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By Valerie Yule

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Air – Where fair bears care. The mayor’s parents spared their aeroplane fares. or – Poor sports stores’ wars. George bore four swords on board his horse, of course. aw – Raw ball talk ought to be taught in autumn. The cause of the awe was broad. ow – Brown mouse sounds. Sauerkraut on the bough. oy – Boys boil with the noise of gargoyles on the lifebuoy. oo – Blue moons truly do a lulu. Choose fruit soup or lose two shoes en route to the manoeuvres. oo – A wolf could pull woolly worsted. Double-dealing curiosities – Say quickly: Halve valve, have cave, chase phase, caste haste, shall mall, plait bait, said paid, head bead, sweat pleat, loot foot, fear pear, sew stew, cease tease, deaf leaf, skied tied, give live, sneak break, toe shoe, crouch touch, sour tour, tough cough, choose noose, wool stool, good brood, broad toad, both broth, post cost, gone lone, lose pose, grow brow, some dome, rush bush, bull lull, put rut.

Never of any hope were students told For old eccentrics held it their demesne – A word I can’t pronounce or spell, though seen – Till I heard Reason speak out loud and bold. Then felt I like some worm within a book When metamorphosis comes in its ken, Or like stout Cortes, when with eagle look, He learnt to spell in Spanish, and his men Gazed at each other with a wild Gadzook, And left surmising to the English pen. Spelling drama Three early 1970s expurgated Australian radio playlets were Onky Upon a Timmy (a fairy story), The Miggrant who Spelt licky an Angle (Leonardo da Vinci comes to Australia) and A Miggrant’s Traggedigh (a Mediterranean momma learns to speak English from books).

C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of the book, he goes and does it. It’s just the same principle as the use of the globes. ’ ‘Please, sir, he’s weeding the garden,’ replied a small voice. ‘To be sure,’ said Squeers. ‘So he is. B-o-t, bot, ti-n, tin, bottin n-e-y, ney, bottiney, noun substantive, a knowledge of plants. When he has learned that bottinney means a knowledge of plants, he goes and knows ’em.

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