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Remember that passage in Judges, where the men of Gilead slew the Ephraimites because they couldn't pronounce Shibboleth? I sometimes wonder if the English language wasn't invented as some type of security system like that - e.g. everyone crossing the bridge has to spell "wise", and those who spell it like it sounds, with a 'z', are obviously invaders?
Judges 12:6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.