YOU COULD SPELL "FISH" AS "GHOTI" AND IT WOULD BE PRONOUNCED THE SAME
THIS IS NOT TRUE.
FOR THOSE UNAWARE OF THIS, UH, “FACT,” THE IDEA IS THAT “GHOTI” COULD BE PRONOUNCED “FISH” IF YOU PRONOUNCE THE GH- AS IN “LAUGH,” THE -O- AS IN “WOMEN,” AND THE “TI” AS IN “AMBITION.”
HOWEVER, THIS FAILS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT THE PRONUNCIATION OF LETTERS IS DEPENDENT ON THEIR POSITION WITHIN THE WORD.
AT THE END OF A WORD OR SYLLABLE, “GH” CAN BE PRONOUNCED LIKE THE LETTER F. THIS IS WHY IT’S PRONOUNCED THAT WAY IN “LAUGH” AND “LAUGHTER” AND “ENOUGH” AND, DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ASK, “VAN GOGH.” AT THE BEGINNING OF A WORD OR SYLLABLE, “GH” IS PRONOUNCED AS AN EXTRA-HARD G-SOUND, AS IN “GHOST” AND “GHOUL” AND “GHASTLY.”
LIKEWISE, “TI” IS NOT PRONOUNCED AS “SH” AT THE END OF A WORD. IN “AMBITION,” IT IS ONLY BECAUSE “TI” IS FOLLOWED BY “O” THAT THERE IS AN “SH” SOUND IN THE WORD AT ALL. THIS IS WHY “RATIO” IS PRONOUNCED WITH AN “SH” SOUND, WHILE “MANTIS” IS PRONOUNCED WITH A “T” SOUND.
IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT, IN WORDS LIKE “AMBITION” AND “NATION,” IT’S NOT THAT THE “TI” IS PRONOUNCED LIKE “SH.” “TION” IS A COMPLETE SYLLABLE, PRONOUNCED “SHUN” OR “SHEN.” IF YOU REMOVE ANY OF THE LETTERS, THE PRONUNCIATION WOULD CHANGE.
“ION” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TIN” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TI” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TON” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TIO” ONLY HAS AN SH- SOUND IN IT IF IT’S PRECEDED BY A VOWEL, AS IN “RATIO,” AND EVEN THEN, IT’S PRONOUNCED “SHYO” OR “SHI-O,” DEPENDING ON YOUR ACCENT.
“O” IS RARELY PRONOUNCED AS IN “WOMEN,” EXCEPT WHEN IT’S IN THE MIDDLE OF A SYLLABLE.
THAT’S THE THING. “-GH” IS ONLY PRONOUNCED “F” AT THE END OF A SYLLABLE. “O” IS ONLY PRONOUNCED AS IN “WOMEN” IN THE MIDDLE OF A SYLLABLE. “TI-” IS ONLY PRONOUNCED “SH” AT THE BEGINNING OF A CERTAIN SYLLABLES, AND NEVER BY ITSELF.
WHEN ASSEMBLED IN THAT ORDER, NONE OF THOSE PRONUNCIATIONS WOULD APPLY. IF THEY HAD SPELLED IT “GHOTION,” IT WOULD BE PRONOUNCED “GOSHEN.” IF THEY HAD IT “LAUGHOTI,” IT WOULD BE PRONOUNCED “LAFF-OH-TEE.”
HOWEVER, SPELLED “GHOTI,” THERE’S NO WAY TO PRONOUNCE IT “FISH” UNLESS YOU PRONOUNCE EVERY LETTER INCORRECTLY, IN WHICH CASE YOU’RE NOT PRONOUNCING “GHOTI” AT ALL, YOU’RE PRONOUNCING “FISH.” “GHOTI” IS PRONOUNCED “GOATY.”
NOW, THE ORIGINAL IDEA BEHIND “GHOTI” WAS MAKING FUN OF THE LACK OF RULES GOVERNING ENGLISH SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION. THIS IS STUPID AS HELL, BECAUSE THEY HAD TO IGNORE A BUNCH OF THE RULES GOVERNING ENGLISH SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION IN ORDER TO MAKE FUN OF THEIR NON-EXISTENCE.
THEY LITERALLY PRETENDED THE ESTABLISHED PRONUNCIATION CONVENTIONS DIDN’T EXIST JUST SO THEY COULD MAKE FUN OF ENGLISH FOR NOT HAVING ESTABLISHED PRONUNCIATION CONVENTIONS, WHICH IS ESPECIALLY AGGRAVATING BECAUSE THIS COULD EASILY BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE EXISTING WORD “COLONEL.”
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