By Jim “Pappy” Moore
“I slit a sheet., the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.” Try saying that aloud as fast as you can three times and see what happens. Childhood should be more fun than adulthood, and often times it is. As children we learned a variety of tongue twisters. Some were borderline risqué and could induce our friends to blurt out a word unintended. Those were the best kind of tongue twisters.
I would be willing to wager some of you have not said a tongue twister aloud in decades. Give it a try today and see how much fun it is to be a kid again.
“I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. Where she sits, she shines. Where she shines, she sits.” Ask an unsuspecting friend or relative to read that one aloud as quickly as possible, three times in succession.
There are the old reliable tongue twisters from children’s rhymes.
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Or who can forget the Woodchuck?
“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could,
And chuck as much as a woodchuck would
If a woodchuck could chuck wood.”
We learned this one at school:
“She sells seashells by the seashore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I’m sure she sells seashore shells.”
I recall learning this one as a teenager, in high school. It’s a doozy!
“Theophilus Thistle, the Thistle Sifter, Sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles. If Theophilus Thistle, the Thistle Sifter, Sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles, Where is the sieve of un-sifted thistles Theophilus Thistle, the Thistle Sifter, sifted?”
The tongue twister is designed to improve enunciation, and to allow us to speak more fluidly. But they’re also great fun and amuse us greatly as children, and maybe a little as adults, too.
Copyright 2016, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.