Saturday, October 22, 2011

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The difference between /s/ and /z/, reprised.

Well, now it's really fall.  Veteran's Day is coming soon, the 11th of November I believe.  A sad day on which Americans are reminded of the horror and waste that is war.  In this country we are currently engaged in two wars which the average American citizen seems to have almost forgotten about.

War is waste; wasted resources and wasted lives that could have been put to much better use in other ways at other tasks.  War costs daughters their fathers, sons their mothers and mothers and fathers their sons and daughters. 

It costs brave men and women their lives and limbs; many of them barely children, not even old enough to take an alcoholic drink in their country but old enough to absorb a bullet, or a piece of shrapnel, or kill another human being for it.  Makes me wonder how straight we have our priorities at times.

We should go to war only when *absolutely* necessary, when all other avenues have been exhausted and all other diplomacy has been tried.

Very quickly, I will talk about the difference between /s/ and /z/.  Essentially the difference, as usual, is that one is voiced (/z/ as in zebra or zest) and one is not voiced (/s/ as in sick, or sam).  Both sounds are made the same way--put the center of your tongue to your alveolar ridge, the hard gum ridge behind your front teeth, and blow air through your bottom teeth.  Try these words:

close (describing distance between two things, not what you do to a door when you walk through it)

To make the /z/ sound, do the same as above, but use your voicebox--make your vocal cords buzz.  /z/
Try these words:


Notice that some of the words with a /z/ *sound* are *spelled* with an /s/.  DO NOT FORGET that in English, spelling and pronunciation are *entirely* different things, and words are often not spelled the way they are pronounced.

Okay?  Okay.  If you get stuck, over on the right hand side of the page there is a link to a podcast you can download that will give you some idea of what this is supposed to sound like.

Remember that I offer a free no-obligation short phone consult and a free trial lesson.  To get your phone consult or book your trial lesson, call me today at (732) 618-4135.  Call today!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wow. Well. It's Halloween time, the time of year when American children dress up in all kinds of scary costumes and go around "trick or treating".  See last years post about All Hallow's Eve (All Hallow's Eve is the Catholic name for Halloween, which is followed by November 1st--All Saints Day in the Catholic Faith).

In any case, if you have any questions about American culture or corporate culture, or you'd like a FREE no obligation phone consult or to schedule a free trial lesson, email me by clicking this link or give me a call @ (732) 618-4135.

All right?  All right!