-2

ttiwdty

Not an initialism AFAIK (as far as I know) but an acronym like LASER and NATO. It's apparently trending on Urban Dictionary, although the down-votes outnumber the up-votes. It stands for The things I would do to you

Thumbs up: 6880 and thumbs down: 8584

In order to hear how it's pronounced you have to visit the page, there are three separate recordings by two men and one woman.

As I think this acronym is going to catch on, and I would like to be able to say this to my loved one when he comes to visit me for Christmas, my question is:

  • Can anyone transcribe the pronunciation of this "word"?
    Preferably in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). This is the consonant chart and this is the vowel chart. Both charts include audio.

Would I be correct in saying this word has a cluster of consonants that contain more than one alveolar tap or flap? I've never been keen on studying pronunciation, especially its terminology, but ttiwdty has a novel mix of sounds which I would like someone to explain using the appropriate terminology but to a layperson such as myself.


EDIT (December 4 2014):
Has anyone heard this acronym being said out aloud? Is it a real acronym/word? Or does it only exist in Urban Dictionary?

  • 1
    I also listened to all three, but the first two added at least one extra syllable. Me, I'd pronounce it as tiwd (like lewd but with tti) and add ty. But I'd rather say it, preferably not quite like the woman did. – anongoodnurse Nov 25 '14 at 11:11
  • 1
    The writing doesn't follow the usual restrictions of English spelling. Two 't's' in word initial position, 'iw' as a syllable center, 'dty'? Not everything needs to be pronounced, especially a random list of letters. – Mitch Nov 25 '14 at 11:54
  • It sounds to me like tut-you-ditty. I can't be bothered going through the process of transcribing that into IPA... – Roaring Fish Nov 25 '14 at 12:13
  • If I were gonna try, I'd probably go with tude'tee. Not for any particular reason, besides two vowels. – SrJoven Nov 25 '14 at 15:34
  • 1
    Honestly I would just pronounce it "titty" if it were something I had to pronounce =/ (not trying to be crude, that's seriously how I would pronounce it) – guifa Nov 26 '14 at 12:58
5

The first of those three recordings would be more or less how I would pronounce it if treating is as a ‘word’. He says, more or less:

[tˢʰ(ə̯)ˈtˢʰɪwdə̯tʰi]

He adds in a very brief schwa [ə̯] between the first two t’s, which I would not do: since initial /t/ in English is, to most speakers, actually an aspirated affricate [tˢʰ], rather than just an aspirated stop [tʰ], repeating the sound with no vocalic interruption is not particularly difficult: the aspirated affrication inherent in the sound itself moves the tongue away from the alveolar ridge, enabling you to create a new closure almost immediately.

Note that this does not go for the ‹dt› combination at the end, because 1) that /t/ is not initial (and therefore less aspirated and rarely affricated), and 2) the /d/ is syllable-final (and therefore never affricated; /d/ is of course never aspirated). So in that context, the introduction of a brief schwa is mandatory if you don’t want to end up with just a geminate [tː].

The female recording completely resegments the pronunciation as something like [tˢʰ(ə̯)dəˈwɪdi], which just makes it sound like someone having a hard time reading an unusual-looking word. Like when news anchors were faced with the infamous Eyjafjallajökull a few years back, and started adding in random vowels in random places and switching the position of the consonants, simply because the word was too much to handle in one go.

Naturally, the word is quite impossible within English phonotactics, which is why you’ll find so much variation in how people will pronounce it: you have to add in vowels here and there to make it a word possible to pronounce in English, and different people will do so in different ways. Some languages have very clearly defined phonetic rules that govern where and how anaptyctic vowels are inserted in which contexts, and depend heavily on these rules; but English is not such a language.

  • I'll need a couple of hours to study this but thank you. The "word" has five syllables, doesn't it? And the main stress is on the second syllable, right? – Mari-Lou A Nov 25 '14 at 12:49
  • 2
    I would say it has three or four syllables, depending on whether you count the little schwa between the two initial t’s as an actual syllable (and the stress thus on the first or second syllable, depending on the same thing). Phonologically, I’d probably say three, but phonetically, I’m sure most people would ‘clap’ four syllables: tə-TIW-də-ti. Not five, though. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '14 at 12:54
  • You're a star, thank you for the second transcription/spelling. – Mari-Lou A Nov 25 '14 at 12:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.