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

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7
votes
1answer
171 views

How do you pronounce “bald”?

I've always heard it pronounced /bɒld/ (rhymes with scald, for those of you who don't know IPA), however the dictionary and some of my friends say /bɔ:ld/ (rhymes with mauled). I'm British, by the ...
1
vote
3answers
27k views

What's the right way to pronounce “Louis”?

The name of the comedian Louis C.K. is pronounced LU-EE-SEE-KAY. Is the S pronounced as a part of the given name "Louis", or just the first constant of the of the letter C? Is there a canonical way ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Isn't a “gonner” or “gonna” slang for a person about to die?

(I think this "blank" moment of mine is what is called in AmEng a brain fart, so be it) Isn't ‘a gonner/gonna’ slang for a person who is about to die? It's said in situations where, potentially, ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

“Accessory” pronounced with a stress on the first syllable

I'm a first language English speaker, but grew up Bilingual in Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Today I was speaking to another first language English speaker (Canadian) and used the word ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

“Carbine” rifle | is there pronunciation demographic data?

Let me count the ways: Car-bine (like: dine, refine, canine.) Car-bean (like: green bean, ravine, serpentine.) CAR-buhn (like: ..like the right and proper way to pronounce the scotch 'Oban'.) ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Pronunciation of luxury

Is there a reason that Americans now pronounce luxury "lugsury" instead of "lucshury" while still pronouncing "extract" and "extra" with the more common "x" sound?
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Does Bender from Futurama sound like a non-American? [closed]

Robot Bender is one of the main characters in the animated television series 'Futurama'. Bender — Best moments (5 minute video). Does Bender speak ‘proper’ American English? Does he have an ...
3
votes
0answers
100 views

How do New Yorkers pronounce “oil”? [closed]

There's a list of "New York" words and phrases that's been surfacing on the Web periodically for quite a few years. Not all New Yorkers speak like that, I assure you. Only barely-above-the-gutter ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Roaming and Coming in William Shakespeare's O Mistress Mine

William Shakespeare's O Mistress Mine, Feste's song from Twelfth Night, seems to have the rhyming scheme AABCCB. However, the first two lines are problematic for that scheme with modern ...
6
votes
6answers
555 views

Is “fillet” a different word in “salmon fillet” than in “leather fillet”

In the question "Is there a name for words which are pronounced differently depending on which definition is being used?" it was suggested by two people that when the word "fillet" is used to describe ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Phonograms ey and ie

My son is using Spalding phonogram cards in his kindergarten class. I like them for the most part, aside from a few weird examples and explanations that aren't quite right, but that I can live with. ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

why “come into a place” sounds like /kʌməntsə/ /pleis/

Two sentences from 60-Second Science Now a study finds that a teacher's racial biases come into play in different ways for high-achieving kids versus low-performing ones. While listening to music, ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Tawkin'? Tawk? I don't get the joke

from Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities: "I'll think a something. Half a my practice consists of talking to people who are not anxious to talk." Tawk. Killian leaned forward and said, ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

A tendency to use “a” in place of “an” in American English

I have noticed that a lot of native American speakers use the indefinite article "a" in front of words beginning with vowels, such as interesting, old, apple , etc. Is there any reasonable ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Why does Tom Hanks pronounce “stupid” as “st-you-pid” in “The Bonfire of the Vanities”?

This may or may not related to my previous question. In this movie (which is based on another one of Tom Wolfe's novels, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Hanks plays the lead character who is an Ivy ...
4
votes
2answers
392 views

Since when has “J” been sounding like [dʒ] and no longer “Y” [duplicate]

There are words that have "j" where in most languages it would be pronounced like romaji "y". Take for example "Jesus", "Jehovah", "John". It should be pronounced "Yesus", "Yehovah", "Yohn". Slavic ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Intensification of Consonants in English Pronunciation

In many languages, my mother tongue included, you frequently encounter words that have an intensified consonant within them, especially if the consonant is between two vowels. A good idea to ...
3
votes
7answers
8k views

Pronunciation difference between “collar” and “color”

What is the pronunciation difference between collar and color? Can a native speaker tell them apart?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Walking and Talking L's

I have a friend who always pronounces the l's in walk and talk. Is this regional? Is there anywhere that standardly pronounces the l?
25
votes
8answers
3k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

Difference between word-final iː, i and ɪ

As we know, English usually contrasts the two high front vowels /i:/ and /ɪ/, and many different minimal pairs exist for this (e.g. /sli:p/ vs /slɪp/). However, at the end of a word, we usually have ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

How to make clear the difference between 0 and O?

It's reasonably clear that there's a difference between the lowercase "o" and "0", but it's harder to tell with a uppercase "O" and "0". When saying them, certainly in the UK, "Oh" can be both o and ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Lenis and Fortis Clusters Assimilation

I've been looking for my answer but I still haven't found what I want. I have a question regarding lenis voiceless+fortis voiceless clusters (in American English). Does the fortis voiceless consonant ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

When did “-tile” and “-sile” (in missile and volatile) become “-tl” (or “tahyl”)?

The dictionary states as follows: [vol-uh-tl, -til or, esp. British, -tahyl] Especially British? Hmm. Don't kill me: I've never heard the following lyrics actually performed; I've only read them; ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Words that are spoken one way but written another

I was recently involved in answering this question: Renumeration vs Remuneration (reimbursed financially), which is correct? Which asks whether "renumeration" or "remuneration" is correct in terms ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

“Potential” pronunciation

I was raised to pronounce "potential" with a long o (ō). This makes sense where the syllables are divided. Yet, the online dictionaries I have checked say it is "puh". Can you comment?
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Pronunciation of anonymize

I “googled” the word anonymize to verify its spelling because it is not in the Chrome’s dictionary. Before I closed the tab, on a whim, I clicked the little speaker icon to hear Google’s pronunciation ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Why are there no English nouns starting with “th” pronounced as /ð/?

I just saw a claim that there are no nouns in English that start with "th" pronounced as /ð/, and I am convinced that is correct for at least Received Pronunciation, General American and Australian ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
311 views

Pronunciation of “thank” using ð (voiced th) instead of θ (unvoiced th)

Both my younger siblings pronounce "thank" using ð, voicing the "th". I have never heard any other native speaker pronounce it this way. Both my parents, my older sibling, and I all pronounce "thank" ...
-1
votes
2answers
70 views

How do you pronounce Calvin in British English

How do the British pronounce the 'a' between c and l? Is it like 'callous' or 'call'?
1
vote
5answers
8k views

How do you pronounce 'vegan'?

Theoretically, there are four possible pronunciations of 'vegan' due to two syllables constituting this word, namely, 've'('vee' or 'vay'?) and 'gan'('gun' or 'gen' as in 'generate'?). The online ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

English pronunciation of the letter “a” [closed]

I heard the letter a was pronounced /ei/, and sometimes it was pronounced as /ə/. So, can you tell me when is it pronounced as /ei/, and when as /ə/?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why isn't “muscle” pronounced “muskle”?

It comes from the Latin musculus (meaning mouse) and Latin has only hard c's. The "c" has somehow become soft or silent during evolution. Why did this happen? Also, if muscle is pronounced mussle, ...
1
vote
4answers
307 views

What's the name for when a word changes its pronunciation because of how people read?

With greater literacy in the past 100 years, most English speakers are also proficient at writing. Sometimes due to the great divide between English spellings and the true pronunciation, people will ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
4
votes
3answers
884 views

Any example of when one would pronounce the word “a” with a long A sound?

I am trying to think of any example when one might be correct in pronouncing the word "a" with a long A sound. With the word "the," one would use the long E sound only when the word is followed by a ...
4
votes
4answers
274 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - Metallium or Metalium. The owners of the business went with the latter, but my ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the name of the phoneme produced in an upper-class Briton's pronunciation of the word “Duke”? What's different in the articulation?

When someone with a Received Pronunciation accent pronounces the word duke, as in The Duke of York, he doesn't pronounce it with a "hard" 'd', as one might pronounce the word duh, but a softer type ...
6
votes
3answers
832 views

Explanation and rules for adding and subtracting 'r's in British pronunciation?

For example, the sentence, "The Premier of China drank vodka and beer in his car with Obama." A BBC presenter would pronounce it like: The Premieh of Chiner drank vodker and bee'h in his ca' with ...
14
votes
4answers
12k views

Why is “women” pronounced the way it is?

As far as I know, it is the only word where wo is pronounced as wee. What is the reason for this? Does it have to do with the origin of the word?
2
votes
1answer
203 views

Is there a formal spelling for the English letter names?

The English alphabet has a common pronunciation. For example, B is pronounced as "Bee", C as "See" and I as Aye. Is there a formal spelling for the letter names?
2
votes
1answer
85 views

How do I know where to place the stress?

In questions that start with interrogative pronouns such as: what, when, and why, should they be stressed? For example, is the word "time" stressed in the sentence? Is "What" stressed, too? What ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

how to read numbers of 6 digit in formal english

How to say these two numbers: 112177 eleven hundrends thousands and twenty one hundren and seventy seven one hundred and twelve thousands and one hundred seventy seven the same for this number ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Choose a username is easy to remember and pronounce [closed]

English is not my mother tongue language. But I am trying to pick a good internet user name for my new career life in America. And I read a lot of "How to Naming" article but still have no idea. I ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

New Zealand pronunciation of “women” vs “woman”

I have read in a number of places that the NZ pronunciation of "women" must be rather peculiar. Quoting from just one such place: For some years I've noted the tendency of Kiwis to pronounce ...
83
votes
27answers
8k views

How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”

According to one of the questions already asked on EL&U, “E = mc²” is read as E equals M C squared. How do we read “E = (mc)²” so that it is not mistaken for “E = mc²”?
8
votes
4answers
974 views

How to read “and/or” aloud

Is this read as and or or? Because it doesn't sound right while speaking aloud. Or is there some other way you can say it?
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “SUS” in “Stainless Steel SUS 304”

How do engineers and the like who are native speakers of English pronounce “SUS” (stainless steel)? Like the verb “suss”? Like “SOS” (mayday) but with “U”?
0
votes
1answer
98 views

When do and don't we link 2 adjacent words in pronunciation?

Please see this sentence "Do you like eating fruits?". If we stress the iː in "eating", then do we link k to iː so that it can become ..../laɪ'kiːtɪŋ/....? I guess that we don't link k to iː, but we ...