This is just something I've noticed over the last few years in the English (UK) media and I wondered if there is some explanation for it.

It used to be that 'financial' and 'finance' were pronounced with an 'iy' sound (fiynancial) - the I sound from 'sigh' or 'bye' for example. But it seems that all newsreaders and correspondents are currently under instructions to pronounce these with a hard I such as the I from 'kick'.

I find this particularly irksome with the word 'finance' for some reason!

Has anyone else noticed this? Is there a reason? Is it an Americanism?

  • 1
    The "correct" pronunciation, as given by the 1892 Webster's International Dictionary (American) and John Walker's 1828 Pronouncing Dictionary of the English Language (British) has the short vowel of "kick". So you're wrong about the "way it used to be." I suspect that both pronunciations have been around for the last 70 years. Of course, that doesn't explain why British newsreaders have suddenly settled on one pronunciation, if indeed they have and you're not just noticing it more because you started paying attention. Jun 12, 2015 at 11:38
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    I almost think pronouncing it 'fiynancial' is more an example of Americanism. Jun 12, 2015 at 11:46
  • There is example of pronounciation of finance and financial. As you say, the right pronounciation is like "bye"
    – Yohann V.
    Jun 12, 2015 at 11:48
  • El -- pronunciations change constantly.
    – Fattie
    Jun 12, 2015 at 13:05
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    @Peter Shor: Is the pronunciation with a short "i" associated with a stress on the second syllable of "finance"? That pronunciation is a lot easier for me to imagine than one with stress on the first syllable, like "FINN-ance". As an American, I'm used to pronouncing it with a stressed and diphthongal first syllable.
    – herisson
    Jun 12, 2015 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


As a Brit I can only take the BBC as an example of correct pronunciation; they have departments for these things. Though the fin/fine thing does occur, it seems to me both versions of the word are generally pronounced "fiynancial".

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