What If English Words Were Phonetically Consistent?

English is a funny old language. There’s a distinct lack of consistency between sounds, particularly when you look at words as they’re written down. This can trip up anyone so what would happen if we approached English as a phonetically consistent language?

Composer and writer Aaron Alon tackled this tricky proposition in a short video.

The video starts with a sample sentence: “Though I coughed roughly and hiccoughed throughout the lecture, I still thought I could plough through the rest of it.” Eight different instances of the ‘ough’ letter combination, eight different sounds to pronounce them. It’s no wonder English can trip people up.

So Alon suggests using a single pronounciation for the letter ‘a’ then adopts it.

As each example of phonetic consistency is adopted over the course of the video, Alon’s speech turns from everyday English to a garbled mess that sounds like a computer trying to imitate the Swedish Chef.


The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


3 responses to “What If English Words Were Phonetically Consistent?”

Leave a Reply