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WHY SOME WORDS ARE DIFFICULT
THE difficulty in spelling and pronouncing English words arises from the use of (1) silent letters; (2) the same letter to represent different sounds; (3) different letters to represent the same sound. Pupils, therefore, should be drilled thoroughly on a few representative words, with the view of training the faculty and forming the habit of closely observing these peculiarities wherever they meet with them. This exercise may be conducted in the following manner. books being open at the lesson, the pupils, in the order of recitation, pronounce each word, read its spelling from the book, and analyze it thus:
Phlegm (flěm), p-h-l-e-g-m; it is a difficult word because it has six letters and only four sounds; g is silent, and the sound of ƒ is represented by the equivalent ph.
Věry, v-e-r-y; the spelling of this word is difficult to remember because most words similar in sound (fer'ry, ber'ry, mer'ry) have two r's; one r in very.
Co quětte', c-o-q-u-e-t-t-e; it is a difficult word because it has eight letters and only five sounds; the last t and one e are silent, the first sound of k is represented by the equivalent c, and the last one by the equivalent qu.
Sěp'a rate, s-e-p-a-r-a-t-e; it has eight letters and only seven sounds; e final is generally silent; the spelling of this word is difficult to remember because the sound of a in the second syllable is obscure and that letter becomes confused with the letter e, having an obscure sound in words somewhat similar; two a's in separate.
In applying the diacritical marks to combinations of let
ters representing a single elementary sound and including the represented letter itself, it is customary to give that letter the proper mark, and regard the other letters of the combination as silent; thus: beaū'tỹ.
EQUIVALENTS REPRESENTING ELEMENTARY SOUNDS.
The sound of a, as in ale, is represented in nine other ways: hal, day, they, val, steak, gange, gl, Aaron, me le'.
The sound of ǎ, as in ådd, in three other ways:
The sound of ä, as in ärm, in five other ways:
aunt, heart, guard, serʼgeant, ba zaar'.
The sound of a, as in all, in seven other
bawl, laud, morn, fought, bread, George,
The sound of â, as in fâre, in five other ways:
hair, pray'er, where, pear, their.
The sound of e, as in eve, in eleven other ways:
meat, beet, chief, de ceive', po lice', key, Co'sar, people,
quay, Por'tu guese, Phåʼbus.
The sound of ě, as in ěbb, in eleven other ways: bread, sad, di er'e sis, 'ny, hef'er, loop'ard, friend,
ba'ry, guest, says, d'i pus.
The sound of i, as in ice, in nine other ways:
tie, gåde, haght, buy, aisle, rye, eye, aye, by.
The sound of i, as in ill, in eleven other ways: mith, du'ties, build, bar'gan, ba'sy, pret'ty, been, wom'en, for'gn, car'rage, tor'toise.
The sound of ō, as in ōde, in nine other ways:
boat, glow, pour, foe, floor, haut'boy, sew, beau, yeo'man. The sound of Ŏ, as in ŏdd, in two other ways:
The sound of ū, as in use, in eight other ways:
dew, hue, jace, ne'ter, lieu, view, beauty, manʼtua-mak er. The sound of u, as in us, in seven other ways: son, touch, flood, does, por poise, cushion, gudʼgeon. The sound of û, as in ûrn, in eight other ways: her, thirst, heard, work, scourge, myr'tle, fri'år, guer'.
The sound of u, as in rule, in eight other ways:
broom, sap, do, grew, ewe, true, frät, ma në 'ver.
The diphthongs oi and oy are used to represent the same sound, and ou and ow likewise.
The sound of v is represented by ph in Stephen.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,