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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is “door” pronounced with an “o” sound and not a “u”?

Why is door pronounced as in 'o' not as in 'u' ?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you pronounce “but”?

In which context do you use the stressed bʌt and when do you use the unstressed bət? How often is that? If you know about the website www.forvo.com, I think it's a shortcoming that speakers use only ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Where is the stress in the word “commenting”?

Where is the stress placed in the word commenting? Is it on the first or the second syllable? How do you pronounce it?
1
vote
3answers
220 views

Pronunciation of “theodicy”

I am confused: Please listen to the audio file from google here This can't be right, can it?
11
votes
4answers
579 views

How is “cf.” to be pronounced?

The meaning of cf. has already been addressed in this question, but not the right way to pronounce or translate it when reading aloud as has been done for i.e. and e.g. in this question. Can anyone ...
5
votes
6answers
50k views

“Zoe” or “Zoë”: which is the correct spelling?

I have a relation who has named their child Zoe, on the grounds that “in English we don’t use the dots”, but they pronounce it like the second version. Of course I don’t want to argue that’s not the ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Is itinery/itinary an acceptable pronunciation of “itinerary”?

There are enough Google results with the misspelling above to suggest I'm not the only person who pronounces itinerary incorrectly. So is this common or even acceptable to pronounce it in this way? ...
14
votes
1answer
15k views

Why is the “a” in “cocoa” silent?

Not being a native speaker of English, one of those words that tripped me up is “cocoa”. Besides having its vowels inverted from “cacao”; it also is pronounced exactly the same as “coco”, whereas ...
4
votes
4answers
836 views

Where is “pejorative” pronounced “ ˈpejəˌrātiv”?

Upon looking up the word pejorative, I noticed two rather distinct pronunciations: pəˈjôrətiv ˈpejəˌrātiv I naturally assumed the first (which is apparently the more common), but was wondering ...
35
votes
6answers
2k views

Pronunciation of the English alphabet

Why are there inconsistencies in the pronunciation of the consonants of the alphabet? For example: 'b' is pronounced like 'bee' but 'm' is pronounced as 'em' rather than 'me'. The pronunciation of 'h' ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Are any of the t-glottolization, th-fronting, h-dropping, etc. in English a phonological complex?

Wikipedia gives the following, with plenty others ommitted by me, as some of the features of Cockney English: T-glottalisation: Use of the glottal stop as an allophone of /t/ in various ...
10
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is “Chop Gate” pronounced so strangely?

I was passing through the hamlet of Chop Gate (in North Yorkshire) the other day, and heard it referred to as "chop yat" (tʃɒp yæt). This source here concurs with that pronunciation. Does anyone know ...
17
votes
11answers
37k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “solder”?

I have been listening to a podcast where the host pronounces the word solder as "sodder" or "sod-der", even "saw-der". Same thing happened when the lecturer of one of my EE classes pronounced the word ...
5
votes
3answers
457 views

What is the difference (in terms of usage and connotation) between “loath” and “loathe”?

I'm having difficulty in understanding the differences in usage (and understanding which one is used from pronunciation/context) between "loathe" and "loath" - could anyone help clarify it ?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Different ways to pronounce “augh”

In the word laugh, it is pronounced "aff". In the word naught, it is pronounced "aw". Are there any other ways to pronounce "augh"? Bonus points for etymology explaining from where these ...
2
votes
1answer
339 views

IPA pronunciation of 'Bazinga'

You might be familiar with the tv-series the Big Bang Theory. Sheldon, one of the main characters, often says "bazinga". How would I write this in IPA? This is what I have, does that make sense? ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Difference in pronunciation between “your” and “you're”?

I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Words starting with a 'gw' sound

There seems to be only a few words starting with the 'gw' sound, though the only ones I can think of are proper nouns, for example, Gwyneth. Are there any non-name words starting with a 'gw'? Is there ...
11
votes
2answers
783 views

Sources say English was rhotic in the 17th century — how do they know that?

Sources say English was rhotic in most places in the 17th century. How do they know that? Obviously, we don't have any samples of recorded speech from that time.
3
votes
1answer
759 views

What is the origin in a strong Scouse accent of the phoneme /x/ or sometimes /kx/?

What is the origin in a strong Scouse accent of the phoneme /k/ in all positions of a word except the beginning being realised as /x/ or sometimes /kx/? Has this charateristic been taken from a ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Does anybody pronounce the word “pillow” as “pellow”?

My girlfriend giggles whenever I say it, and I never realized that I said it differently then anyone else. But now that I am listening...NOBODY says pellow? They all say pillow. I've listened to my ...
10
votes
3answers
21k views

How to pronounce “halcyon”?

I grew up thinking this word was pronounced HALK-YON, having learned it from books and never hearing someone speak it. I recently heard somebody mention it for the first time, and they pronounced it ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Words whose pronunciation remains the same with the last four letters removed

A friend told me that the English word queue is the only word whose pronunciation remains the same when the last four letters are removed. I tried to think of others, but just couldn't. However, I ...
1
vote
0answers
168 views

Pronunciation of “the” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of “the”? I've noticed that the word the is not always pronounced in the same way depending on the sound of the next word. I think ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

“Ph” for the /f/ sound; Is Old English responsible for this swap?

Is Old English responsible for creating the /f/ sound from ph, as in Philip, Pharoah, Physics, Sophia, etc? Many European countries keep the f for all of their /f/-sounding letters, as in Sofia and ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I say “WWI” out loud?

I know it's written WWI, but when I am speaking should I say "World War One" or "World War First" or "First World War"?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

In the movie “Meet the Fockers” does the word “Focker” really sound different?

In the movie "Meet the Fockers" does the word "Focker" sound really different from the four-letter word? I don't hear any difference. Do all the actors pronounce this word really differently from ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “sauté” spelled with an accent and “repartee” not?

Why are these words spelled differently? They have the same sound at the end, right?
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Reading out numbers in English

What are the accepted guidelines for reading out numbers in English? For example, should 1351 be read out as "one thousand and three hundred and fifty one", or should the "and"s be removed ...
9
votes
2answers
15k views

Why is “albeit” pronounced the way it is?

I've previously (and am now embarrassed because of this) pronounced this word "ahl-bite" and now realize it is pronounced "ahl-bee-it." Why is it pronounced like this, and not the way I previously ...
7
votes
0answers
344 views

Pronouncing “00's” (as in 2000's) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the name of the first decade in a century? When talking about decades in the 20th century, it is customary to refer to them using only the last two digits. For ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between American and British pronunciations of “world” and “girl”?

I can definitely hear a distinct difference but I am not sure if it is from the long vowel or from the "r".
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Difference in pronunciation between 'warship' and 'worship'?

I basically came these words across together in a text, and I was wondering whether or not they are pronounced the same way. 'War' is actually pronounced as 'wor', so I'm not entirely sure. ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “what did you” in “So what did you dream about?” and other similar questions?

Tina: I had a strange dream last night. Jack: Well, dreams are always strange. I've never had an absolutely "normal" dream. So what did you dream about? Tina: I dreamed about a skyscraper ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

How to pronounce to differ spatial from special?

It always bugged me that I do not know how to differentiate "spatial" from "special". I would just say "space" to be clear when "spatial" is the grammatically correct choice. Are the standard ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What loan-words keep their native pronunciation?

Being a non-native English speaker I recently discovered that for some words you don't use English pronunciation. For instance you seem to be omitting the l's when saying tortilla. Yet this isn't ...
29
votes
5answers
27k views

Should the number “0” be pronounced “zero” or “oh”?

I have often heard people say 101, as one-zero-one, and also as one-oh-one. Which is correct, and why? Does the difference between British English and American English have to do something with it?
-2
votes
3answers
502 views

Pronunciation of the name “Kyrylo”

Can someone provide a transcription for the name "Kyrylo" - how it will actually sound?
3
votes
1answer
277 views

Do you read the 'c' in 'kc'?

For example: clickcub clickcube clickcrab clickcrate clickcone In which of those cases do you read the 'c' and not?
1
vote
6answers
2k views

Is it common for English people to say “crap” instead of “crab”?

When you read "crab", do you think of "crap"? Is it usual to pronounce wrongly?
11
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is “one” pronounced as “wan”, not “oh-ne”?

Why is one pronounced as "wan", not "oh-ne"? Why are the spelling and pronunciation of one so strange? In French, one is written as un, and pronounced as "oe" (with nasal sound). The sound is similar ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Pronunciation of 'cos' (as in the mathematical term)

What is the correct pronunciation for the mathematical abbreviation 'cos' when it is not pronounced in its complete form 'cosine'? I pronounce it as 'k-aw-ss', but a couple of Canadian friends I have ...
7
votes
6answers
29k views

Proper/official pronunciation of “conch”

A moment ago on Mr. Sunshine, Matthew Perry pronounced the end of a conch shell as in church. I learned it as being pronounced with a k sound. On WikiPedia, both are listed as pronunciations, but on ...
12
votes
6answers
7k views

Why is “liquorice” pronounced (or spelt) so strangely?

Liquorice is pronounced ˈlɪkərɪʃ. But every other word I can think of ending with -ice is pronounced differently (such as police or rice). How did liquorice get such a strange pronunciation, or ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to pronounce “AKA”?

How do you pronounce the acronym AKA (also known as)?
4
votes
4answers
595 views

What is the pronunciation of parenthesized ‘read’?

In sentences like the following one, what is the pronunciation of the word read? I have always pronounced it red, as past-tense, but I have, a couple of times, heard it pronounced reed, as instruction ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are the words “lose” and “choose” written differently and pronounced the same way?

I do know that there isn't only one pronunciation for syllables, and I also know that there isn't only one way to write a phoneme, but this intrigues me a lot. Lose is spelled with only one O, and ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

Explain this pickup line: “If Bangkok invaded Djibouti, would Greece help?”

I was at an Model UN conference and often notes like the following get passed. As I'm not a native speaker, I assume that this has to do with some pronunciational issue. Can you please explain what's ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Pronunciation of en- prefix as ahn-

Recently, I pronounced the word enqueue as ahn-queue. The person I was talking to said he would have pronounced it with a more normal en sound (like in Ben or den). I'm not sure why I thought that ...