Consonants – Th, M, S, N

Circle  divided diagonallyDividing the circle diagonally gives four more curves. These are also easy to tell apart from each other, and from the previous curves. Well, in theory, anyway.

These curves have the sounds M, N, Th, and S.

And here they are written out normally…

Th-M-S-N

I don’t know why, but I found these shapes easier to distinguish than the previous set. Here are some tips to help you remember them.

M is an easy one to remember because it closely resembles an M… if you squint, and imagine a centre line, and pretend it doesn’t resemble an N even more closely.

Or you can remember that M looks like a Molehill. Or you can just imagine a Mean face. M for mean, malicious, malevolent and miserable. And N looks like a Nice Smile. N for nice.

Mean and  Nice

Thirty seconds after this drawing was made, M killed M.

Th and S

The left and right segments look like parentheses “( )”. That’s one way to remember them. paren-TH-Ses. The first one is Th, the second one is S.

paren TH e  SES

As with “Sh”, you’ll notice that Pitman gives a character to the “Th” sound – which would normally have to be written with two letters.

In fact, when we write TH in regular English, we could mean one of two totally different sounds – there’s the TH in a word like “thin” and the TH in the word “that”. Because both sounds are spelled the same way, we don’t often think about the distinction, but the first one is voiced, and the second is unvoiced – they’re as different as chalk and jeez.

Pitman spells things by sound, so these differences matter. The TH symbol here stands for the unvoiced TH sound – the one you hear in words like “thin” “thank” and “Thorian”.

Here are the characters so far…

And here’s another string of random characters. See how you do at identifying them. Again, hold your mouse directly over the symbol to bring up a pop-up that will identify it.

And now for a harder challenge – a mix of all eight consonants we’ve covered so far.

You have done well, young Jedi. Now, how about some vowels to put between all these consonants.