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In spoken form, "burro" (an ass or donkey), "burrow" (hole in the ground), and "borough" sound identical (burro). A computer can't tell the difference. To even get that far, a computer supersmooths the spoken expression, often using wavelets or Fourier analysis, in order to pull out phonemes. Various International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) forms of words are shown below. Many puzzles are based on phonetics. For example, what word, with a silent letter removed, becomes a word with two silent letters (hint)? How many different ending letters are possible for words that all rhyme? Separately, a pangram is a sentence that uses all letters. Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow. The "refugee" sentence is currently the shortest known English phoneme pangram.
Wolfram SpikeyPuzzles provided by Wolfram Research, Makers of Mathematica