We don't pronounce "th" in "pothead" as a single logical sound, or "ph" (as "f") in haphazard. They are consecutive letters pronounced individually.

Is there a term to describe such a language phenomenon? I'm guessing no but it can lead to some humorous situations (I think on the Simpsons, policeman Lou said "poth-ead" which I found entertaining).

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    The vagaries of English spelling have nothing to do with the English language or its pronunciation, so there is no technical term. But you can make a game out of it if there's enough words to make a good list. Aug 1 at 16:56
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    Hard vs. soft consonants? Silent vs. pronounced letters? "pothead" is two words that have become combined (written together without a space), so the letters would not ever be pronounced together as "th".
    – user8356
    Aug 1 at 18:19
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    There was a kid at school who gained the nickname of 'meeth' for his entire school life because he once read out loud 'meeth-eed' instead of meathead. There's a similar game where you read things as if they were Italian [or French], so the trucking company Parceline becomes 'parch-el-eeni'.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 2 at 11:04
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    @Tetsujin And I recently heard that it's becoming popular to pronounce "meme" as "me-me". If you combine that with Italianization, you get "may-may"
    – Barmar
    Aug 2 at 16:36
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    I don't think there's a term for this, since it's the normal way to pronounce letter sequences. There's a word for when a sequence of letters is combined into a new sound: dipthong.
    – Barmar
    Aug 2 at 16:37


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