What is the correct pronunciation of direct? I found two different pronunciations. Probably both of them are true, but what, if anything, is the difference?

  • A pronunciation is neither true nor false. It may, however, be correct, incorrect, standard or non-standard, preferred, optional, antiquated, regional, obsolete, and so forth. – DavidC Sep 23 '15 at 22:05
  • Sometimes "DIE-rect" is used as a form of emphasis, even though the speaker would normally say "dur-ect". – Hot Licks Sep 24 '15 at 0:21

dɪˈrekt (di-rect, pronounced with a short vowel sound i) and dʌɪ-rekt (d'EYE-rect, pronounced with a long vowel sound I) don't correspond to different meanings of the word "direct". They're both correct, and can be used interchangeably for the multiple meanings of "direct" depending on a person's preference or on regional difference.


The difference in pronunciation comes from something known as the "Great Vowel Shift" which happened from the 14th century to the 16th century and gave significant changes to vowel sounds such as I>U and E>O


"direct" became "durect" so the difference is that the latter is more modern way to pronounce the word.

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