Tongue Twisters: “Woodchuck”

Alliteration is the repetition of one or more consonants, or “loud syllables” at the beginning of words. Alliteration is commonly used to improve pronunciation and speed up speech. A tongue twister is a fun way to work on your enunciation and articulation. This book will help you practice this type of speaking. To help you improve your pronunciation of certain sounds as an English learner, tongue twisters are available.

In this tongue twister, you’ll work on your “v”s. Make a small gap between your lips and teeth to make the “w” sound.

Tongue Twisters: "Woodchuck"
Tongue Twisters: “Woodchuck”

Improving Your Pronunciation

“W” and “V” are often confused. The voiced sound is called a “voiced w” in English. The difference between the two words is that the “w” sounds and “v” is a voiced version of the voiceless “f” sound, produced by making contact with the lower lip.

Practice the difference in these words with minimal pairs. For example, why and why not are similar to went and went not, while went and went are quite different from they were and they’re not.

The Origin of “Woodchuck”

When I was young I learned about the woodchuck’s tongue and I was impressed. In “The Runaway,” the character is played by “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks and the song is sung by actress Maggie Q. It’s the theme song for the Netflix show “Mozart in the Jungle.

The song was sold to consumers as sheet music, featuring actress/singer/comedian Fay Templeton, on wax cylinders, which pre-dated the flat phonograph records, performed by Ragtime Bob Roberts.

An Answer to the Question?

Sometimes when people don’t have all of the answers they ask questions to get more information.  This is one of my favorite quotes, and it makes sense. If a woodchuck could chuck a wood, and it had the inclination, I’d bet that it would chuck a lot.

They don’t actually throw (chuck) wood, of course, but, since they are a burrowing rodent, they do know how to toss around some dirt. Thomas calculated the burrow size of a woodchuck, which consisted of three rooms and a tunnel leading to it that was roughly six inches wide and extended about 25 to 30 feet.

She determined that 35 square feet of soil had to be excavated to create a burrow. Knowing that a cubic foot of soil weighs 20 pounds, he calculated that a woodchuck could chuck 700 pounds of dirt a day. This calculation allowed Mr. Thomas to solve an 85-year-old question. Woodchucks aren’t supposed to be this strong and they don’t carry that much weight.

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