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Read these sentences?

"The red door."

"The blind date."

"The mad dog."

I would pronounce these as "The reddoor." and the "blinddate". Sort of pausing in the middle of the d with tongue pressed against teeth. In a way this would be how a Swedish person would pronounce the word "reddoor". As in here.

But I have also heard people (mostly announcers of some kind) deliberately try to pronounce the D twice. As in "The redduhdoor." or "The Blinduhdate." or "The madduhdog". As in here at 0:30.

I just wondered for people teaching English or pronunciation, how do would you teach your students to pronounce these words. And is this codified anywhere such as a pronounciation guide?

  • Which accent or dialect are you asking this for? I anticipate the Queen of England would say it differently to someone from Kentucky. – marcellothearcane Sep 28 at 21:17
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    Yeah, see ... one only does the double d to disambiguate words that might need that. Example: "My name is David[...]Dansworth." Enunciated so that the chimp at the Motor Vehicle Registry doesn't type "David Answorth." – Robusto Sep 28 at 21:28
  • This is one of those questions in which I hear myself saying the phrase over and over again trying to figure out what I actually say..and it seems to be turning into something akin to the "chicken noodle soup" challenge. I am pretty sure I would enunciate the 2 "Ds". – Cascabel Sep 28 at 22:07
  • @Robusto Intereting. That situation hadn't ocurred to me. But yes, I would say in most English dialects one would only pronunce the D once. Even David Duchovny most of the time! I will see how he pronounces his own name. – zooby Sep 28 at 22:07
  • @Cascabel What is the "chicken noodle soup" challenge. All I can find is some song by a k-pop band. – zooby Sep 28 at 22:08
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This is less a matter of pronunciation than diction.

Diction is defined as:

the accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality manifested by an individual speaker, usually judged in terms of prevailing standards of acceptability; enunciation.

Unfortunately, there is going to be a considerable amount of variation from person to person on this matter. British speakers will enunciate and elide differently from Americans, and so on and so forth. Regional accents will also impact heavily upon this.

As Robusto points out, the double d is usually only separated to clarify one word from another by most native speakers. But, someone whose profession requires more elocution (announcers, audiobook narrators, radio hosts, etc.) might do so as a matter of course. The British announcer in the linked video is deliberately extending his word endings in what we typically refer to as "announcer voice".

I have an American accent, I'm from the Northeastern United States. I'd say red door as two d sounds. But, I tend to elide blind date into "blinedate". In this case, it has more to do with frequency the words go together. Blind date is more common than red door, and hence may have melded into one word for me.

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