Our Queer Language


When deaf people read words, they usually use phonetics to match the word to their voices. Sometimes it doesn’t “sound right” to hearing people. It’s not our fault – blame the English Language!

I came across this poem many years ago – found it among my papers and thought it would be great to add here as an example of why deaf people sometimes struggle with spoken English.


When the English tongue we speak

Why is “break” not rhymed with “freak”?

Will you tell me why it’s true

We say “Sew” but likewise “few”?

And the maker of a verse

Cannot cap his “Horse” with “worse”

“Beard” sounds not the same as “heard”

“Cord” is different from “Word”.

“Cow” is “cow” but “low” is “Low”

“Shoe” is never rhymed with “foe”

Think of “hose” and “whose” and “lose”

And think of “comb”. “Tomb” and “bomb”

“Doll” and “roll” and “home” and “some”

And since “Pay” is rhymed with “say”

Why not “paid” with “said” I pray?

We have “Blood” and “Food” and “Good”

Wherefore “Done” but “Gone” and “lone”?

Is there any reason known?

And in short it seems to me

Sounds and letters disagree

(Author unknown)

Source: DeafComm


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