This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Nuts and Bolts: vowels? Who needs'em?

English rather likes vowels.

Yes, there are words like Eschscholtzia:


but that flower is obviously named after someone foreign (he was Baltic German, apparently, whatever that means).

Then there's weltschmerz, another word that can be found in English dictionaries but that has not really bedded itself into the Emglish language at all comfortably.

And yet...how about the consonant string tchphr? Could that be part of ordinary everyday English, the sort of thing you'd find in the catchphrase of a joke?

What about tchstr? Is there any way that odd combination could be part of the latchstring to open the meaning of a home-grown word?

Ghtsbr? Come on, a word like that is going to be dead posh, isn't it? Not an ordinary supermarket word, but the sort of thing you'd have to go to Harrods in Knightbridge to find.

And if you came across ndspr you'd probably do a backwards handspring with sheer amazement, and as for ghtscr...well, its appearance in an English sentence would be so dazzling you'd probably have to erect a sightscreen or hand out sunglasses.

Ah, but English is a wonderful thing, and in its many variations, all mixed up together into rich borshchts of meaning, more or less anything can happen.

Can't it.

Word To Use Today: one with lots of consonants in it.

Do try not to spit, though.


 


 


6 comments:

  1. I didn't spit, but I sure got my tongue twisted every which way!
    I think I'll stick to the words with all the lovely vowels thank you!

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  2. I know what you mean, Jingles, but I'd love to be able to speak a more gutteral language like Dutch or Polish or, especially, Russian, which always sounds to me like English with the recording running backwards.

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  3. Vowels in English are hard, too, because there are so many ways to pronounce them. Spanish is cool - five vowels, five vowel sounds - that's it. Simple, No messing.

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    Replies
    1. Spanish is cool. But English is hot, maybe?

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  4. This article really shows off your STRENGTHS.

    I hardly spat at all saying that one.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anon. Finding examples was quite angstridden, I must say.

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