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English Pronunciation

(This article is lifted from”The Poke,” an online magazine.)

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

Dearest creature in creation,

Study English pronunciation.

I will teach you in my verse

Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,

Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye, your dress will tear.

So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,

Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain.

(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)

Now I surely will not plague you

With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak:

Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;

Cloven, oven, how and low,

Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,

Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,

Exiles, similes, and reviles;

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,

Solar, mica, war and far;

One, anemone, Balmoral,

Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;

Gertrude, German, wind and mind,

Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,

Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food,

Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad,

Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s OK

When you correctly say croquet,

Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,

Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour

And enamour rhyme with hammer.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,

Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,

Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,

Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,

And then singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,

Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,

Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.

Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.

Though the differences seem little,

We say actual but victual.

Refer does not rhyme with deafer.

Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Mint, pint, senate and sedate;

Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,

Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,

Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed,

People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover,

Between mover, cover, clover;

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,

Chalice, but police and lice;

Camel, constable, unstable,

Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,

Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,

Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four.

Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, Korea, area,

Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.

Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,

Dandelion and battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye,

Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever,

Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Heron, granary, canary.

Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.

Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging,

Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear

Do not rhyme with here but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even,

Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,

Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)

Is a paling stout and spikey?

Won’t it make you lose your wits,

Writing groats and saying grits?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:

Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight,

Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough,

Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?

Hiccough has the sound of cup.

My advice is to give up!!!

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité


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Ten Steps to Financial Freedom in the New Year

Note: Being a trainor for Crown Financial Ministries in the Philippines, I will be re-posting selected articles from their site in this weblog.

Ten Steps to Financial Freedom in the New Year

by Crown Financial Ministries

Top ten list
Crown Financial Ministries has a practical top ten list of things you can do to find financial freedom in the new year.

They are:

10. Build a budget—Figure out why there’s always more month left at the end of your money. Develop a monthly budget and make it your guide to financial freedom. “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).

Whatever you think your financial goals may be, you will not successfully achieve them without first understanding God’s financial principles found in the Bible. When you do understand those principles, develop lifestyle goals that reflect God’s principles and work out a written plan to implement them. This plan is called a budget, and it will lead you to financial freedom.

9. Give it away—Set your priorities straight by first making some contributions. Give to God’s work; it’s His money anyway. Loosen up those purse strings; it will help loosen the grip money might have on your heart. “Be rich in good works. . . be generous and ready to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).

Don’t give in order to get. However, you’ll find that when you do give, God will provide you with more to give. “Let us not love in word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).

8. Reduce your use—don’t use your credit card so much. Develop discipline in your spending habits. Take away any security you might be using in case of emergencies, like credit cards or other avenues of borrowing. If needed, cut up a few credit cards. Commit to go no further in debt and you will begin to reverse the process that produced your debt. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Proverbs 22:7).

Remember that the problem is not credit cards but the misuse of credit cards.

7. Get a grip—Spending (especially for indulgences) doesn’t lift depression. In fact, after the initial rush it can make things worse. (Yes… like right after Christmas.) “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich” (Proverbs 21:17).

It’s not the cost of an item that determines whether it’s an indulgence; its utility determines that. Do you really need it?

6. Look at your paycheck—Write the bottom-line number down, and then spend less than that. Personal savings rates are lower now than during the Great Depression. You can’t spend 104 to 112 percent of your income and continue to get away with it (despite what the government thinks). “I spoke to you in your prosperity; but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your practice from your youth, that you have not obeyed My voice” (Jeremiah 22:21).

The key to staying out of debt is no secret. Spend less than you make, don’t borrow, and you’ll be on the road to financial freedom.

5. Cook a meal—Discover the kitchen occasionally and reduce the number of restaurant visits. Your spouse might enjoy meal preparation more at home if some help were provided (is that you?). “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored” (Proverbs 13:18).

Almost everyone enjoys eating out occasionally, so make it part of your “entertainment” budget. Then stick to the budget. Save to eat at a nice place for special events rather than squandering it on fast food non-events.

4. Get in the car—Take a local vacation this year. Cancun may be calling you, but there are also interesting things to see and fun things to do within a day’s drive of where you live. “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

People spend hundreds of dollars they can’t afford to travel thousands of miles to see things they might not remember next year. Has it occurred to you that people are doing just that as they come to visit areas within a three-hour drive of where you live? Go local this year. Use the road to Financial Freedom.

3. Don’t keep up with the Jones’s—They’re in debt, too (and you can be sure they won’t make your payments for you)! “Every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4).

Envy is the desire to achieve based on the observation of other people’s successes. Don’t set your goals based on what others have. In the long run envy and covetousness will still leave you empty, because you’ll never have enough.

2. Keep the “ultimate driving machine”—You know…the one that’s paid for. Most people buy new cars because they don’t budget car-maintenance money for the car they own; when it breaks down they can’t afford to repair it. You may say, “But it’s zero money down!” Remember, those new car little- or no-money-down financial gimmicks require some budget-destroying payments. “Which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28).

Average monthly maintenance for most cars on the road (about seven years old) is about 5 percent of a family’s budget. If you compare a monthly 5 percent of your budget for maintenance on an older car to about 15 percent to buy a new car, it’s no contest. Poor gas mileage? Forget it! It takes lots of gas to make up the cost of payments.

And the number one thing you can do to find Financial Freedom in the new year:

1. Pray each day before you pay—Emotional and spiritual balance will lead to Financial Freedom. So ask God to guide you and give you strength to follow the first nine steps. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Don’t be resentful for what you don’t have. Instead, be grateful for what God has provided. Financial freedom will bring contentment, and contentment grows out of an attitude of gratitude.

“This slightly tongue-in-cheek list is nonetheless a serious introduction to principles and practices that can lead to greater balance in your life in the New Year,” said Crown Financial Ministries Cofounder Howard Dayton.

Dayton said: “With an already heavy debt load and some ominous clouds on the economic horizon, many people will be looking for ways to get a handle on their finances. We not only want to provide hope to those who feel over their heads financially, but to also provide practical tools and resources to help them achieve financial freedom in their lives.”

“Many people will search for freedom in their use of both time and money, so that they can set priorities to ensure that they can do the important things in life,” said Dayton. “Clearing up our financial confusion is similarly empowering. This list and an array of our personal money management tools, offer the means to find and maintain financial freedom, which means having priorities for managing money that are reflective of emotional and spiritual health. We realize that achieving financial freedom is a long-term process, so that’s why we offer these tools and resources to help the person or family through it.”


A New Year Wish

During the coming year, may you have…
Enough happiness to keep you sweet;
Enough trials to keep you strong;
Enough sorrow to keep you human;
Enough hope to keep you happy;
Enough failure to keep you humble;
Enough success to keep you eager;
Enough friends to give you comfort;
Enough faith and courage in yourself, your business, and your country to banish your depression;

Enough money to meet your needs;
Enough determination to make each day a better day than yesterday.

– Everett Melton Garrett

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I have created (but not necessarily maintained) quite a few blogs, and yet I’m still learning the ropes. I have often envied friends who would have the discipline, time and motivation (and usually I’d only have two out of three) to actually keep blogs that matter – that other people aside from their mothers would actually read.

So what would “The Markian Chronicles” be about?

Uhm, honestly, I still don’t know. The best word I could coin as of the moment to describe it would be a “smorgasblog,” a wide variety of information, narratives and commentaries, not necessarily mine alone, that would define this world we’re in. Hopefully, it would be more profound than mundane, more relevant than trivial, without taking myself too seriously.

Life is too grand and marvelous to allow it to pass us by without “chronicling” or at least capturing nuggets of golden moments to make us laugh and weep, think and act, learn and teach, and simply be reminded that we are human after all.

The Vanderbilt University student application form includes the question, “How do you view life: as a journey, as a drama, or as a jungle?” If it isn’t too much to ask, allow me though this blog, to interact with you and partake from each other’s journey, drama and jungle.

Welcome to “The Markian Chronicles.”

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