Manner of Speaking
When I work out, I listen to my own music selections on a tiny iPod. Still, I can't avoid the televisions screens, music videos, and titles. Today, I noticed that one song was by the group, Ace of Base; the name made me think of pronunciation of English words.
Ace and base sound the same, but are spelled different. The English language has that way about it: an tendency to frustrate non-native speakers. Try explaining to someone why bough, cough, dough, and rough sound different; or why bough and bow sound the same...unless you're talking about the thing you make with ribbon or use to shoot an arrow.
Thinking further, I recalled my first Russian language class in college (one of my less-intelligent course selections). The teacher, an elderly refugee from the 1917 Revolution, explained the difference between strict Russian pronunciation of words and looser English pronunciation. That is one of the few aspects of that year-long course that I remember. She told us that English speakers pronounce Shakespeare in two parts: Shake and spear, which all students knew. Russians, on the other hand, are very precise: they pronounce it Shake...es...pay..are...ay. Each Russian word sounds distinct, surely making spelling bees rather boring.
I'm happy to have learned some English as a child...
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Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.