Hampton Roads Writers


the OUGH exercise

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all:

A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.

Your problem, if you take it on, is to use all nine OUGH constructions in a RHYMING poem. Couplets would be bad enough, I think, but if you want to do tercets or quintuplets or other puppies, go write (tee hee) ahead. Just make sure that the rhyming words help the reader to see that rough (uff) is not the same as dough (oh!) and so on . . .

  • rough--sounds like (tough)

  • dough--sounds like (though)

  • thought--sounds like (ought, bought)

  • plough--sounds like (thou, bow)

  • through--sounds like (boo, shoe, a choo)

  • Scarborough--sounds like (furrow)

  • slough-- sounds like(glue)

  • cough-- sounds like(off)

  • hiccough--sounds like (pick up, hiccup, )

  • feel free to use variations or substitutions (and of course, order is up to you). but stretch those rhymes!


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