Early this month I wrote a blog post called “Glorious, complicated, perverse English language“. It was fun to write and I enjoyed reading the many comments on the post.
One comment though was a challenge! The comment stated that there are NINE ways to pronounce the letters ‘ough’! Well, being the nerd I am I had to immediately think and add up the ways in my head. However… I couldn’t think of nine – only eight!
1. bough, plough = OW
2. rough, enough, tough = UFF
3. trough, cough = OFF
4. dough, furlough, thorough = OH
5. sough = OO
6. hiccough = UP
7. thought, bought = AW
8. lough = OCK
What am I missing? If anyone can provide me with examples for the ninth pronunciation, I’d love to hear it in your comments.
Thanks to everyone who commented on this topic.
The pronunciation that I was missing was…
9. through = EW
Another comment pointed out an interesting point. The word thorough in North American English is pronounced with the OH sound
whilst British English pronounces it was a AH sound
The English language never fails to enthrall me!