It may, perhaps, annoy you that I’m teaching the “augh” sound as a rule, when in fact there is only one word in the (American) English language that uses this spelling. How does one word justify calling something a rule?
Isn’t this just another example of English not making sense?
No no no no no.
First of all, there are a lot of variations of the word laugh, which is what we’ll be using for our card.
But moreover, this really is a rule, and it’s a rule with history. It’s just that this is the only word that’s kept this spelling. All the other words have been simplified over time. Don’t be afraid to share these things with your students, especially if they are older, or curious.
But for now, this is for you and not your student.
Do you ever read old books?
I do. I have a growing collection of books that are a century (or more) old. A number of them are imported from England.
And you know what I noticed? In these books, there are draught horses, or people take a deep draught of beer. In England, this spelling never changed. There are probably other words that use this word still in use across the Pond, but I haven’t done the research on that as of yet.
Here in the U.S., the words became draft horses and a draft of beer.
It’s a draftsman not a draughtsman.
Teaching augh as a blend not only acknowledges our language’s history, but it’ll also make sure your student doesn’t get all tripped up by the word when he’s reading, say, Robinson Crusoe, and these spellings are used.
Because, you see, augh is a rule. It’s a rarely used one, to be sure, but it’s not an exception to English rules. There are very few exceptions in our language.
So I teach the rule, and I suggest you do, too, because we want our students to know that our language makes a lot more sense than people tend to think.
Here’s the card for your student’s binder:
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