Linked Questions

43 votes
4 answers
16k views

Why do I pronounce "horrible" so harrhibly?

With Friends Like These A few months ago, a couple good friends brought up a topic they know I disdain, and kept prodding me for my opinion on it. They wouldn't let up, until finally I proclaimed "[...
Dan Bron's user avatar
  • 28.4k
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did John Wells need three lexical sets--NORTH, FORCE and THOUGHT--for the same vowel /ɔː/?

The standard Lexical sets for English were introduced by professor John Wells which are widespread. Each lexical set represents a vowel present in a number of words, for example: the THOUGHT vowel /ɔː/...
user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
7k views

Difference in pronunciation between 'warship' and 'worship'?

I came across these words together in a text, and I was wondering whether they are pronounced the same way. 'War' is actually pronounced as 'wor', so I'm not entirely sure. When I pronounce them, I ...
pimvdb's user avatar
  • 573
3 votes
6 answers
5k views

Pronunciation of "lorry", "worry" and "sorry"

I have always pronounced lorry as "lur-ee" (as if to rhyme with worry), for as long as I can remember. Everyone else I know pronounces it as "lor-ee" (as if to rhyme with sorry). Which one is ...
rickyduck's user avatar
  • 175
2 votes
2 answers
11k views

Why is the L silent in "walk" but not in "bulk"?

TL;DR Why is the letter L silent in walk, talk, calm, folk, half, chalk etc but not silent in bulk, hulk, milk, silk, bold, bald? Explanation of the question and Research: The letter L seems to be ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
6k views

What accents pronounce "quarter" as "korter"? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 82.6k
3 votes
4 answers
4k views

What are the differences in pronunciation of "borrow", "burrow" and "burro" in American English?

What are the differences in pronunciation of "borrow", "burrow" and "burro" in American English? To me they all sound quite the same, especially when spoken quickly.
brilliant's user avatar
  • 8,988
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Where did "sorry" get its vowel sound?

Sorry has two pronunciations in my dictionary: ˈsärē and ˈsôrē. The first is the one I am interested in because, as someone pointed out to me, the or pattern in English is nearly always pronounced as "...
MrHen's user avatar
  • 35.8k
4 votes
1 answer
385 views

Why are long e and o most prone to be diphthongised by English speakers?

As a teacher of languages, it has struck me how English vowels love not just diphthongs, but even triphthongs, and this tendency presents itself in how native English speakers generally tend to ...
Canned Man's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
851 views

Pronunciation of “tour”

Is the following pronunciation of the word “tour” attested in any common dialect of British English? [tɔ˞] This is approximately how I, a native British English speaker, pronounce it. However, it’s ...
TheProseMix's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do /ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ diphthongs actually exist in General American as phonemes?

The Handbook of English Pronunciation. (Marnie Reed, John Levis referring to J.C. Wells) Аs the pronunciation of most speakers is rhotic, there are no centring diphthongs, because the vowels /ɪə,...
Disodium's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
371 views

How can “Harold” and “Herald” ever sound the same?

I was reading a book¹ recently where the main protagonist is fixated on homonyms and has rules that proper nouns are not homonyms and gives Harold and herald as an example of words that sound the same ...
Fumblina's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

What’s the rule for the sound of the letter A in the middle of three-letter words?

How do you actually pronounce A when it's in the middle of a 3 letter word like mac or rap? I hear many Americans say those words with a clear AAA sound, like the AA sound of the start of the word ...
shinzou's user avatar
  • 1,193
7 votes
2 answers
510 views

Why do I have a different vowel in "scarf" than I have in "scarves", and how come nobody talks about this?

So in my opinion, scarves is pronounced as the dictionary has it: with a Short O or /a/. But I believe that scarf and other "ar" words that are followed by voiceless consonants, are not actually ...
Sheila Lebedenko's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
964 views

Pronunciation: vowels before dark L (Any accent)

To native speakers of English, how do you compare a vowel before a dark L and one without a dark L. Example words: gold, goal, sold, soul, hole, hold, bowl, bold go, so, ho, bow(noun) . pool, ...
Yordan Grigorov's user avatar

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