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

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1
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1answer
247 views

Pronunciation and meaning: “wind” and “wound”

I find it curious that there exist two words spelt wind ("a breeze" vs. "to turn") and two words spelt wound ("an injury" vs. the past participle of wind), and that the words in each pair are ...
10
votes
4answers
704 views

Pronouncing the “N” as separate syllable at the end of words like “known” and “pattern”

Over time, I have heard people pronounce the "n" on words like "known" (NO-en) and "pattern" (PAT-r-en), as though it were a separate syllable. The instances of my hearing such have been rare ones, ...
11
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
84 views

Pronunciation of the word “wite”

I thought the correct prononciation of the word "wite" is exactly same as "white". But Google Translate pronunciates it like "wit". Which is the exact pronunciation of wite?
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Proper way to pronounce and form the word for “The followers of Augusto Pinochet”

An article in this month's Monocle, discussing elections in Chile, referred to anti-Pinochetistas: The vote was attended by a throng of cheering anti-Pinochetistas. I am wondering how the word ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Why are “look” and “school” pronounced differently?

I can't figure out a rule that says whether 'oo' makes one sound or the other. Same number of syllables: one closed, but the sound is different.
1
vote
0answers
169 views

It's hard to pronounce some consonant combinations in English [closed]

I can't figure out any ways to speak fast and smoothly some sound combinations. Would you nativer speakers provide any help? Could you tell me how your tongues move while speaking them? The dental ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “sergeant” pronounced “sargent”?

I remember when I first came across this word, I thought it was pronounced /'sɜr-dʒint/ (SER-jeent). Now I am curious as to why the first syllable is pronounced /sar/ rather than /sɜr/. I looked at ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

What does “Do you haz teh codez?” mean?

There is a banner in StackOverflow pointing to the careers website (programmers): Do you haz teh codez? My questions about the sentence/question are: What's the question in plain English? Why ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Why do people pronounce “Naomi” as “Niomi”?

The Wikipedia page for "Naomi (given name)" says "pronounced nay-oh-mee" which is how I pronounce my daughter's name, but quite often people pronounce it "nigh-oh-mee" (that is, with a long "i" ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

A couple of quick questions related to “Messrs”

How is "Messrs" pronounced? The meaning is the plural of "Mister", right? Does that mean that "Misters" is not a word? Is "Messrs" a word that is more commonly used in England than the United ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

What is the suffix in indexed math symbols

I've been watching some online courses and I'm having a difficulty understanding what exactly are they saying. The courses are scientific in nature and rather often an indexed symbols appear. The ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I practice differentiating between the “æ” and “ɛ” sounds in English phonology?

For a non-native English speaker like me, it's always been hard to sound æ and ɛ differently. For example, "salary" and "celery" are two words that I tend to pronounce identically. Is it OK to go on ...
1
vote
0answers
835 views

Why do certain words have the same type of spelling but different pronunciation? [duplicate]

There are words like 'but' , 'cut' etc pronounced in the same way, but 'put' is pronounced differently. Put has the same structure as but and cut (One 'u' between two consonants). So why is it ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

Incorrectly transliterated foreign words that have been improved [closed]

Seeking a list of several foreign words (usually names, but any noun) that have been borrowed from other languages, but originally transliterated/pronounced incorrectly and are now being improved into ...
16
votes
3answers
23k views

Why is the word 'bologna' pronounced like 'baloney'?

Why is the word 'bologna' (as in a bologna sandwich) pronounced so differently from the way it's spelled? The word 'lasagna' isn't pronounced 'lasagney'... The American sausage is derived from a ...
9
votes
2answers
308 views

Why doesn't the silent “e” work on “infinite”? [duplicate]

Why doesn't the silent "e" work on the word "infinite"? What I mean is, why does mate have a long "a", but infinite has a short "i"?
3
votes
1answer
154 views

pronunciation: autistic

Words comforted and healed my discontent when I discovered that Brendan, my beautiful first-born son was severely autistic with limited speech. (Benita Porter, The Power of Words) - audio ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

Pronunciation Help [closed]

My wife and I want to name our baby Ruud. Would we need to use two dots over the u so that people know how to pronounce it or is it fine the way it is?
2
votes
5answers
194 views

How should one pronounce “Brichester”?

I know that there is this issue where Worcestershire and Leicester are pronounced as "Wustersher" and "Lester", so I wonder how Brichester is pronounced. Also, is there any special rule which could ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

How to pronounce “beach” and “bitch”? What's the difference?

I often talk with friends using the phone and I'm not sure how to correctly pronounce the word "beach". Some people hear it as a "bitch". It really makes me upset! How do I pronounce these words ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

How to pronounce the 's at the end of names that end with s

For example: Lucas's dog was joyful. do I pronounce the first word the exact same as if I just said Lucas, or do I say lucas-es?
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Schwa insertion into the bi-consonantal onset for emphasis?

I want to know if American English speakers have regional differences in inserting the schwa between initial consonants of words such as great, crazy, professional, and crash for emphasis. For a case ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the correct pronunciation of “Israel”?

From Google I have gathered there are several ways for pronounce Israel, I have pronounced it is-rye-el. From googling it some seem to indicate it acceptable and another says it is vulgar and should ...
3
votes
2answers
515 views

Pronunciation of final T sounds in English

What's the word to describe the phenomenon of the final 't' sound becoming a stop without aspiration, vs. how it sounds at the beginning of a word? Does any one particular dialect/accent of English ...
6
votes
7answers
834 views

LEDs and the correct pronunciation

The LED is quickly becoming a standard light source alternative to incandescent lights, when speaking to others, I have always pronounced any reference to LED as the acronym "L E D", but increasingly ...
3
votes
2answers
24k 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?
6
votes
2answers
647 views

Attention Americans: Do you use the SILENT H in the beginning? [duplicate]

English is my mother tongue and we often follow the British pronunciations. However, something caught my attention recently. In my Oxford dictionary, I noticed that so many words that begin with 'wh' ...
2
votes
2answers
419 views

how to pronounce 'Uriel'? [closed]

I have a student whose name is 'Uriel' and I'm just wondering how I should pronounce it!
26
votes
7answers
24k views

Is “forte” pronounced “fort” or “for-tay”?

I've always heard people say something like "Pronunciation is not my [for-tay]" ... but I feel that I've heard that the correct pronunciation is "Confusing people is my [fort]" What is the ...
8
votes
1answer
965 views

Word contractions in Shakespeare's plays

In Shakespeare's plays it is common to find contracted words, such as "o'er", "e'en", "sulph'uous", "ta'en". Is it just a literary device or those words were actually pronounced (in day-to-day speech) ...
11
votes
5answers
553 views

Pronunciation of “often”

How should often be pronounced in formal speech? "off-ten" or "of-fen"?
2
votes
3answers
963 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
689 views

English pronunciation by Spanish speakers

A typical pronunciation problem for Spanish speakers is that of words that begin with 'S + consonant'. For example, Spain may be pronounced eh-spain. What are other standard (eh-standar) pronunciation ...
1
vote
1answer
276 views

Why is the pronunciation of 'ch' different in chamber and chameleon? [duplicate]

Sometimes ch is pronounced as /k/, as in chorus/chameleon. Sometimes as /tʃ/, as in chamber/chalk. Why is it so?
1
vote
4answers
836 views

pronunciation US-UK in words like semi

I am trying to find a document that explains pronunciation differences en /E/ and /I/ sounds between UK and US styles. I think US pronunciation does a lot /'sɛmay/ than UK /'sɛmi/. Where can I find an ...
3
votes
3answers
169 views

How to Pronounce family name called “Penhallow”

How to pronounce family name Penhallow? I'm translating the "A Tangled Web" story by L.M.Montgomery to Russian.
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Do 'inq' and 'ink' sound similar? [closed]

Do 'inq' and 'ink' sound similar? I want to register a domain name which is related to data (writing stuff). Is it okay to use 'inq' rather than 'ink'?
5
votes
3answers
468 views

What is the word used to describe a particular type of sound made with language?

What is the word used to describe a particular type of sound made with language? Is it a "tone"? For example, the "ai" in Thailand produces a sound. And, what is the word for this language system ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Why is “me” pronounced like “me” but “ne” is not pronounced with the same e sound?

Why is "me" pronounced like "me" but "ne" is not pronounced with the same e sound? According to a professor, "ne" is pronounced like "nuh". Why is it like this? And more generally, does there exist ...
5
votes
10answers
2k views

Fun and enjoyable ways to practice pronunciation?

English is not my native language and I'm really proud of being able to write it quite well. I have lots of problems with pronunciation though. In Finnish most words are pronounced the same as they ...
2
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
6k 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
1answer
1k views

A British pronunciation issue

Most dictionaries list the pronunciation of issue as /ˈɪʃuː/ (ĭsho͞o) in American English and /ˈɪs.juː/ (ĭsyo͞o) possibly alongside /ˈɪʃjuː/ (ĭshyo͞o) and /ˈɪʃuː/ in British English. One informal ...
1
vote
1answer
4k 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
197 views

How to pronounce 'App' correctly?

I wrote an App and published it. In this sentence, how to pronounce app correctly? a-p-p or ei-pu?
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Words with a leading silent w

My eldest is a beginning reader. Yesterday we read one of my favorite books, The Wreck of the Zephyr. He pointed at wreck and asked me why that one looked like it said "wuh-reck." I explained that ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

Is there a rule for the correct pronunciation of words starting with “ex”?

The following words are pronounced starting with an iks / igz: extent [ɪkˈstent] expect [ɪk'spekt] exterminate [ɪk'stɜːmɪneɪt] external [ɪkˈstɜːn(ə)l] exhaust [ɪg'zɔːst] examine [ɪg'zæmɪn] ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Pronunciation of “great” vs. “treat” [closed]

Why is great pronounced /greit/ while in other words the ea is pronounced differently? Take treat, for example: /tri:t/. Why are two words with the same number of vowels and consonants and the same ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the ending -ough have six pronunciations?

There are "cough", "tough", "bough", "through", and "though" (and "hiccough", if you're not from the U.S.); each of which has a different pronunciation for the ending "-ough". Why is this? Edit for ...