Man, the English language sure can be a bitch sometimes. It’s a wonder any of us can spell or read at all.

My wife asked me how to spell pallet tonight. Like a wooden pallet. I asked her whether she meant palate (like the roof of your mouth), a palette (like what artists have for colors) or the one she did mean, a pallet that you would put stuff on.

Any words that look like those? And do they sound the same?

There’s no malette.

There’s malate (a salt or ester of malic acid), but that’s pronounced like “mal ate”.

There’s a mallet, as in a thing that you hold and pound stuff with.

But then there’s ballet (doesn’t sound like mallet…that would be ballot).

Ballot rhymes with shallot. What rhymes with ballet? Is it shallet? No! Come on. It’s chalet, obviously.

There’s also a wallet, which uses the pronunciation of the first syllable “wall” and then adds “et” to the end. Unlike the aforementioned words that pronounce the beginning as though there’s just one l instead of two of them.

Whew. Is your head spinning yet?

Sort of a rhyme, you have a dollop of something (like a blob of food). Oh, so then when you hit something or someone that’s wollop?

Nope. Wallop. Oh so then when a horse runs it galops, otherwise spelling like gallop would make it rhyme with wallop?

Wrong.

Oh man, I’m gonna wallow for a while. This is getting too deep, the opposite of which is shallow.

If the English language was a person I’d bring them to a gallow.

Is it “fallow” like wallow? Of course not. It’s follow. Rhymes with hollow, not to be confused with hallow (as in, hallowed be thy name).

So if it’s hallow, then the plant would be spelled “allow”? Allow me to explain — that would be aloe.

That was quite a thought exercise, *cough cough*, though we should probably plough through.

Ok, I just can’t anymore. That’s enough.