I often wonder how foreigners cope with all our words ending in ough: enough, cough, bough, though, through, hiccough.

Then you have Worcester, Leicester, Slaithwaite, Knightsbridge, Cholmondeley and Featherstonehaugh.

As to Gaelic, how should I pronounce Dervla Kirwan? I am sure it is not pronounced as spelt.

When I was teaching English in Eastbourne it came as a surprise to me as a native speaker of the language that my students from Poland, Spain and Ukraine, some of whom were completing doctoral theses in English, really fell down when it came to phrasal verbs which are unique to English.

They really got mixed up when it came to using stand up, stand down, sit up, sit down, shut up, shut down, etc., etc.

This reminds me of a Roger McGough poem:

Cousin Angelina owned a yacht
And smoked pacht a lacht.
So when things got haght,
Away sailed Angelina (so regal)
To where the grass was greener (and legal).


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