’so ry
cui sine’    crin’o line       vi vip’a rous
li’lac       par’a digm        is o la’tion
vic’ar       e chi’nus         si mul ta’ne ous

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Lesson 182. Words in which the Sounds of I are often mispronounced. rid       ti rade’      py ri’tes
vive      ton tine’     fa ri’na
rinse     bro’mine      mar’i time
shire     li’chen       pi a’no
width     ob lique’     vir’u lent
si’ren    vis’count     cyn’o sure
ti’ny     vi’rile       is’o late
li’en     spike’nard    vol’a tile
an’ile    trib’une      en fran’chise
ei’der    qui’nine,     de ci’sive,
tri’o     di late’      pu’er ile

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Lesson 181. Words in which the Sounds of I are often mispronounced. fi’nite      mer’can tile    pa ri’e tal
pro’file     pi az’za        rec i ta tive’
de bris’     he gi’ra        an ni’hi late
A’pril       de cli’vous     cal li’o pe
fi nanec’    O ri’on         he li’ac al
ox’ide       i tal’ic        zo di’ac al
ar’chives    ho ri’zon       i soch’ro nous
vis’or       si’ne cure      men in gi’tis
sir’up       so ri’tes       ma ni’ac al
bas tile’    bron chi’tis    scar la ti’na
rib’ald      trip’ar tite    i so therm’al

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