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Dictionaries say that the word "preference" has got the accent on the first syllable.

In a film the actor Jonny Lee Miller pronounced it with accent on the second syllable. It was not the first time I heard somebody pronounce it that way.

Where does it come from?

  • Perhaps there is some influence here from the word preferment which is normally accented on the second syllable? – Sven Yargs Nov 19 '14 at 8:25
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The generally accepted pronunciation, at least in Britain, is PREFerence. That is what is preFERRED, and the one that I particularly preFER. (Note how the emphasis changes).

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