16 Mar

I Love White

Thursday 16th March


Person ‘A’ has a high level of English, but has never been to Britian. She meets person ‘B’ who’s British and on holiday in Spain. She’s very surprised at how ‘B’ responds to her questions, because she knows her accent is good and her questions are correctly formed. The responses to her questions make her think person ‘A’ must be a bit crazy!!

So, what’s the problem?
Click below for the explanation.

The confusion here is due to place names with very similar sounds to other words.

Isle of Wight is an island off the south coast of England. (The ‘s’ is silent, so it sounds like -I’ll-, the contracion of ‘I will’. And ‘Wight’ is pronounced the same as ‘white’.) ‘Isle of Wight’ sounds the same as ‘I love white’.

Notice how the ‘o’ in ‘of’ is weak, so it sounds like the ‘o’ in ‘love’.

The capital of Isle of Wight is Cowes which, you’ve guessed it, sounds the same as ‘cows’.

More fun with English sounds here: Pronunciation Centre