The Chaos

From Teflpedia

"The Chaos" (/ðə keɪ(j)ɒs/) is a humorous poem by Gerard Nolst Trenité that highlights irregular spelling and irregular pronunciation in English.[1]

Originally published in 1920, the poem evolved through time, with Trenité adding verses. It also acquired the status of a meme that was copied and passed around by English language learners.

The original version consisted of 146-lines;[2] the last "full" 274 version consisted of 274 lines[3]

There are various videos on YouTube of people reading it, e.g. in nice Received Pronunciation[4] or General American [5]

The start of the text (to give an idea of its nature):

Text IPA

Dearest creature in Creation,
Studying English pronunciation,
⁠I will teach you in my verse
⁠Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

/ˈdɪərəst 'kri:tʃər ɪn kri:'eɪʃən
'stʌdɪɪŋ(g) 'ɪŋ(g)lɪʃ prəˌnʌnsɪˈəɪʃən
ˈaɪ wɪl ˈti:ʧ ju: ɪn maɪ ˈvɜ:s
ˈsaʊndz ˈlaɪk ˈkɔ:ps ˈkɔ: ˈhɔ:s ənd ˈwɜ:s/

References[edit]