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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

English Pronunciation

Does anyone know the origin of this essay? I have heard that it was started during WWII in the 1940's in a hospital for wounded British and American soldiers, but I don't know the truth of that.



English Pronunciation

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. Reportedly after trying the verses, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.


Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Malignant Melanoma Part III

I went back to my surgeon this afternoon for the first follow up. The pathology report is not back from the lab yet and because of the holidays will likely be sometime the first week of January. So I am still waiting on that report, but my surgeon sounds confident so I am not going to worry about it. He says my incision is healing well and I can leave it open to the air now.

I was amazed how little pain I have had from the whole thing, which has been great.

Well that is all I know for now. I have another check up with the surgeon in 30 days.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas & A Very Happy New Year!

To all of my friends and readers who support this blog, I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! With all the trouble and turmoil that life brings our way throughout the year it is great to have a time that we can reflect on our lives and those loved ones in our lives and be grateful for our lives and for those loved ones in our lives. 

I know the holidays can be a rough time for many for lots of different reasons. If you are one of those people, I send out a special prayer and personal wish that this holiday season and year would be the one where that begins to change for the better. As I get older (almost 60) and health challenges come my way, I have (and am) learning to value my friends and loved ones in a much deeper way than I ever did when I was a young man in my 20's. With all of the things that happen in my life I am learning to trust God more each and every day. You who are reading this may or may not believe in God, be that as it may, I myself am more convinced every day that there is a God, and that he loves me and that he loves you.  

As Job said, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" and "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." How many of us who believe are possessed of enough faith to consistently think this way when we are going through troubled times? And yet through two bouts of cancer, this is the lesson that I am learning, accepting the will of God in my life and with that acceptance being blessed with "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It is not about understanding why, it is about simple trust that there is a reason and that whether or not I know that reason is not important.

Each day brings challenges of it's own and how we respond to them is what matters. Some challenges are big and some are small, some are painful and some are sweet, some go by us unnoticed and others consume our every waking moment. Our responses over time define who we are and what we are.

There is a parable about "Carrots, Eggs, And Coffee" that is posted in many different versions, here is one of them:


Carrots, Eggs, And Coffee
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavour and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water - the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

(Somehow, wake up and smell the coffee takes on a whole new meaning)

-Author Unknown







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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Malignant Melanoma Part II

The doctor thought the surgery went well and about 14 hours later most of the nerve block had worn off. They are sending all of the removed tissue to be tested to make sure they had an adequate margin all the way around the cancer. They cut around it and then below it they went all the way down to muscle. I go back on the 22nd for follow up and to get the results of the tissue study.

The nerve block was an incredible feeling, my entire right arm was completely numb and hung completely limp on Monday. Even though I had my arm in a sling, I had no idea that my arm was that heavy or what it would be like to have a limb paralyzed. About 11pm Monday night I was able to wiggle a finger and thumb a little and then it gradually wore off from there by 2:30 AM.

Wednesday morning I was able to go back to work..

Friday, December 11, 2015

Malignant Melanoma

I was diagnosed two weeks ago with malignant melanoma and will be having surgery on Monday morning the 14th of November. As with my prostate cancer, they think they have caught it early and that the chances of successful treatment look very good. 

It was in a mole that I have had all my life on my right forearm. I have been thinking for a while - a few months - that it was looking a bit different and getting bigger. I decided that it was changing shape a bit and the surface texture to my fingertip had changed. So I obtained a referral to a dermatologist from my family physician and he (the dermatologist) did a biopsy and it came back positive for malignant melanoma and he referred me to a surgeon who is getting me in as quickly as possible. They advised me that the best treatment is to be fast and aggressive with removal.

I am nearly 60 but it can occur at much younger ages. Know the symptoms and get yourself checked.

Melanoma - Symptoms