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My friends have a variety of ways of pronouncing "Tuesday":

  • Tooos-day
  • Tyu-sday
  • Choose-day

Which one is considered correct?

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A guy here at work says toos-dee (and -dee for every other day as well). –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 14 '12 at 19:06
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Everyone knows that Solomon Grundy was born on a Mondee, and christened on Tuesdee. –  Mahnax Mar 14 '12 at 19:12
    
@Mahnax: So perhaps we should edit three more variations in to OP's text, each ending in -dee instead of -day. –  FumbleFingers Mar 14 '12 at 21:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are really only two phonemic variants here:

  1. First syllable is /tu:/
  2. First syllable is /tju:/

The variation between these two forms is an instance of the widespread idiosyncratic insertion of /j/ before /u:/ in many English dialects. Another common word with this variation is tune, which is pronounced both as /tu:n/ and /tju:n/. Generally both variants are accepted as correct, though your dialect will vary in which one it prefers.

The variant pronunciation with "choose-day" is a matter of dialects in which the cluster /tj/ is regularly pronounced as [tʃ] ("ch"). This is another common dialectical feature which is generally accepted as correct in the regions where it occurs. When you have someone who begins "Tuesday" with /tju:/ and produces /tj/ as [tʃ], you'll hear them pronounce the word with [tʃu:] as the first syllable.

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It appears that for the days of the week, some people say /di/ instead of /deɪ/. You hear this in the American South, for example, where they rhyme “fundy” (as in fundamentalist) with “Sunday”. Perhaps this is only a phonological effect, but normally /eɪ/ and /i/ are distinct phonemes. It might only be with days of the week. I’d have to find other words ending in /eɪ/ and run it by them to check. –  tchrist May 24 '12 at 23:37

In Australian English, I hear /tʃuz/ (chooze). In British, /tyuz/. In American dialects, thanks to yod-dropping, you hear /tuz/. In some dialects, you can hear a diphthong /iu/, which sounds similar to /yu/.

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It depends on your dialect. Dictionary.com lists your first two choices, as well as another pronunciation of day: /ˈtuzdeɪ, -di, ˈtyuz-/ (four possibilities - tooz-day, tyooz-day, tooz-dee, and tyooz-dee).

"Correct" is relative. If your dialect pronounced Tuesday choose-day, it would be considered correct by those used to the dialect. The only thing dictionaries are useful for (when you're looking up pronunciations) is to find which is the most popular/preferred.

Note that there are boundaries, though, to correctness - it's not all mush. For instance, it would be unequivocably incorrect to pronounce Tuesday Sunday.

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But in my dialect, we do pronounce "Tuesday" as Sunday. –  Justin ᚅᚔᚈᚄᚒᚔ Mar 14 '12 at 23:42

protected by RegDwigнt Mar 14 '12 at 19:45

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