Linked Questions

7
votes
1answer
2k views

Sound changes of “wild” and “wilderness” [duplicate]

I'm having a heated a discussion with a friend and we cannot really get on the same level. In the original pronunciation of the word wild, the "i" was the short sound that we have in the word ...
18
votes
5answers
117k views

How to pronounce the letter 'i'

Every time I read a new and unknown word containing the letter 'i' I wonder how I should pronounce it. What's very frustrating for me is that, when I look up the words, I find out that my gut feeling ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is “build” spelt with a “u”?

I was just looking at build on Wiktionary and I noticed that in Middle English the word was bilden. Where did the u come from? I can understand why words such as guide have a u; it's to make the g "...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do “bomb” and “tomb” have different pronunciations?

For example, "womb" comes from old English, whereas "bomb" and "tomb" come from old French. I'm not sure what import etymology has on pronounciation, but I was just wondering if there is any reason in ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the current scholarly opinion on the “minims” explanation for the spelling of “love”, “tongue,” etc?

According to the Online Etymology dictionary (as cited in this question How was the letter -u- written in Old English?): The substitution of Middle English -o- for Old English -u- before -m-, -n-,...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the word “wind” mean in this John Donne poem?

“Go and Catch a Falling Star”, by John Donne Go and catch a falling star,         Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are,         Or who cleft the devil's foot, Teach me to ...
11
votes
2answers
673 views

Did the non-standard pronunciation of “gold” as “goold” come from an Old English sound change?

John Walker in his Critical Pronunciation Dictionary (1791) transcribes the pronunciation of the word “gold” as go¹ld, or go²o²ld which in modern transcription equates to /goʊld/ or /guːld/. He ...
-1
votes
2answers
938 views

Why is “country” not pronounced like “count-tree”?

Why is country pronounced /ˈkʌntɹi/ and not /ˈkaʊntɹi/ ?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do people pronounce “f***ing” like “f***en”? [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker so I might not be exactly accurate with this, but whenever people (e.g. in films) say fucking, it sounds something like fucken. There's no "g" at the end and instead ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Blood/roof and so on [duplicate]

I have a question, which I have been thinking about the last 50 years. I know, that the word "blood" is prononcued "blaad" and I know. that "roof" is prononcued "ruuf", boot like "buut" , tool like "...