chores or shores

how do you get to this

from this:

when I studied Speech Sciences at uni, in my fourth year I wrote a thesis on the words chore and shore
well, the sounds ch and sh actually
and ʃ if written phonetically. . .

. . .the difference between, say, chip and ship, chop and shop - altho I worked on chore and shore

say the words! go on. . .
as you will be able to hear
they differ
because of the plosive t *
at the beginning of the fricative sound ʃ *

*when you make a t sound (as opposed to saying the letter t) your tongue hits the roof of your mouth just behind your top teeth (or dentures) and momentarily stops the air coming out of your mouth, and when that closure is released the air "pops" out. . .
** when you make a ʃ sound ("sh") your tongue is raised right up close to the roof of your mouth creating a much smaller space for the flow of air to pass thru, thus making the air fricate. . .
interesting, eh?

phonetics had been at the core of my course since the first year: we had to learn the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) (I went to UCL!) for English sounds (for the actual sounds of the IPA try this) and we used to have to transcribe pages and pages from the newspapers for our phonetics tutorials. . .

(it was fairly tedious,
I have to say)
bu 1987 I'd left tedious behind and focussed on things that fascinated me: my thesis was based on very detailed analysis of speech sounds (a burgeoning science at the time), plugging that data into a computer/programme which then - at the flick of a switch, or a touch of a button, I can't recall now - generated synthesised sounds which (if you were lucky) sounded almost vaguely human, but were very certainly definable as the speech sounds made originally
I was lucky and they told me that I'd generated the best synthesised speech that the department had ever produced and they promptly offered me a PhD on the spot (but that's another story)
today I did lots of chores
one of which was actually a pleasure, involving shores. . .
. . .my memories of. . .
. . .beaches, to be exact. . .

sand and shells, both plain
. and exotic
and tiny pieces of coral

and sea glass

things I have filled my pockets with during my wanderings along the various beaches* I have walked on during my life so far
whilst I was doing some spring cleaning (yes I know it's still the middle of winter and that it snowed yesterday, but I was having a "doctor doctor! I feel like a pair of curtains" day") (a "pull yourself together" day") I found, in an as yet unpacked box, a hollow plain glass lampbase which I must have bought last spring; and, in another box, a jar of shells and sand and beachglass and tiny pieces of coral. . .

I filled the former with the latter

*I once saw a sign asking people not to remove things from or leave things on an Irish beach, but take a photograph instead (the sign read "take only photos, leave only memories") (and was found next to a litter bin): I emptied my pockets on the spot - on the basis that even tho I only had a few shells, if everyone who visited that beach pocketed a few shells, as I had, there might not be a beach on that shore one day (I'm not sure if that's actually possible, but I understand the sentiment) (btw I would never take a shell that was occupied)
where were we? oh! I remember. . .
travelling from chore to shore
via two decades and journeying in only a matter of minutes


Dave said...

I found loads of beautifully coloured small shells on the shore in the Orkneys, which did, I will admit, surprise me. They lay as a mulch on my catci pot now.

I, Like The View said...

the North Atlantic Drift fetches up all sorts of things onto the western Irish and Scottish beaches. . .

(one of my favourite beaches for shells is in South West Ireland)

I'd love to go here this year. . .

Dave said...

I've had a hankering for sea-kayaking for many years.

I, Like The View said...

I like kayaking

(have only really ever been in France, down rivers. . .)

if it's a good method to reach beaches that one can't walk to particularly easily, I might have to take it up!

Mel said...

Have I ever shared about the plain glass lamp I filled with rocks and shells and seaglass and bits of driftwood from my adventures in England?

.....nope......don't think I have....

Maybe I have and I don't remember?

Mel said...


After going for a look--I definitely could use beach time.

KAZ said...

That phonetics stuff is fascinating - perhaps it will explain why I can't speak Spanish even though I know a lot of words.
Pebbles on beaches - you just can't help yourself can you? But they never look as thrilling when you take them home so you did the right thing.

Rimshot said...

Nope, never been much for beaches and shells and bits and bobs. Give me a nice walk through the woods any day.

zIggI said...

I can't resist picking up bits and bobs on the beach either but I shall remember that Irish sign and keep memories in future - unless it's something really really lovely !

katherine. said...

they offered you a PhD?
does that mean you are Doctor ILTV?

it is not a big secret I walk along the ocean all the time...just about every day...funny I don't walk on the beach itself very often...I don't know why really...

I love the glass lampbase and it a brit thing? maybe you both could post a picture...

The "take nothing but pictures...leave nothing but footprints" is posted at many state and national parks in this part of the world.

I'm still feeling my tongue say "chores" and "shores"