Our choirmaster makes us warm up in the usual way by performing various singing exercises. One thing we have to do is to get ourselves to concentrate properly on what we are doing (“move into the zone”), for which we have to sing tongue twisters. In one of them, we repeat the words red lorry, yellow lorry at speed up the scale, then orange lorry, yellow lorry back down the scale. It’s remarkably difficult to get it right.
If native speakers find it tricky, think of what the Japanese would make of it.
You can sympathize with the Americans, who call it a ‘truck’ rather than a ‘lorry’.
I wonder why the 80s rock band Red Lorry Yellow Lorry chose a tongue twister as their name.
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I know it’s a sign of old age to complain about the ignorance of the young, but there you are. Today’s complaint concerns a bouncy new ITV newsreader presenting the local news for the London area, who doesn’t know how to pronounce Godalming, a town of 21,000 people about 50 km (30 miles) from London. No, it’s not “ɡɒˈdælmɪŋ”, it’s ˈɡɒdl̩mɪŋ. How can you be a Londoner, a professional newsreader, and not know that? Must be one of those people who never venture south of the river.