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5
votes
1answer
464 views

How did “defect” and “defect” come to have different pronunciations?

There are many interesting events in the history of the English language. Which one of them gave us “defect” (noun, /diːˈfɛkt/, imperfection) and “defect” (verb, /dɪˈfɛkt/ , change allegiances)?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to stress any word properly?

Personally I think stress is one of the hardest things. There are thousands of words around, so most likely I cannot remember all stress-marks of every word then pronounce them exactly. Is it so ...
5
votes
1answer
890 views

Why is the verb form of “record” pronounced [ri-kawrd] but the noun form is pronounced [rek-erd]?

Is there a different origin of pronunciation style for record as a verb and as a noun? Fun fact: in OS X, if you type say "this record" and say "record this" — the text to speech system picks up the ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

What is the proper emphasis for the word “indent”?

Does indent carry an accent on the first or the second vowel? I've seen both in IPA. My non-native ear would tend to favor the first.
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don’t we write poetry like Beowulf any longer?

Beowulf, the Old English epic poem, uses a characteristically Germanic style of poetry in which the number of strong beats per line is what counts. Instead of counting syllables, strong beats alone ...
4
votes
2answers
727 views

Prosodic stress

What difference do different stress positions make to the meaning of the following sentence: What would you like? What would you like? What would you like? What would you like?
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Telling the time “3:15” in American English

Which of the followings is the most common way to say 3:15 in American English? A quarter past three A quarter after three Three fifteen Also, in the last example "three fifteen", ...