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The birth of a berth

With my daughter’s birthday this week, this seemed like an appropriate pair of similar but unrelated words.

birth (noun): a new start, especially relating to a baby leaving its mother’s body
My youngest child’s birth was quicker than my earlier experiences.

berth (noun): a space for a ship or large vehicle to be tied up or parked; a sleeping space in a boat; a job (usually on a ship); space in which to turn or manoeuvre a ship
The Captain skilfully brought the ship into its berth. 

There are two ways to remember which birth is which. The first is to think of the sea in relation to the ship’s berth. However, the more fun option is to think of the i in birth as a candle on the-all-important birthday cake!

12 Responses to The birth of a berth

  • Godric says:

    A very good observation I must say. Although I think it would also be better to show the difference in Pronunciation. Most people pronounce it in the same style, which is wrong.

    • tashword says:

      Most of us speak so fast that distinct pronunciation of similar words is often missed, Godric. And I don’t think these two sound very different even when spoken clearly, but that could also depend on where in the world you are.

      • Godric says:

        Very correct you are Tash, I am from India, and we tend to pronounce them both in the same way. But then again we aren’t an actually English speaking community.. Thanks for the reply.

      • tashword says:

        I think it must be harder to differentiate between similar sounding words when talking in a language not your own, Godric – the subtleties are hard to learn.

  • ranjitrgeorge says:

    When a person remembers the context in which those words have to be said, it would avoid much confusion. Great Post!

  • Dan says:

    The berth of a ship goes something like this. A ship comes to berth, the waters break, it goes down the berth canal, and reachers the doc/doctor, and a certificate is given for its resources. the banks control the flow of the current/currency, currency withdrawals from the bank and deposits are left in the bank.

    when you register your childs birth, you get a certificate for the human resource, it gets its citizen”ship”, and can then engage in the sea of commerce with its legal title!

    • tashword says:

      LOL, that’s clever, Dan. Thanks for sharing your humour with us!

      • Dan says:

        Thats how the government gets statutes and acts to apply to flesh and blood men and women. Cos government is a fiction that man created, it can only use contracts to gain authority over man, it can not make laws for man. Because people dont know this, they willing waiver their natural rights to the rules of commerce.

        Its starts with the birth certificate, and the creation of a legal entity i.e..MR JOE BLOGGS. The lawful name would be…Joe of the Bloggs family.

        Thanks mate

        Dan of the Bostock family, as commonly called

      • tashword says:

        I’m not sure how we can get from the spelling of berth vs birth to criticising Government’s power over people.

        By the way, I don’t accept incomplete (or click on) URLs in comments so your has been deleted to protect everyone.

      • Dan says:

        I know your not sure. Its called legalese, its the language of the law society, and what i wrote is spot on. The turn us into a legal entity with the birth certificate, so that rules of commerce apply to that legal entity. most people assume that these rules of commerce are laws, when in fact they are only given the force of law by the consent of the governed

      • tashword says:

        But how does this relate to knowing the difference between birth and berth? My blog is not a political discussion nor an antigovernment platform.

        I have previously posted about the communication issues of legalese and birth has is not actually part of legalese – it is a common use and medically used word.

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