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

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8
votes
4answers
3k views

Pronunciation of vowel in vague as [æ] instead of [eɪ]

I have a friend who pronounces the vowel in plague, vague, and bagel as [æ] instead of the standard [eɪ] (so plague rhymes with flag, for instance). Interestingly, he apparently can't tell the ...
1
vote
4answers
92 views

How to pronounce R² [duplicate]

How do I pronounce R² as seen in chemistry formulas or maths? I can pronounce it as "R-square" but what other word is there for "square"?
15
votes
11answers
26k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is “t” sometimes pronounced like “d” in American English?

Why, in American English, is the word Italy is pronounced /ˈɪdəli/ and not /ˈɪtəli/? What is the rule that is followed in the pronunciation of Italy to make the letter t pronounced like a d? Why is ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Why is 'adjectival' pronounced with [ɑi] in the third syllable rather than [ɪ]?

Recently I asserted that the third syllable in 'adjectival' is different from the same syllable in 'adjective'. I was asked why that is, and all I could do was mutter something about the addition of ...
0
votes
2answers
215 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”?
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Pronunciation of council/counsellor

I have heard sometimes the [æ] vowel in either concil [kaʊnsl/kounsəl] or counsellor [kaʊnsələ(r)/kouns(ə)lər], as in this British pronunciation of counsellor. It sounds rather like cat [kæt] than cow ...
-1
votes
5answers
198 views

How do you pronounce “grimace”? [closed]

How do you pronounce grimace? My parents taught me a long time ago to say "gri-MACE". Then the Burger King character Gri... came along.
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Are the words “whine” and “wine” pronounced the same?

These two words sound exactly the same to me. Are we assuming the "h" in "whine" is silent?
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

Are the words “merry”, “marry” and “Mary” pronounced the same? [duplicate]

These three words sound exactly alike to me. Example: "The merry man married Mary!" Is there a different pronunciation between these three words? Does having an accent change the pronunciation? Is ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

How to pronounce “arch” in Linuxese?

Tech stands for technique or technology. But how should one pronounce tech? Is it as /tɛk/ as in technical or /tɛtʃ/ as in tetchy? Similarly, arch stands for architect or architecture. How do you ...
7
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
158 views

Exercises for pronouncing the r

I'm a dutch programmer working in a international team where English is the main language. In my native language I have pretty decent articulation. However, when speaking English I have a lot of ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

about the word data [duplicate]

I though it was British vs. American but watching Star Trek I've noticed the same character using two different pronunciations. Then I noticed other characters doing the same. Is there any rule for ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What's the status of voiceless “t” in AmE?

The theory has it that in the US people tend to voice intervocalic "T" like in writer sounding more or less like rider. My question is - how do Americans perceive voiceless pronunciation? (Not only in ...
2
votes
2answers
286 views

Pronunciation of “the” before a long u sound

All my life I have been hearing and pronouncing /ði/(unstressed) in "the US", "the UK" and "the UN", but I'm not sure that was correct. How do you pronounce "the" before a long u sound? I searched ...
2
votes
3answers
649 views

Can organisations personally determine pronunciation of their own brand name?

In fact, question from the title. Are there any traditions, customs about stressed syllables of brands? The problem is - many of brands contained fictional words, which, of course, have not been ...
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

How to pronounce letter “e” in new invented brand names? (in fictional words) [duplicate]

Ok guys, let's imagine that I'm creator of names of legal entities. So, if the name of the next organisation is fully new (the words don't use ever before), then how can I understand what sounds it's ...
18
votes
5answers
12k views

What is the pronunciation of “the”?

I read that the definite article is pronounced differently depending on the word that follows it. Which is the exact pronunciation of the?
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are many TV personalities beginning to pronounce “daughter” as “dotter”?

I have noticed the changing of proununciations of words with -au and -aw by TV presenters which is spilling over into everyday speech. For example “dotter” for daughter, “otto” for auto, “jah” for ...
4
votes
4answers
258 views

Does the letter i serve as a consonant in words like “onion” and “view”?

Some more words: union, behavior, Daniel. And the second i in opinion, familiar, brilliant, California. I am especially concerned with American English.
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Foreign name usage in conversation [duplicate]

I’m English and confused. Is jalapeno spoken with the sound ‘jal’ or ‘hal’? ‘Hal’ is how Spanish people pronounce it, but I’m English. If the answer’s ‘hal’, do I say I’m going to ‘Paree’ instead of ...
14
votes
4answers
20k views

Why is the 'w' silent in “sword”?

In RP English, the 'w' in "sword" is silent. Wiktionary suggests /sɔːd/ and /soʊrd/. Why? Are there other words like this? The 'w' is pronounced in words like "swollen", "swoop", "sworn" and "swore". ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

How to pronounce “gemænscipe”?

I'm not sure if Old English counts here, but I can't find the answer to this anywhere. How would one pronounce gemænscipe? I believe it's Old English for "community".
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “especially”

In some podcasts (it seems the speaker was from California) I heard that the word "especially" was pronounced with "ks" sound like "ikspeshally". What was it likely to be, personal way of ...
20
votes
11answers
22k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “ma’am”?

Back in the day, the word ma’am (when addressing the Queen) was always pronounced “marm”. British TV shows from before the 80s confirm this. In the movie The Queen, we are told that the correct ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

How do you pronounce the surname Derges [closed]

How do you pronounce the english surname of a famous artist-Derges
0
votes
1answer
464 views

How do you pronounce “read receipt”? [closed]

Is it past tense (/rɛd/) or present tense (/rid/)? I can imagine rationale for either choice. Past tense because it's an acknowledgment that the message has been read, or present tense because it's ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to pronounce “AKA”?

How do you pronounce the acronym AKA (also known as)?
10
votes
2answers
369 views

Pronunciation of street/road/avenue/etc. names

About three decades ago I read a book on English usage that was already quite old at the time—I think it was a 1940s book—which pointed out a pronunciational habit that I hadn't noticed before. The ...
1
vote
1answer
337 views

Pronunciation of the apostrophe

Is there a rule regarding the pronunciation (or lack of) of the apostrophe? I have seen this on tv: "Enchantress' wrath" pronounced as "Echantresses wrath" "Gus' schedule" pronounced as ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

What is the origin of the word “What”?

Where does the word what come from? Why do we say wot when it's spelt the way it is?
5
votes
3answers
298 views

Why is “poignant” pronounced /ˈpɔɪɲənt/?

I felt a little bit strange when I heard poignant pronounced as /ˈpɔɪɲənt/. It is also pronounced as /ˈpɔɪgnənt/, but the former seems to be more popular. A word stagnant has similar spelling, but ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Pronunciation of the words 'height' and 'weight'

Why is "height" an "weight" pronounced differently, when the spellings are so similar? Is there any logical explanation or it evolved that way?
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Rule to pronounce words ending with “age”

Is there a rule to pronounce words ending with "age" ? ex : usage , outage => normal pronunciation of word "age" ex : sabotage , mirage => seems to be french pronunciation of "age"
19
votes
5answers
8k views

Reason for different pronunciations of “lieutenant”

While Americans (and possibly others) pronounce this as "loo-tenant", folks from the UK pronounce it as "lef-tenant". Why?
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Unnecessarily Using a Long “E” Sound in Plurals Whose Singular Form Ends in “S”

Singular "analysis" becomes plural "analyses". The e has a long sound because otherwise the two would sound the same. This seems to be a pretty solid rule for nouns whose singular form ends in "is" ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Pronunciation of 'smoothed'

The -ed suffix for the past form of verbs is pronounced /-d/ after a voiced sound (e.g.: allowed: /əˈlaʊd/), /-t/ after a voiceless one and (e.g.: walked: /wɔːkt/) and /-ɪd/ after /t/ and /d/ (e.g.: ...
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

Pronunciations of different accent [closed]

Would it be possible for me to to listen different pronunciations in english. Regards, Aboli
2
votes
5answers
179 views

Why is “agnostic” pronounced “ag-gnostic” as opposed to “a-gnostic”?

Gnosticism, for example, is obviously not pronounced with a hard g. As far as I know the modern English use of agnostic is said to have originated with Thomas Huxley, who surely would have been aware ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Relaxed Pronunciation

As a court reporter & supervisor for 34 years our rule of thumb in the transcription of evidence, many people relax their pronunciation whilst on the stand, such as "gotta, kinda" but we've always ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Why are the first syllables of “nature” and “natural” pronounced differently?

The two words nature and natural have the radical, why are they pronounced differently?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Aspirated letters vs. Silent letters

How are aspirated letters different from silent letters when pronouncing a word?
6
votes
6answers
7k views

Pronunciation of “comparable”

I was talking to my boyfriend about this but I wanted to get some more opinions. "Comparable" can be pronounced as: COMP-er-uh-bul (which is how I usually pronounce it) Com-PAIR-ah-bul (which ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Are American vowels drifting backwards?

I have 2 young daughters who like many their age are currently obsessed by "Frozen". I watched it for the first time last night and actually ended up googling to work out whether Elsa's sister is ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
1
vote
1answer
281 views

Why is “threshold” pronounced “thresh-hold”?

Why is threshold pronounced "thresh-hold"?
17
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...