Ghoti

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Ghoti is a constructed word used to illustrate irregularities in English spelling. It is a respelling of the word fish: i.e., it is supposed to be pronounced /ˈfɪʃ/. It comprises these phonemes:

An early known published reference is in 1874, citing an 1855 letter that credits ghoti to one William Ollier Jr (born 1824).[1] Ghoti is often cited to support the English spelling reform, and is often attributed to George Bernard Shaw,[2] a supporter of this cause. However, the word does not appear in Shaw's writings,[1] and a biography of Shaw attributes it instead to an anonymous spelling reformer.[3] Similar constructed words exist that demonstrate English idiosyncrasies[citation needed], but ghoti is the most widely recognized. Linguists have pointed out that the placement of the letters in the constructed word is in fact inconsistent with the claimed pronunciation,[4] that the expected pronunciation in English is as in goatee.[5]

Contents

Silent ghoti

Using the same method and reinforcing the original point, ghoti can be a silent word, where:[6]

Notable usage

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Benjamin Zimmer. "Ghoti before Shaw". Language Log. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=81.  Cites S. R. Townshend Mayer, “Leigh Hunt and Charles Ollier”, St. James’s Magazine, October 1874, page 406 (itself citing a 1855 letter from Ollier to Hunt).
  2. ^ Holroyd, Michael, Bernard Shaw: Volume III: 1918–1950: The Lure of Fantasy, Random House, 1994, ISBN 0-517-13035-1
  3. ^ See Jim Scobbie's article at alt-usage-english.org, citing Holroyd, page 501
  4. ^ Benjamin Zimmer. "Ghoti". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/magazine/27FOB-onlanguage-t.html. 
  5. ^ http://zompist.com/spell.html
  6. ^ http://e-gli.com/ghoti/
  7. ^ Klingon Language Institute
  8. ^ Teleplay by Stanley Ralph Ross, Story by Ed Self (19 October 1966). "An Egg Grows in Gotham". Batman. episode 13. season 2. Event occurs at 13 minutes. ABC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_de5St_97M#t=3m06s. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Re: Spelling Bees" Discussion of speech synthesis programs
  10. ^ http://www.neopets.com/search.phtml?selected_type=object&string=Ghoti
  11. ^ http://imajenthat.blogspot.com/2010/11/like-ghoti-out-of-water.html

External links