While most of you non-native speakers of English speak English quite well, there is always room for improvement (of course, the same could be said for every person for any subject, but that is another matter). To that end, I’d like to offer you a poem. Once you’ve learned to correctly pronounce every word in this poem, you will be
speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
If you find it tough going, do not despair, you are not alone: Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language … until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud.
Try them yourself.
English is tough stuff
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. Read More…
Paul V. Hartman
(The Capitalized syllable gets the emphasis)
alacrity a-LACK-ra-tee cheerful willingness and promptness
anathema a-NATH-a-ma a thing or person cursed, banned, or reviled
anodyne AN-a-dine not likely to cause offence or disagreement and somewhat dull//anything that sooths or comforts
aphorism AFF-oar-ism a short, witty saying or concise principle
apostate ah-POSS-tate (also: apostasy) person who has left the fold or deserted the faith.
arrogate ARROW-gate to make an unreasonable claim
atavistic at-a-VIS-tic reverting to a primitive type
avuncular a-VUNC-you-lar “like an uncle”; benevolent
Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:
By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:
By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:
With a bachelor’s degree, you gain a specialty:
A master’s degree deepens that specialty:
Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:
Once you’re at the boundary, you focus:
You push at the boundary for a few years:
Until one day, the boundary gives way:
And, that dent you’ve made is called a Ph.D.:
Of course, the world looks different to you now:
So, don’t forget the bigger picture: