Updated: Sep 19, 2019
As people around the world settle down to write a poem to celebrate World Poetry Day on Thursday, March 21, they might find that it’s still easy to be tripped up by the simplest of spelling rules, which is why we’ve decided to make Spelling & Punctuation, part of our Literacy Skills range, Module of the Month for March.
Celebrated since 1999, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Poetry Day aims to emphasis our common humanity by exploring an oral tradition which has been practised throughout history in every corner of the globe, revealing how every individual in the world shares the same thoughts, feelings and concerns.
As any subject can spark a poet’s imagination, many writers have turned to spelling and punctuation for inspiration, as demonstrated by this anonymous poem highlighting the complicated relationships between words in the English Language.
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough and through.
Well done! And now you wish perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead, is said like bed, not bead -
for goodness' sake don't call it 'deed'!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(they rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, or broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's doze and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I learned to speak it when I was five!
And yet to write it, the more I sigh,
I'll not learn how 'til the day I die.
To help refresh your memory, our dedicated Spelling & Punctuation explores the history of the English language, key spelling rules and the most common punctuation guidelines, including when to use commas and when a semi colon is more appropriate. So, to access the course for free, click here.
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