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14

How a car manufacturer names its models is more of a marketing preference than anything, but in general you'll find that the Porche model is the norm. Ask any schoolchild to read aloud the number "911" and you'll get "nine hundred and eleven", not "nine one one". The telephone number 9-1-1 was, as you speculated, spelled out specifically to prevent people ...


11

Sean (written "Seán" or "Séan" in Irish) is a Hibernization of the English name "John"; that is, it's a transliteration of "John" into a form which can be pronounced in Irish and written with the Irish alphabet (which nowadays is simply a version of the Roman alphabet). The Irish language does not have the sound /ʤ/ (the sound which ...


10

Stressing GOOD emphasizes that something is good, while stressing PRETTY emphasizes the qualifier that it's only pretty good, not good or very good. You could almost imagine "PRETTY good" being followed by a "but," for example: "This sandwich is pretty GOOD" vs. "This sandwich is PRETTY good, but I've had better."


8

The direct answer to your immediate question is because it never had one — and so of course it couldn’t possibly lose something it never had. The problem is that you’ve asked a bit of a backwards question; the frontwards question is: Why did pronunciation, annunciation, enunciation, renunciation all change their vowel for the verbs pronounce, announce, ...


8

One could equally ask why isn't coffee spelled coffea, coffe, coffi, coffy, koffee, or kaffe? The word "coffee", pronounced /ˈkɒf.i/, is said to be a loan word from the Dutch koffie. Which begs the question why the dark red-brown beverage wasn't spelled koffee or koffie. In Italian it is pronounced and spelt caffè and etymologists claim it was derived ...


7

There is the term Rhotacism http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rhotacism which relates to the difficulty in producing what many would consider to be a 'typical' /r/.


7

911, the phone number, involves a physical pressing of three keys while the car model can be thought of as shorthand for "nine hundred eleven" and the date is a month (9) and a day (11). The reason 800 in a phone number is used differently, I think, is that it is just one portion of a longer number. Since 800 was the sole toll free long distance exchange ...


4

The Porsche 911 was originally named the "901" but that had to be changed to "911" because Peugeot had the trademark for cars named (X0Y). My guess is that Porsche was already thinking of the car as the "9" series, and the first model's name of the 9 series was changed to "nine eleven" because calling it the "nine one one" wouldn't make sense to them.


4

Phonemic /t/ can have at least these allophones in English, depending on speaker and situation: [tʰ] [t] [t̞] [t̪] [ɾ] [ʔ] The last one is what you are hearing in that speaker; it is the same glottal stop that occurs between the two identical vowels in the eel. Wikipedia notes that /t/ can become [ʔ] in some positions in Scottish English, English ...


3

In general, the inability to pronounce a particular sound (that everyone else in the community can) is called a speech impediment This is more likely to describe a lisp or stammer or more serious inability arising from a physical disability or neurological problem.


3

During the Irish potato famine 1845-1852 more than a million Irish emigrated to America. This influx probably affected pronunciation in the areas of America where immigrants were concentrated.


3

There is a case that "lurry" is the original pronounciation. The Online Etymological Dictionary gives this origin: "a truck; a long, flat wagon," 1838, British railroad word, probably from verb lurry "to pull, tug"(1570s), of uncertain origin. Meaning "large motor vehicle for carrying goods" is first attested 1911." According to Wikipedia, meanwhile, ...


3

As a native of East Yorkshire, England, this difference has always interested me. In that area, we have the same difference in diphthong-length between, say, 'site' and 'side' as in RP English. But in WEST Yorkshire, they're both pronounced long. I'd always thought that it was semantically unimportant until I realized that in some varieties of North ...


2

The true answer to this question is perhaps best explained by The Ballad of Shameless Enjambent, a cautionary tale here reproduced by kind permission of its author: From far and wide, they’ve come to list-         en, watch, and judge her plea. Beneath the lights her skin aglist-         en drips and drabbles free. Before she speaks she stops to ...


2

A few accurate statements above, ie Australian is a blend of accents from all parts of the British Isle although admittedly it has a more east London sounding twang than anywhere else in Britain, but let me expand on that. Firstly there is no such thing as a British accent per say. The accent in the north east of England is as different from say Oxford in ...


2

It would be a fine thing to have no irregularities in languages. But languages were not created at the drawing-board. They evolved over long periods of time. And if a word is borrowed from French as chef ( head or master of the kitchen) then it normally has the French pronunciation and that is /shef/. It seems you have not yet discovered how many ...


2

It helps if you understand the origins of the words. Chair has been in the English language for a long time. Chef is a more recent borrowing from French, and hence is still pronounced the French way.


2

The English writing system is at fault and every native speaker knows that. "In a Garden-of-Eden writing system, you would have a single letter for each speech-sound and one speech-sound for each single letter." Language Myths German is much more like that than English, and several other languages too. Although a large number of English words do ...


2

There is no difference in pronunciation between the last syllables of practical and miracle. There may have been when English spelling was codified, but I suspect even this wasn't true. There is a difference in pronunciation between /-kəl/ and /-kl̩/. However, these are allophones in English, meaning that no words are distinguished by this difference. ...


2

If the word you're looking for should literally mean "unable to pronounce a rolled R," then Guarin42's answer looks great. On the other hand, if the connotation is "this person can't pronounce a certain sound, indicating that they come from a certain group," then you could say that the word or sound they can't pronounce would be a shibboleth. This word ...


2

It appears it is for reproducing the sound of e that otherwise would be mute: There is only just a handful words that have a single [-e] which is pronounced: psyche / recipe / apostrophe / catastrophe / simile / resume'. And of course, one-syllable words with just one [-e], such as “me”, “he”, “we”, “she” or “be”, can’t have a silent vowel! ...


1

It's a slurring of the following sounds. In your "similar" examples try replacing them. Thread sounds pretty distinct from tread. Python is not the same a pyson. Going over it in my head and articulating it out I'm realizing Thread is tongue starting from the top of the teeth, Python is the tongue coming back inwards.


1

To add on to the other excellent suggestions, I would like to mention Simon and Garfunkel's songs, which are often extremely moving and meaningful, with very deep (and often richly ironic) lyrics. An example: I am a Rock. Note that the vocals may not be exceptionally clear, so try to find videos with lyrics (like the one I linked). Another great song is Don ...


1

I wouldn't rely too strongly upon the written pronunciation in any dictionary. As Captain Barbossa of The Black Pearl said of the Pirate's Code: "It's more of a guideline than a rule." I am an American English speaker living on the Northwest coast of the US. I pronounce the final syllable in these words exactly the same. Others may pronounce them ...


1

The OED registers the following spellings, just for English, in chronological order: Forms: α. (15 caoua, chaoua, 16 cahve, coava, coave, cahu, coho, kauhi, kahue, cauwa); β. 16 coffa, caffa, capha; γ. 16 caphe, cauphe, cophie, coffi(e), coffey, coffea, coffy, 16–17 coffe, cophee, caufee, 16– coffee. So, as you can see, it took a long time for the ...


1

In standard pronunciation the l is silent in "talk/walk" and similar words (see list above). This is a matter of simplification of pronunciation. After the long vowel /o:/ (this is not the correct phonetic sign) the consonant group lk is regularly simplified to /k/ as the clear pronunciation of /l+k/ would be cumbersome.


1

I've often wondered about the pronunciation of this word. Where I live in New England, we pronounce any Spanish word that has an X, such as "Mexico," in the anglicized version, unless we are speaking in Spanish. For that matter, when we refer to Cologne, Germany, we don't say "Köln, Deutschland," either, unless we are speaking in German. So why would we ...


1

I am from Connecticut originally and moved to the Midwest. I grew up with it as "on"t. I always thought "ant" was a mispronunciation. After moving, all people I've encountered said, "ant". Upon research, I found out that Eastern VA and the North east (particularly New England) say "on"t whereas the rest of the country "ant" is standard. Both are ...



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