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Why don't "tough" and "dough" rhyme? - Arika Okrent

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TEDEd Animation

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Spelling reformers have been advocating for changes to make English spelling more intuitive and less irregular. One example of its messiness: take the “g-h” sound from “enough,” the “o” sound from “women” and the “t-i” sound from “action,” and you could argue that “g-h-o-t-i” spells “fish.” So, how did English get like this? Arika Okrent explores the complexity of English spelling conventions.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Arika Okrent
  • Director Emily Howells, Aaron Brady
  • Narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Music Aaron Brady
  • Sound Designer Aaron Brady
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Sazia Afrin
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Cella Wright
  • Script Editor Molly Bryson
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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