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

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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 ...
16
votes
5answers
8k 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
1answer
67 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
22k 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
115 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
94 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
108 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
151 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
6k 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
7k 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? ...
7
votes
4answers
713 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
12k 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
986 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
435 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
3k 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
1k 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 ...
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.
28
votes
4answers
11k 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
123 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
4k 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
392 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
4k 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
44 views

Pronunciation of Trapezoid? [closed]

How do you pronounce Trapezoid? Phonetic Alphabet answer preferred.
5
votes
3answers
406 views

Are there any words pronounced with an unstressed short monophthong at the end of word that are not /ə/?

Following my question Are there any words in English pronounced with /e/ at the end? I was wondering if there are any words pronounced with an unstressed short monophthong at the end of word that are ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

How to say “Castile” [closed]

I am from Castile, NY. As far as I can tell it is the only town in the USA with that name. We say the name like /kae-STAI-ol/, but I am aware that many people pronounce it like /kae-STEEL/. The name ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

Is there a phonetic difference between the final vowel sounds of “butter” and “action” in Australian English?

The Macquarie Dictionary lists the following pronunciations: butter /ˈbʌtə/, apart /əˈpaːt/ & action /ˈækʃən/. Wiktionary lists them as butter /ˈbʌ.tə/ (RP), apart /əˈpɑː(ɹ)t/ (RP) & action ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to pronounce family names?

Does anyone know a tool to look up names like Rumbaugh? Sometimes I hear something like "rumba" or even "rambo". Is there a dictionary where I could look up the correct pronunciation?
0
votes
1answer
85 views

“Unionized” vs. ”Un-ionized” [duplicate]

I know there exists a term for the to–too–two situation where the words are pronounced the same but spelled differently. Is there a term for the situation of unionized /ˈjuːnɪənɑɪzd/ and un-ionized ...
13
votes
3answers
786 views

What was going on with “quha”, “quhat” and the like in Scots and English?

From the Dictionar o the Scots Leid: Quha, Quhay, interrog. and rel. pron. Also: qwha, qha, qua, qwa, wha, vha, hua; qhaa; quhaw; quhai qwhay, whay, quay; quhae, whae; quhe, quhey, qwhey. ...
17
votes
7answers
10k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “AJAX”?

I have wondered for a while about how I should pronounce "AJAX" (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). I usually say "I-acs", as in the Amsterdam football club, but should I say "a-jacs" (as it looks in ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Do vowels have a natural pitch?

I cannot help but perceive the [i:] in be as "lighter" (higher in pitch) than the [æ] in cat. Boot sounds even lower (when not altering the pitch intentionally). Is that self-persuasion or could a ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is “bream” pronounced as “brim”?

Every time I catch an Acanthopagrus australis, commonly known as a yellowfin bream, I wonder why its name is prounced "brim", (as in the same way you would pronounce the brim of a hat). ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Palatalization of “t” followed by “y”

I often hear "that you" pronounced (roughly) like "thatch you". I've taken on pronouncing it like that until my English teacher implored me not to do so. Is there a consensus on whether this is rude ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

pronunciation : Vine vs Vineyard

Why vin in vine sounds similar to vice, but vin in vineyard is similar to that in the name Vincent? I would expect since both vine and vineyard are related to grape in some way, they probably should ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Why we say “an historical” but “a history” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h? Why do we say an historical but a history? This question was ...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

Where should I put stress on these sentences?

I am studying intonation and stress in English, and would like advice on where to put stress on these sentences. "How do you do?" Does it sound like this? HOW do you DO? Where should I put stress on ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

What does 'Roodow (wrongly spelled, only the sound)' mean?

In Australia, I have met a lot of people saying a word (sound like) 'roudow' to respond (mostly to end, like 'alright' equivalent) a conversation. I have been searching around but haven't got any clue ...
0
votes
1answer
309 views

TH sound, is it continuant or stop?

How do you all pronounce the TH sound when speaking fast? For example, I've learned to pronounce the TH sound like a continuant sound, for example the hard one: ð. I start doing a Z, so this Z go ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is “busy” pronounced “bizzy”?

Of all the ways I could come up with to pronounce the word "busy", "bizzy" would be very low on my list. At least "bussy" or "boosy". Why "bizzy"?
0
votes
0answers
104 views

Pronounciation of with

For me its quite hard to pronounce 'with' correctly, especially when I try to speak faster. For example saying 'with sauce" nearly breaks my tongue. Do you have any advice for me? Can I reduce the ...
36
votes
7answers
38k views

What is the correct way to pronounce 'router'?

Merriam-Webster lists both ˈrüt and ˈrau̇t as possible pronunciations for route but only ˈrau̇-tər for router. Is it really wrong to pronounce router as 'rüter ?
0
votes
1answer
229 views

Which is the correct phonetic transcription of the word play, [ple] or [plei]?

In some books, the long "a" found in words like say, play, etc. are transcribed as /sei/, /plei/ respectively but in some others the same words are transcribed /se/ and /ple/. Which one is correct? ...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

Correct pronunciation of historic

Here in the UK I have observed an odd change in perhaps the last five years and I’m curious to learn whether we have drifted away from or arrived at the correct pronunciation. It seems that the “H” ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

How to pronounce 100ish? [closed]

How do you pronounce 100ish and similar words? a hundred-ish ?
1
vote
2answers
299 views

How do you pronounce “lithe”?

The word lithe seems to be pronounced just like the adjective live (as in alive), as far as I can tell from listening to this sound sample. Had I not heard it, I would have expected it to be ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

How to emphasize pronunciation of a specific letter? [closed]

I have a client whos business name is TradOut — pronounced like “Trade Out”. What would be the best way to show that the pronunciation should sound like “trade” and not like “trahd”? We looked ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Correct pronunciation of either? [duplicate]

I'm doing subtitles for some videos on Youtube. I heard the words either and neither spoken in two different ways by the same person. Written it could be: ee-ther versus i-ther or n-ee-ther ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

How did the pronunciation of the word “derby” evolve?

Brits say "dar-bee" for both the town and the race, but Americans pronounce it as it's spelled. Did Brits used to say "der-bee" too and that's why it's spelled that way but they changed over time? ...