Tuesday, March 04, 2014

When different vowels rhyme

Discussing the quirks and difficulties of learning English is a played-out trope. I know. Nonetheless, something that occurred to me recently (when my brain probably should have been better occupied) is someday I'll be explaining to my son how words can rhyme despite having different vowels. In fact, sets of rhyming words with four different vowels came to mind.

Herd, bird, word, turd.
Jerk, smirk, work, Turk.

The pattern in both is that any vowel followed by r and another consonant gets pronounced "er"; the r sound is too strong, it seems.

A linguist likely would explain why that is (undoubtedly citing the way English is largely an amalgamation of words derived from other languages), or be able to list an alternative example set (not involving r). Being merely a rhetorical dilettante who occasionally ponders such things, we'll conclude this there, and not drag it out any longer than necessary.

If one cannot be clever one should at least be succinct.

(For a change…)


Eh, my brain could be used for worse things. And, on many occasions, has... and in the future, that may be in the duty of my child.

No comments:

Post a Comment

So, what do you think?