This story has always fascinated me:
Judges 12:4-6 (ESV)
4 Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh.” 5 And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” 6 they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell.
I've been learning Spanish (for nearly 15 years) and there's a similar issue in that language with words beginning with "sp". If Mexico decided they wanted to keep out the gringos, they could probably ask us to say arroyo. So the story turns on a subtle pronunciation difference that would have been lost to time if it hadn't been recorded.
Does this story tell us anything about the date that it was written?