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A question of pronunciation

2019-06-04  high_to_s...

A question of pronunciation


      This happened in London. It was November and the weather was very wet and cold.

      A Frenchman had caught a very bad cold. He coughed day and night. So he decided to go and get some medicine for his cough. As he did not know much English, he got out his dictionary and looked up the word “cough”. But the dictionary did not tell him how to pronounce the word. He thought it over and remembered that he had learned the word “plough”. He remembered that it was pronounced [plau]. So he thought that c-o-u-g-h must be pronounced [kau].

      The he put on his coat and hat and went to a chemist’s shop. When the man in the shop asked him what he wanted, the Frenchman said:

      “I want something for my cow, please.”

      The man in the shop looked at him. Had he heard him correctly?

      “I beg your pardon, sir?” he asked.

      The Frenchman repeated: “I want some medicine for my cow.”

      “For your cow?” asked the man. “Are you a farmer?”

      “A farmer?” said the Frenchman in surprise. “What makes you think I’m a farmer? I come from Paris. I’m not a farmer.”

      “Where’s your cow, then?” asked the man in the shop.

      “It’s here!” replied the Frenchman. He put his hand on his chest and began to cough. “Here it is!” he said. “I’ve a very bad cow here.”

      Then the man in the shop understood what the Frenchman meant. He wanted some medicine for his cough.




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