The English language is extremely difficult to learn. Many of us who have been speaking it for decades still get tripped up trying to pronounce a word we haven’t seen before. And that is a situation that is more likely to happen than not. The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 600,000 definitions and the list keep growing.
Besides having a ton of homonyms (words that sound alike such as to, two, and too) which have totally different meanings, there are many words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings based on how they are pronounced. A good example is found in the following sentence: “Farmers work their fields to produce produce.”
I apologize for not being able to credit the person who played with the English language’s nuances to produce the word in the title of this post. I learned about this word many years ago and have been unable to locate the source.
Now that I’ve given you all these hints, you should be able to recognize the word. Ghoti.
Do you need more hints? OK. Let’s begin with the first two letters. The ‘gh’ combination has the same sound as the ‘gh’ in the word ‘enough’.
Still need more help? The ‘o’ has the same sound as the ‘o’ in the word ‘women’.
Surely you’ve figured it out by now.
Just in case, the ‘ti’ combination at the end has the same sound as the ‘ti’ in the word ‘nation’.
So, it is safe to say, “Give a man a ghoti and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach the man to ghoti and you’ll feed him for life.”