etoile_violette: (Kay-lie rocks)
[personal profile] etoile_violette
When watching TV with [ profile] dengel3000 on Monday and the phonetic alphabet being mentioned, I was reminded of a conversation I had with someone ages ago where we were trying to think of the worst words to use when spelling things out over the telephone - think silent letters, words that sound like other letters, paired letters that create a new sound and other eccentricities of the English language.

So [ profile] dengel3000 and I had another go, and here's what we've come up with so far. You have to say them out loud to get the best effect. I'll add more when we think of them - can you guys think of any others?

A for Are (Or Aesop; EDIT: or Aitch - thanks [ profile] mollydot's husband)
C for Cue
D for Double you (EDIT: or Djinn, or Djibouti - thanks [ profile] bopeepsheep)
E for Eye
G for Gnat
H for Heir
J (EDIT: for Junta - thanks [ profile] mollydot's husband; or Jalapeno - thanks [ profile] baloobas)
K for Knee
M for Mnemonic
O for Oedipus
P for Psychology
Q for Qat (EDIT: or Qi, as I've just realises 'qat' contravenes the 'word must be relatively well-known in English' rule.
R (EDIT: Rong. Clutching at straws now, but trusty Scrabble dictionary tells me it's an archaic past participle of 'ring')
T for Thaddeus (EDIT: or Tsunami - thanks [ profile] bopeepsheep)
W for Whore (EDIT: or Wring - thanks [ profile] mollydot)
X for Xylophone
Y for You

I suppose it's pretty indicative of a geeky Mensa household that the first 'th' word I thought of was 'Thaddeus'. I got laughed at for that, lol.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2007-11-29 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I still don't get 'banana', lol - or is it "B for 'Nana?"
(deleted comment)

Date: 2007-11-28 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, a lot of the silent letters aren't at the beginning, which is why we're struggling to find examples for all the letters. And let's not talk about bough, cough, rough, ought, though and through (did I miss any?).

I did the IPA at uni too - I had to do a translation exam with a pasage from French to IPA and one from IPA to French, so I got pretty 'fluent' at it. Only for French though: I knew the symbol for the rolled R and various French vowel sounds that don't exist in English, but not the symbols for the hard 'ch', either 'th', or most English dipthongs. I need to learn it again actually as it's fantastic for accurately spelling out how a word sounds to a correspondent.

I'm trying to think of the J one - I think you may be right, although it might end up being a foreign name like Juan (different sound but same principle). That doesn't really matter though, although I'd like it the whole thing to consist of words that are used in English, even if they're of foreign extraction.

Ooh, and 'whole' is a good substitute for 'whore' if you're showing it to your gran, lol.

Date: 2007-11-29 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hiccough is the seventh and final

Date: 2007-11-29 01:29 pm (UTC)

Date: 2007-11-28 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It occurs to me that I'd get more fun out of words that end in unsuual ways. I play an improv game where each word has to start with the last letter of the previous word so there's an opportunity to be evil :D

Date: 2007-11-29 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol - yes, I can see how that could work nicely. I've played a similar game, but you end up recycling the same words because so many words end with 'e' or 'n'. Or another letter. But yes, lots of repetition after a while, I found.

Date: 2007-11-29 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We play the game with 30 odd people and you're out if you hesitate for more than 2 seconds or repeat a word :P It works well.

Date: 2007-11-29 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are lots of examples of people realising they're doing a repeat correcting "elepthant...tree...elepha...shit...ntisis!"

Date: 2007-11-29 01:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2007-11-29 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
need to try one time methinks
(deleted comment)

Date: 2007-11-29 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh yes - someone else mentioned Junta too. Brilliant :-D

Date: 2007-12-02 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
All the easy ones have gone now!


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