George Bernard Shaw claimed, tongue
in cheek, that the word fish
could be spelled "ghoti."
= /f/ as in enough.
o = /i/
as in women.
as in nation.
True, these sounds can be spelled in
these ways, but never in this way.
there is not one single word in which
the letters gh are used to start
a word having the /f/ sound. Nor is
there a single word ending with the /sh/
sound spelled ti. However, the
sound "fish" is always spelled "fici" in
words whose base has more than one
As a matter of fact the sound /fish/
is spelled fish only in words that can be reduced to a base
(morpheme) of one meaningful syllable. The words
fish, fishes, fished, fishing, fisherman, fishermen, fishery,
and fisheries can all be reduced to "fish."
The sound /fish/ happens to always be spelled fici in words
that have a base of more than one syllable. For the
phonic patterns rarely taught in schools see
The Fancy Words.
We say "uh fish ul"
but we spell official.
We say "ben uh
fish ul" but we spell beneficial.
We say "ee fish
unt" but we spell efficient.
We say "suh fish
unt" but we spell sufficient.
the base is
which has only one syllable.
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