This tag is for questions about the sounds, intonation, and stress of how words are uttered or produced.

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-3
votes
0answers
27 views

alphabetising the indefinite article [on hold]

why do people alphabetise the indefinite article 'a' instead of saying 'a' as in 'apple' as one does for 'an' as in 'ant' when emphasised? thanks A
15
votes
2answers
2k views

In the word “Scent”, is the S or the C silent?

So I saw a post on a funny pictures site... "In the word "Scent", is the S or the C silent?" And I thought I could ask about it here. In particular, how does the pronunciation of "scent" differ ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

How is cereal pronounced? [on hold]

Which of the following ways is cereal (as in breakfast cereal) pronounced? Serial, as in a serial number or Se-real, where the "ce" is "se", not "see" (short "e").
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Recommended pronunciation of international English for foreigners

There are some differences in the pronunciation of English in USA and in UK. Furthermore, there are differences in the pronunciation in different areas of the same country. Examples: "go" is ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Nasalization in IPA

I am learning IPA to learn the English pronunciation. When "n" is inserted after a vowel and it is not followed by another vowel, how to know if /n/ is pronounced or it is only a mark to nasalize the ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Pronouncing the term blogging [on hold]

Can someone please let me know if the term blogging has been pronounced properly in accordance to English language? On the site in the link they say: Blogging (pr. blahg-ing) This seems a bit ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Literary and colloquial readings in English?

Some Chinese languages have the concept of Literary and colloquial readings, where the pronunciation of words, if you will, change between literary readings and vernacular readings. Does English have ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Difference between IPA ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ

Wanting to be more Californian and trying to correct my accent, I'm look at the sound for mother, in the North America column. What is the difference between IPA symbols for ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ. (ɝ is not on ...
4
votes
5answers
11k views

How is 'via' pronounced and where did these variations come from? [closed]

Over the years, I've heard people say 'v-ē-ə', 'v-ī-ə', and sometimes the 'uh' is an 'ah' sound. (edit- It has come to my attention that 'via' was once a 'wee-ah' from Latin, but I don't feel like ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Why does “contrary” have two different pronunciations?

I have the impression all Anglophones pronounce contrary with stress on the second syllable (cont-RARE-ee) when applied to a person's actions or disposition, as in: Mary Mary quite contrary, How ...
13
votes
2answers
31k views

Why is the “L” silent when pronouncing “salmon”?

Why is the letter l silent when pronouncing salmon properly?
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What determines the pronunciation of the prefix 'arch-'? [duplicate]

In the case of an archbishop, or archvillian it is pronounced arch. In the case of archetype, it is prounounced ark-e-type In the case of an archenemy I think you would say ark - enemy Is it simply ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

What's with the 'heigth' pandemic?

Recently I've noticed that many people are pronouncing the word 'height' as /haiθ/ That's right, heigth. I've only ever heard this pronunciation mistake in the last few years. Maybe it's just ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Pronunciation of “butcher” [on hold]

I was born in the East Midlands where we say “coop of tea” instead of “cap of tea”, and we sit on “grass” rather than “grarse”. I've been arguing with some Londoners about how to pronounce the word ...
0
votes
3answers
46 views

some questions about pronunciation [on hold]

I notice that some words have the same prefix but are pronounced differently; for example: precision, preference, prescription, etc. Are there rules about pronunciation that you apply when you find a ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Are actors taught to roll their “r”'s?

A particularly prominent example of a rolled r user is the actor Jeremy Brett, who played "Sherlock Holmes" in the 1980s Granada adaptations. I've noticed that several other actors, especially from ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

How to pronounce meijer [on hold]

There is a supermarket called Meijer near my house, how do you pronounce 'Meijer' ? Does it sound like 'mire' ?
3
votes
1answer
43 views

English, Latin, or Malay pronunciation of betta fish

The genus name of the aquarium fish Betta splendens derives from the Malay word "ikan betah." The common name of the fish is also "betta," which in English we'd pronounce with a soft e. I often hear ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Pronounce abreviation/acronym as word or based

If you have an abbreviation that reads like a word, should you pronounce it like the word it reads like, or the words it came from? For example, in the software development world there is a JAR ...
14
votes
14answers
2k views

When is it appropriate to use the original pronunciation of a foreign word versus the English pronunciation?

When reading to an audience, or speaking in conversation, when is it appropriate to use the original pronunciation of a foreign word versus the English pronunciation (assuming you know the appropriate ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Neesh or Nitch?

What is the correct way to pronounce niche? I've always said and heard nitch, but now I hear neesh, but it always sounds trendy to me. Thoughts?
16
votes
5answers
7k views

How did the Australian accent come about?

Can anybody tell me how the Australian accent came about? It seems strange to me that it is not more like an English accent taking into account that the first and the majority of settlers were ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

Variations in the pronunciation of “the”

Although there are rather simple rules determining the pronunciation of "the", native speakers quite often deviate from these rules (including, e.g., TV shows). According to the Longman Pronunciation ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“Flushed out” or “Fleshed out” [closed]

I think this is a mispronunciation, but I'm not sure... Is "To thoroughly vet something" to "flush it out" or "flesh it out"? "flush" makes intuitive sense, but I've heard "fleshed out" plenty of ...
14
votes
3answers
20k views

How do you pronounce “melee”? [closed]

I've heard meelee, meyley (maylay), and mehlay. Is there any "correct" way to pronounce it in the U.S.?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Pronunciation of “of”

Is "of" always supposed to be pronounced with the v sound (like "ov")? Or does it depend on the region (e.g. US, UK) or maybe on the word that follows the preposition? For example, how would you ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
5
votes
3answers
85 views

What is the common and/or member pronunciation of 'Marylebone' in 'Marylebone Cricket Club'?

There are lots of Internet discussions on how to pronounce 'Marylebone'. But given the context of 'Marylebone Cricket Club' (MCC), what is the most common pronunciation among UK people and/or MCC ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Words with multiple allowable pronunciations

Long time listener, first time caller. I was chatting with some friends, and GIF and nuclear came up. GIF is pretty unique, we considered, as we allow both /dʒɪf/ and /gɪf/ for its pronunciation. ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is the initial “ts” sound (e.g “tsunami”) pronounced as “s”?

Why is the word "tsunami" often pronounced as "sunami"? Can English speakers pronounce "ts"? Is it because the initial "ts" looks foreign?
9
votes
7answers
2k views

In what dialects does “often” rhyme with “soften”?

I believe in most English dialects soften is pronounced without a t sound. In some dialects, often is similar, but in others a t sound is quite evident in often. I'm interested not only in which ...
0
votes
3answers
6k views

Apostrophe before or after s? [closed]

In the sentence: The author was greatly in love with Annabel Lee and described their love for each other as greater than anyone elses’. Does the apostrophe go before or after the s in else? ...
62
votes
10answers
17k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
7
votes
4answers
597 views

Why “me” instead of “my” in pirate speech?

I don’t understand the usage in constructions like “Spare meself, me ship, me crew” in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Is it a dialect or “bloody pirate’s speech” or what?
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Why does English spelling use silent letters?

Why have a letter in a word when it’s silent in pronunciation, like the b in debt? Can anyone please clarify my uncertainty here?
7
votes
1answer
823 views

Is the [ʊ] sound pronounced with lip rounding?

This [ʊ] sound is the vowel sound for words like hook, pull, and good. When I began to learn English a bit more seriously two decades ago, I used a book that taught me to pronounce it shorter and ...
1
vote
1answer
352 views

Why is “delight” spelt and pronounced the way it is?

This as everything probably has something to do with the GVS, but how?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “k” added to “panic” when suffixes added (as in “panicky”)?

When adding any suffix to the word "panic," a "k" is added after the "c". Examples: panicked, panicking, panicky. Why is this the case? Are there any other English words that do the same? I'm also ...
11
votes
1answer
972 views

Rules for removing last vowel when adding “-able”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to drop the 'e' when ending in -able? Both are correct for these words: sizable, sizeable sharable, shareable takable, takeable But these words are ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
22
votes
8answers
2k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
27
votes
4answers
9k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

What is a good way to learn about words whose pronunciations are very different from how they are spelt

It is embarrassing to be caught mispronouncing an aphonetic(?) word whose pronunciation is not intuitive. Are there any comprehensive word lists (may be the 5000 popular words that are commonly ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

'r' sound before 'th' sound

I'm learning British English. The r is usually dropped, so I never noticed a little thing, most of the time when I use an r before the th sound, my tongue does a kind of a tap or something between r ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Are “flower” and “flour” always homophones?

Flower and flour are said to be homophones. However, considering the number of different pronunciations (/flaʊə/ like BrE sour, /flou(-ə)r/ like AmE sour, /flɑː/ (forvo) like BrE car, etc.) floating ...
0
votes
2answers
140 views

How to distinguish “can” and “can't” pronunciation in American English? [duplicate]

I am a student in China learning American English. I have listened to some videos and found it hard to distinguish can from can’t. I am looking for some advice that may help me.
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles?

When saying the title of JRR Tolkien's masterpiece, which is the correct pronunciation (Yes, I know that they're spelled wrong, but I'm trying to emphasize the pronunciation): Thuh Lord of thuh ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

Are English speakers reluctant to use /l/ in a consonant cluster mid word?

A relative of mine recently went on a rant regarding the pronunciation of 'jewelry' (as joo-la-ree) and 'realtor' (as ree-la-ter). It reminded me of the oft criticized pronunciation of 'nuclear' and I ...
-3
votes
1answer
40 views

Pronunciation of Trapezoid? [closed]

How do you pronounce Trapezoid? Phonetic Alphabet answer preferred.