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Archives: brougham

From: Wordsmith (wsmith@wordsmith.org)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 00:03:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--brougham
X-Bonus: Let's hope God grades on a curve.

brougham \'bru_[-*)m, 'bro_-(-*)m\ n
1: a light closed horse-drawn carriage with the driver outside in front
2: a coupe automobile; esp : one electrically driven
3: a sedan having no roof over the driver's seat

Incidentally, "brougham" has 4 silent letters in a row (ugha). Does anyone know of another word with 4 or more consecutive silent letters? -Anu

From: Wordsmith (wsmith@wordsmith.org)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 16:29:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--brougham

I received a torrent of messages after today's mailing. Thanks to all those who wrote.

The most popular response was the word "queue" sent in by a line of subscribers that include Brian Battles of arrl.org, L. Singh of jhu.edu Marty Fuchs of mdc.com and Cheryl Southard of caltech.edu.

Jerri Sparks-Kaiser, calling in from ucla.edu, reminded me that word "ghoti" can be pronounced as fish (if you don't know how ghoti = fish, look under G.B. Shaw in your nearest library, don't ask me). Speaking of pronunciation, Hillel Bromberg (no, it's not Broughamberg (-: ) an avid subscriber from babson.edu, cited Dr. Seuss: "The tough coughs as he ploughs the dough." He pointed out that the sentence has, "Four words with the same sequence of four letters yielding four different pronunciations."

On a rather unrelated note,

Observant subscriber Alan Ezust at mcgill.ca remarked that the definition "2: a coupe automobile; esp : one electrically driven" "sounds like an old word for a relatively new concept..." I guess those were some farsighted folks when they coined this term in mid-nineteenth century. (-; Any EV guys out there?

George Demarest of novell.com and Daniel Terner of rutgers.edu shared this response for a word with four or more consecutive silent letters. They offered: "Shhhhhhh."

Probably that's what lexicographers said to the word "brougham" and quieted down poor u and g and h and a...


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