The amusing homophony of English

Amusing to tears

In English, due to its twisted spelling, it is not always possible to exactly identify the word pronounced. What is meant by [raɪt]right, rite, wright, write? Pronounced similarly and written differently, these words are called homophones.

Lots of jokes are based on homophony. For instance, May 4 is celebrated as the so-called Star Wars Day because the catchphrase of this saga May the Force be with you can be also spelled as May the fourth be with you (May the fourth, May 4).

Another homophonic joke—Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer. The words in this poem are written as gibberish, but they suddenly turn into meaningful text once you start pronouncing them without thinking. The first strophe:

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Another linguistic joke on a similar topic, on irregular stresses in English—the De Chaos poem.


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