When I was a child, I needed to write the word “business” for some reason. In my dictionary, I looked up “bizness,” “bisness,” “bizzness,” and “bissness,” growing more and more frustrated as my searches ended futilely. Then I asked my mother who told me the correct spelling. A “u”! Who would ever have thought a word which sounds like “biz-nes” would be spelled with a “u”?
If only “business” were the only one. English has many commonly used words which do not follow the rules of phonics and spelling. Here are some with their pronunciations following.
Since part of these words follows rules of phonics, when teaching them you can point out that part. Usually the vowel or vowels are the part which are abnormally sounded and spelled. That is the part which needs to be pointed out by the teacher and memorized for reading and spelling by the student. For example, in the word “friend,” the “f,” “r,” “n,” and “d” sound as they should. Even the “e” does if you take away the “i.” But you can’t take away the “i,” and that is the part which needs to be pointed out and practiced.
Some words make sense if you point out their history or their connection to other words. “Two” makes little sense. Why a silent “w”? And a single “o” rarely sounds like “oo” or “u.” But if you explain that some other words which mean two begin with “tw” such as “twin” and “twenty,” recognizing the word becomes easier.
No wun ever sed lerning Eeng-lish iz e-zy.