Dearest creature in creation,Study English pronunciation.I will teach you in my verseSounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.I will keep you, Suzy, busy,Make your head with heat grow dizzy.Tear in eye, your dress will tear.So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.Just compare heart, beard and heard,Dies and diet, lord and word,Sword and sward, retain and Britain.(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)Now I surely will not plague youWith such words as plaque and ague.But be careful how you speak:Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;Cloven, oven, how and low,Script, receipt, show, poem and toe.Hear me say, devoid of trickery,Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,Exiles, similes and reviles;Scholar, vicar and cigar,Solar, mica, war and far;One, anemone, Balmoral,Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;Gertrude, German, wind and mind,Scene, Melpomene, mankind.Billet does not rhyme with ballet,Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.Blood and flood are not like food,Nor is mould like should and would.Viscous, viscount, load and broad,Toward, to forward, to reward.And your pronunciation’s OKWhen you correctly say croquet,Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,Friend and fiend, alive and live.Ivy, privy, famous; clamourAnd enamour rhyme with hammer.River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,Doll and roll and some and home.Stranger does not rhyme with anger,Neither does devour with clangour.Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant,Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,And then singer, ginger, linger,Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,Marriage, foliage, mirage and age.Query does not rhyme with very,Nor does fury sound like bury.Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.Though the differences seem little,We say actual but victual.Refer does not rhyme with deafer.Foeffer does and zephyr, heifer.Mint, pint, senate and sedate;Dull, bull and George ate late.Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,Science, conscience, scientific.Liberty, library, heave and heaven,Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.We say hallowed, but allowed,People, leopard, towed, but vowed.Mark the differences, moreover,Between mover, cover, clover;Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,Chalice, but police and lice;Camel, constable, unstable,Principle, disciple, label.Petal, panel and canal,Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,Senator, spectator, mayor.Tour, but our and succour, four.Gas, alas and Arkansas.Sea, idea, Korea, area,Psalm, Maria, but malaria.Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.Doctrine, turpentine, marine.Compare alien with Italian,Dandelion and battalion.Sally with ally, yea, ye,Eye, I, ay, aye, whey and key.Say aver, but ever, fever,Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.Heron, granary, canary.Crevice and device and aerie.Face, but preface, not efface.Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.Large, but target, gin, give, verging,Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.Ear, but earn and wear and tearDo not rhyme with here but ere.Seven is right, but so is even,Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,Ask, grasp, wasp and cork and work.Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)Is a paling stout and spikey?Won’t it make you lose your wits,Writing groats and saying grits?It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,Islington and Isle of Wight,Housewife, verdict and indict.Finally, which rhymes with enough,Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?Hiccough has the sound of cup.My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité
I have spent these last two days in concentrated introspection, said Cutie and the results have been most interesting. I began at the one sure assumption I felt permitted to make.I, myself, exist, because I think-Powell groaned, Oh, Jupiter, a robot Descartes!Who's Descartes? demanded Donovan. Listen, do we have to sit here and listen to this metal maniac-Keep quiet, Mike!Cutie continued imperturbably, And the question that immediately arose was: Just what is the cause of my existence?Powell's jaw set lumpily. You're being foolish. I told you already that we made you.And if you don't believe us, added Donovan, we'll gladly take you apart!The robot spread his strong hands in a deprecatory gesture, I accept nothing on authority. A hypothesis must be backed by reason, or else it is worthless - and it goes against all the dictates of logic to suppose that you made me.Powell dropped a restraining arm upon Donovan's suddenly unched fist. Just why do you say that?Cutie laughed. It was a very inhuman laugh - the most machine-like utterance he had yet given vent to. It was sharp and explosive, as regular as a metronome and as uninflected.Look at you, he said finally. I say this in no spirit of contempt, but look at you! The material you are made of is soft and flabby, lacking endurance and strength, depending for energy upon the inefficient oxidation of organic material - like that. He pointed a disapproving finger at what remained of Donovan's sandwich. Periodically you pass into a coma and the least variation in temperature, air ressure, humidity, or radiation intensity impairs your efficiency. You are _makeshift_.I, on the other hand, am a finished product. I absorb electrical energy directly and utilize it with an almost one hundred percent efficiency. I am composed of strong metal, am continuously conscious and can stand extremes of environment easily. These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.
Isaac Asimov