Holy cow! This has been bugging me for a long time, and for whatever reason, I never bothered to look it up. Why are some words spelled with a “gh” in them, but you rarely pronounce them like they’re spelled? The “gh” is almost always either silent or pronounced like “f”. Does that make any sense?

Turns out, and this should’ve been obvious, that “gh” is the English equivalent to the German and Gaelic “ch” sound, like in “loch” (Scottish for “lake”) or “lachen” (German for “laugh”). It’s that same throat-clearing sound you hear in Hebrew, for instance, or when Germans talk about themselves (“Ich”). Again, holy cow! It used to be pronounced in English, but as modern English lost that sound, the pronunciation became silent or changed a bit, usually to an “f” sound at the end of words.

That’s… awesome.

I just happened to search Google and found this article. It’s a great piece, and everybody should read it. Sorry if this is old news to you, but it was pretty exciting for me!

🙂

Okay, now go back to whatever you were doing…

Please comment and discuss: