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Why don't comb, tomb, and bomb rhyme? Why do they, say, and weigh rhyme? Why is rhyme not spelled "rime" as it was in the past? Become a member of the Simplified Spelling Society and fight these injustices (even if their site is running on PHP instead of ASP.NET and kind of ugly).

Comments (3)
  1. BlakeHandler says:

    I’m not sure why you continue to fail to understand that English “borrows” words from other languages. We assimilate foreign words, their meanings, and sometimes their spelling (if it conforms to our loose standards for spelling).

    There is no way to uniformly, standardize English spelling – Daniel Webster tried, but later realized that English is an evolving “living” (natural) language that can not have its definitions and pronunciations cemented in stone.

    While the French are trying to purge their language of slang, and foreign words – I personally love the fact that in English, when we see and like eating a “Taco” we simply begin using the word “Taco”  

    English is a language of inclusion, which can make for some unorthodox spellings – but remember that in time the spellings and pronunciations DO change. Today we pronounce “here” and “hear” the same way – but that was not the case long ago. Our ancestors used do pronounce the first “D” in Wednesday – but today we do not.

    So to answer Gallaher’s joke: Why don’t comb, tomb & bomb rhyme? It’s because comb came from Old English, Tomb came from Old French and Bomb came from the Italians.

  2. johnmont says:

    I actually do understand that English uses loanwords from other languages. We also use things like calques and metatypy. I also understand that languages evolve. It doesn’t mean I can’t ask the question and maybe laugh at the inconsistency of our language.

  3. After my previous posts on language where several commenters pointed out that language is an evolving…

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