Friday, 30 October 2009

/təˈmeɪtəʊ/ /təˈmɑtəʊ/

I give credit to non native English speakers. It's a lot harder to learn than it looks.

There's a bit of confusion about the origins of this poem. Some attribute it to George Bernard Shaw, another source said T.S.Watt. In any case it does a good job of highlighting how different the spelling of a word in English can be from its pronunciation:

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough.
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead--it's said like bed, not bead.
For goodness's sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat:
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose--
Just look them up--and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,
I'd mastered it when I was five.

Friday, 16 October 2009


Have we sunk to our lowest point? Has the need to use every possible bit of public space to hock our goods overcome our common sense? Do we not have enough spam flooding our inboxes? Are the billboards papering over our view of God’s beautiful green earth not enough?

Apparently not…

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce to you:


Yes. You heard it. Flogos.

That’s right… flying logos.

Made to look like clouds, these advertisements glide surreptitiously in the sky masquerading as nature.

So that even if you found yourself with one of those rare moments where you raise your nose from the grindstone to ponder a clear blue sky - even then you wouldn’t be beyond the insidiously ubiquitous reach of product promotion.

Ah yes… Flogos boy and girls. Flogos.