Sunday, January 10, 2010

English as She is Spoken - it can be difficult at times.

Earlier today, The Content Wrangler, Scott Abel, posted the following on his FaceBook page:

[English Lesson du jour] Leonard Lunsford says the letter combination "ough" can be pronounced 9 different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

This sort of thing is a perfect example of why we shouldn't assume everyone in your intended audience understands the subtleties and nuances of the English language - particularly important if you are creating technical or business content for an audience who are not native English speakers.

As I mentioned to Scott - I will definitely be using this as an example in the Simplified Technical English training courses I run from now on.

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