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Earl's World: Humor

English is Tough Stuff

The OJ Trial As Told By Dr. Seuss

The WFMT Announcer Audition

On Disconnected Bones, Stolen Pituitaries, and Glutinous Rice Chicken

So that's how computers reproduce!


English is Tough Stuff

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.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds 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 you
With 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 OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sleeve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And 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 tear
Do 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!!!

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The OJ Trial As Told By Dr. Seuss

I did not kill my lovely wife.
I did not slash her with a knife.
I did not bonk her on the head.
I did not know that she was dead.

I stayed at home that fateful night.
I took a limo, then took a flight.
The bag I had was just for me.
My bag! My bag! Hey, leave it be!

When I came home, I had a gash.
My hand was cut from broken glass.
I cut my hand on broken glass.
A broken glass did cause that gash.

My friend, he took me for a ride.
All through LA, from side to side.
From north to south, we took a ride.
But from the cops we could not hide.

The DNA, the HEM, the HAW!
The circus-hype the viewers saw!
Did you do this awful crime?
Did you do this anytime?

I did not do this awful crime.
I could not, would not, anytime.
Did you take this person's life?
Did you do it with a knife?

I did not do it with a knife.
I did not, could not, kill my wife.
I did not do this awful crime.
I could not, would not, anytime.

Did you hit her from above.
Did you drop this bloody glove?
I did not hit her from above.
I cannot even wear that glove.

I did not do it with a knife.
I did not, could not, kill my wife.
I did not do this awful crime.
I could not, would not, anytime.

The glove you see it doesn't fit
The lawyer says you must acquit
Acquit because the cops all lied
Acquit, acquit the lawyer cried

The jury came back verdict in hand
and silence fell across the land
Not guilty, not guilty they did decree
Not guilty, not guilty, now set him free

And now I'm free, I can return
To my house for which I yearn.
And to my family whom I love.
Now would you please return my glove!!

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The WFMT Announcer Audition

WFMT is a commercial classical FM station in Chicago, Illinois, USA. This is their announcer's test, taken from their web page.

The WFMT announcer's lot is not a happy one. In addition to uttering the sibilant, mellifluous cadences of such cacophonous sounds as Hans Schmidt- Isserstedt, Carl Schuricht, Nicanor Zabaleta, Hans Knappertsbusch and the Hammerklavier Sonata, he must thread his vocal way through the complications of L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and other complicated nomenclature.

However, it must by no means be assumed that the ability to pronounce L'Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris with fluidity and verve outweighs an ease, naturalness and friendliness of delivery when at the omnipresent microphone. For example, when delivering a diatribe concerning Claudia Muzio, Beniamino Gigli, Hetty Plumacher, Giacinto Prandelli, Hilde Rössel-Majdan and Lina Pagliughi, five out of six is good enough if the sixth one is mispronounced plausibly. Jessica Dragonette and Margaret Truman are taken for granted.

Poets, although not such a constant annoyance as polysyllabically named singers, creep in now and then. Of course Dylan Thomas and W.B. Yeats are no great worry. Composers occur almost incessantly, and they range all the way from Albeniz, Alfven and Auric through Wolf-Ferrari and Zeisl.

Let us reiterate that a warm, simple tone of voice is desirable, even when introducing the Bach Cantata "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis," or Monteverdi's opera "L'Incoronazione di Poppea."

Such then, is the warp and woof of an announcer's existence "in diesen heil'gen Hallen."

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On Disconnected Bones, Stolen Pituitaries, and Glutinous Rice Chicken

English subtitles from actual Hong Kong movies.

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So that's how computers reproduce!

Extract from a guarantee provided with a Taiwanese clone 386 notebook:

  1. This is an excellent equipment with very few noise and excessive reliability. Though unfragile, it is also robust and is not be belted.
  2. The screen is immortal, but pregnant wearout may after occur many summers if heat is applied. Where active color is option, do not rest screen top surface with giant objects.
  3. Circuit arrangements make environments and input current is best at both temperatures, including snow and hot.
  4. Very heavy fuses are supplied in plenty.
  5. Life is too good on full battery and this time be lowered but the input level may be to danger if required with information still full.
  6. The negative will be and the positive is not if battery polarity is incorrect, also a humming will be introduced together with smoke. Mountains on battery are not removed in case of this action.
  7. For accessability without vandalism use the many authorities function but switch them off afterwards and before.
  8. When aligning for LCD screen view, for best is to look a screen the front and not black or light.
  9. Hard disk is of largest size and may be increased to bigger by voiding guarantee with serviceman.
  10. Manual has many mountains for mating with mountains on plastic insert.
  11. Please move mountains for best access and insert.
  12. The guarantee of machine is cause of many years in Taiwan not odour, impatience or threat.
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