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

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6
votes
3answers
2k views

British upper-class pronunciation of words like “what” and “when”

More from the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. I've noticed in these sort of movies, when some very upper-class speakers talk, like the lawyer in the series, Mr. Tulkinghorn, they have ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is The Mall (Westminster, London) pronounced like mawl?

Why is The Mall pronounced differently even though it shares the same spelling as mall (shopping)?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Pronunciation of the word Leicester

I was playing Monopoly the other day (haven't played for some time) and I bought Leicester Square. However, everytime someone landed on my block, I was unsure as to its pronunciation. So far I've ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Accent of the word “invalidity” [closed]

In my legal studies class, this word cropped up and the whole class, including the teacher, couldn't pronounce it. They usually tried it several times and then ended up with different results. Where ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

Is the “-b” to be pronounced in the word “limb”? What about “thumb”? “Crumb”?

I'm confused about the differing pronunciations of words that end in "-b". For example, I remember being told by some of earliest teachers that the "-b" in limb was meant to be silent, and one ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation: “use” versus “use”

Compare pronunciations: "I want to use the bathroom" (yoos) "I made use of the bathroom." (yus) My poor attempt at creating a phonetically descriptive syntax is supposed to convey that, with the ...
12
votes
3answers
54k views

Correct pronunciation of “herbs”

In the past, I used to say "Herbs", then I was corrected and told that the "H" is muted and one should say "Erbs". Watching some video, the instructor keeps saying "Herbs". What is the right ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

How do you pronounce 'news'?

My coworker and I have been having this discussion for a day or two... What is the most correct way to pronounce 'new' or 'news' ? Does it rhyme with 'few' ? or 'snooze' ? Does 'new crew' rhyme? I ...
2
votes
2answers
560 views

Does the incorrect pronunciation of a word make it incomprehensible? [closed]

Not being an English native speaker, I find there are many words I pronounce differently from how an anglophone would (and differently from the phonetics prescribed in typical dictionaries). However, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Was what happened to the pronunciation of the word “church”, as compared to the Scots-English “kirk”, a general phenomenon in Middle English?

The other day, I was reading a history of the Norman and Angevin kings, and came across the word kirk in an ecclesiastical context, which I had to look up, having no clue of its meaning. The Online ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “macrame”?

I've heard a couple of pronunciations "macra may", "ma craym", "ma craym". So, which is the correct one?
11
votes
5answers
12k views

The pronunciation of buoy

How did the word buoy come to be pronounced "BOO-ee" in most of the US? The British pronunciation "BOY" as in the word buoyancy or buoyant (which both countries pronounce the same) seems to be pretty ...
-5
votes
2answers
551 views

Why is “insatiable” pronounced as if it was “unsatiable”? [closed]

Why is insatiable pronounced as if it was unsatiable?
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is “chore” pronounced differently from the “chore” in “choreography”?

How come the word "chore" is pronounced like it is, when the word "choreography", which has the same initial letter combination, is pronounced differently? Is there a phonetical rule to explain this?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Correct pronunciation of “the” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles? What is the pronunciation of “the?” What would be the correct way to ...
0
votes
0answers
456 views

which is correct “a ear” or “an ear”, conversely “a year” or “an year” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct- “A Year” or “An Year”? Use of “a” versus “an” A(n) ear vs. a(n) year in speaking is very confusing, please clarify.
20
votes
2answers
81k views

The British pronunciation of the word “schedule”

Is pronouncing the word "schedule" as "shed-ule" only an upper class thing in the UK? Which pronunciation, "sked-ule" "or "shed-ule" is more faithful to the original etymology of the word, i.e. which ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “zounds?”

I came across the sentence "Fortunately their are a variety of different offerings out there with zounds of features." Disregarding the misuse of "zounds," how would Elizabeth I have pronounced the ...
15
votes
3answers
830 views

Are there sounds where the tongue is not symmetrical?

Are there sounds in English languages and accents where the tongue does not move symmetrically in the mouth, i.e. the right side of the tongue is not moving like the left side?
12
votes
6answers
3k views

How would you spell “Tehran” in English for it to be pronounced “correctly” (i.e. as in Persian)?

Native English speakers do not pronounce the h in Tehran so it is pronounced like "Teran". But in the original pronunciation in Persian the h is pronounced, resulting in /tehˈɾɒːn/. Is there any ...
12
votes
5answers
26k views

How does one correctly pronounce the letter 'H': “Aych” or “haych”?

What is the correct sound of the letter H when reading the alphabet - is it 'aych' or 'Haych' ?
17
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How should one pronounce the “rofl” in “roflstomp” or “roflcopter”?

"ROFL" stands for rolling on the floor laughing but has been mushed into other words with their own meanings. Two examples: Ouch, that was a roflstomp. I'm on a roflcopter! While these are ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Is misplaced emphasis a form of mispronunciation?

I was speaking with someone today and he brought up the TV show "South Park", and he emphasized the "Park" whereas most people (and the show itself, I believe) emphasize the word "South". This got me ...
-5
votes
2answers
437 views

Does the word “amen” have anything to do with men? Which is the correct pronunciation? [closed]

I don't understand how the word amen was coined by breaking it down to what I presume to be its constituents, a- and men. It seems to be a phrase of affirmation — I don't see what men has ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I pronounce “s's” and “s'”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Pronouncing possessive words that already end in s How do I pronounce possessives that end with the awkward ...
14
votes
3answers
28k 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.?
5
votes
2answers
883 views

Pronunciation of GUI in British English

I've heard a lot of Americans pronounce abbreviations like GUI as goo-ey. Is this the same with British English, or is it more common to spell out the word, like gee-you-eye?
5
votes
6answers
1k views

How to pronounce and orally spell <3?

It's now an entry in OED, I hear. Anybody know what the actual OED entry says?
3
votes
2answers
39k views

What's the correct pronunciation of “epitome”: “Epi-tome” or “Epi-tuh-mi”?

A friend said that epitome is pronounced as epi-tuh-mi and not epi-tome (with the tome like home). Who is right? Also, is the pronunciation purely dependent on the region where you learnt English?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Pronunciation of trailing “i” in Latin-derived words

Some pronounce the trailing "i" in Latin-derived words (e.g., "Gemini") as a long "e" and others pronounce it as a long "i." I was taught the long "e," but is this mere preference or is there a firm ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you pronounce the H in “an historian”?

A lot of people I know argue that you should use the article "an" before words such as "historian", "history", "hotel", "hospital", "heretic". I don't want to debate whether or not this is correct or ...
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
226 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
593 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
52k 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
2answers
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
843 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
38k 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
458 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
347 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?