Sunday, December 17, 2006

AINSCOUGH pronunciation??

So we've all had to deal with those tricky situations in our past, trying to explain that Ainscough is pronounced "co" and not "cough", such a complicated word blend is "ough".......I found this on the web and kind of liked it!
The use of ough in the spelling of the surname is not much help to a reader trying to pronounce it. To quote Fowler:

"9. OUGH This combination of letters has deservedly become the classic example of the notorious inconsequence of English spelling. There are nine different ways of saying it . . ."—and a tenth if you include hiccough. H. W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, under "pronunciation."
Rick Sutcliffe, on his web page Opundo, under "English pronouncements," comes up with twenty ways to pronounce ough, augh, or eugh:

"The combination 'ough' can be pronounced in fourteen different ways.
1. awe: thought, bought, fought, brought, ought, sought, nought, wrought
2. uff: enough, rough, tough, slough, Clough, chough
3. ooh: through, slough
4. oh: though, although, dough, doughnut, brougham, Ough, furlough, Greenough, thorough
5. off: cough, trough
6. ow: bough, plough, sough
7. ou: drought, doughty, Stoughton
8. uh: Scarborough, borough, thorough (alt), thoroughbred, Macdonough, Poughkeepsie
9. up: hiccoughed
10. oth: trough (alt)
11. ock: lough, hough
12. oc[h] (aspirated): lough
13. ahf: Gough
14. og: Coughlin (also #5)

"The following sentence contains them all:
Rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman John Gough strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough on Coughlin road near the lough (dry due to drought), he coughed and hiccoughed, then checked his horse's houghs and washed up in a trough.

Note: Loughborough is #2, followed by #8
For an amusing poem, see English pronunciation—The Chaos, and word search for ough. On this page is this sentence:
"12 Ways to pronounce -ough. (From an English newspaper in the 1940s—adapted:

A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman, called Ayscough (pronounced Askew), slapped his horse on the hough (hock) as he rode through the streets of Willsborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully, while the wind was soughing (Oxford Dictionary 'sooching') through the lough."

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