/fish/ be spelled "ghoti" or "-fici"?
To illustrate the weirdness of English
spelling, George Bernard Shaw once said we might as well
spell the word fish "ghoti." The fact of the
matter is, Shaw was only partially right but 100% wrong!
True, the gh may be pronounced /f/ as in
The o may be pronounced /i/ as in women.
The ti may be pronounced /sh/ as in nation.
But there is no word in English in
which the initial letters gh are ever pronounced /f/.
There is no word in English ending in ti in which
the ti is pronounced /sh/.
As a matter of fact the sound /fish/
is spelled fish only in words that can be reduced to a base
(morpheme) of one meaningful syllable. The words
fish, fishes, fished, fishing, fisherman, fishermen, fishery,
and fisheries can all be reduced to "fish."
But surely we wouldn't want to spell
beneficial as benefishal or official as
offishal and that should be sufficient to make my point.
The sound /fish/ happens to always be spelled fici in words
that have a base of more than one syllable. For the
phonic patterns rarely taught in schools see
The Fancy Words.
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