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GHOTI is an imaginary word, used to show how complicated English spelling is. As you surely know from your own experiences, some letters in English are sometimes pronounced this way, sometimes that way (or not at all). That was even too much for some native speakers. They wanted a spelling reform to get rid of the irregularities in spelling and pronouncing. To underline how ridiculous English spelling can be, they wrote GHOTI on a piece of paper and gave the following instructions to the reader:

  • gh pronounced as in LAUGH (f)
  • o pronounced as in WOMEN (i)
  • ti pronounced as in NATION (sh)

The correct pronounciation of GHOTI would therefore be FISH.

Other people gave the following instructions:

  • gh pronounced as in NIGHT (-)
  • o pronounced as in PEOPLE (-)
  • t pronounced as in BALLET (-)
  • i pronounced as in BUSINESS (-)

According to these instructions GHOTI would not be pronounced at all as the letters are silent in these words.