It is a peculiar spelling to be sure but that is the English language for you. English as you know is a collection of languages brought together over the millennia. Greatly influenced by Latin, German and especially French in the more recent past English has developed into what is is today. Even now it is changing as new words are added. Old English wasn’t anything like today’s spoken word but more of a precursor as it slowly changed over the years. Today it is spoken all over the world in one form or another. Sadly they are drifting away from the original. How would they pronounce ‘PHOTI’ for instance? Well if you said FISH you could be correct. Take ‘PH’, it could be pronounced as ‘F’ as inĀ Phoenix, ‘O’ could be pronounced ‘I’ as in Women and ‘TI’ could be pronounced as ‘SH’ as in Tradition! Laughable, here ‘GH’ is pronounced ‘F’, the same as ‘PH’ above! Very confusing don’t you think? However growing up with the language makes it easy to understand for the majority of people. It’s as easy as…There are some who despite having a good education still cannot get to grips with it, spelling in particular. I don’t want to go there, it is too painful when I read how some people miss-use words, two, too, to, there, their, they’re and so on. Today we have spell-checkers to help with our spelling inadequacies so there is no real excuse to produce an illiterate composition as far as spelling goes when using a computer program(me). Yes, I remember programme used to be spelled that way but now it is acceptable to lose a letter or two. My American friends will forgive me for saying why drop me off at the end or why drop u off too? Colour becomes color but if it is pronounced correctly the ‘u’ changes things, ‘our’ sounds completely different to ‘or’. A minor consideration and proof of an ever-changing linguistic nightmare especially when the spell-checker tells me I’m wrong when actually I know I’m right. It all depends on where you live now I suppose but I have to support the Mother tongue in favo(u)r of the mutilated variety don’t I? Oh and don’t mention potatoes and tomatoes.

Shirley Anne