On the Perils of the English Language

Every so often, we post something about how ridiculous the English language really is. The following excerpt from the poem The Chaos by G Nolst Tenite shows why learning to read and write in English is so difficult, both for English language learners and Adult basic education students. Give it a try, and see how well YOU do! You can see the whole poem here.

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.