A friend prompted me to look up the pronunciations of the homophones "be" (IPA: /bi/, /biː/) and "bee" (IPA: /biː/). We found that there are two ways to say "be" -- one is short and the other (the strong form) is long (see this OALD link). Having lived in North America for almost a decade now, it seems to me that the long form is rare in North American usage, but that might just be me. My questions are:
- Am I wrong?
- If the short form is common in standard American usage, when would you it and when would you use the long form?
I am He who said unto the world 'Be!' and it was.
- "You'd better be there!".
Short form (at least in British English): 1. "I'll be there in a minute" when the speaker isn't trying to emphasize anything