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Questions tagged [pronunciation]

for questions about the sound, stress, or intonation of spoken words.

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Are "reasons" or "rhymes" pronounced with S or Z? [duplicate]

It seems everyone where I am says reasons is pronounced with an s sound, or rhymes is pronounced with s, when I believe they should be pronounced with z. Is there a general principle I can apply?
Stéphane Villatte's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

What is it called when someone exaggerates pronunciation of word for emphasis? [duplicate]

I can think of two examples that I have heard many times… Drawing out or almost stuttering parts of a word as in saying “wh-h-h-at?” to express extreme disbelief. The goal seems to be to add imaginary ...
Bill H.'s user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
6k views

Where did the pronunciation of the word "kilometer/kilometre" as "kl OM iter" rather than "KILL o meeter" originate?

When saying the word for the SI/metric unit of long distances, the majority of the population pronounce "kilometre/kilometer" as "klomitr", akin to how words like " barometer &...
Aristocratic Jack's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
630 views

How do you pronounce Greenough?

A fairly popular resource over on Latin SE is Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Now, "Allen" is fairly straightforward, but how the [redacted] do you pronounce Greenough? Was he a ...
No Name's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
146 views

Is there a correct answer to "How should foreign names be pronounced in English"? [duplicate]

There are some names that are pronounced very differently in English Language media around the world. One famous example is Vincent van Gogh the artist, another that is in a lot of media at the ...
User65535's user avatar
  • 231
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

In Northern England, what vowel phoneme is used in “can’t”?

Which vowel phoneme, START or TRAP, do people in the North of England usually use in can’t? (Obviously the northern START is pronounced like a longer version of TRAP, which is not the case in the ...
Monkle's user avatar
  • 71
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Why do some people pronounce "familiar" with an /ɚ/ in the first syllable?

In American English, the word familiar is normally pronounced as /fəˈmɪl.jɚ/. Recently, though, I've noticed more people pronouncing it as /fɚˈmɪl.jɚ/ ("fermiliar"), an alternate ...
alphabet's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
161 views

What are common words in which written ‹i› is pronounced as the phoneme /ai/?

I am a Brazilian teacher of the English language for Brazilian high school students. In this sense, the draft of this table has helped me a lot. So, my question about examples was only because I would ...
vanderesende's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
252 views

Term for pronouncing every letter, like t in water

Native USA English speakers frequently skip (or elide?) certain letters, like the t in water, and modify others. What is a term for someone who (self-consciously?) pronounces every voiceable letter? P....
Richard Haven's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
472 views

Do many AmE speakers pronounce "cavalry" as "calvary" and why?

Does this also occur in BrE and other Englishes? How did this come about? Is this just a simple mistake confusing cavalry with calvary?
user182601's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
312 views

Tour or Tore Pronunciation

In the past few years newsmen and sportscasters have changed the pronunciation of tour (rhymes with lure) to tore (rhymes with wore). Why is this?
Kenneth Reffeitt's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
33 views

Pronunciation of a made up word [closed]

If the word "movist" was real, how would you pronounce it? "moo-vist" or "moe-vist" (as in "rover"/"clover"). Thanks.
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
105 views

How to force myself to pronounce a word correctly? [closed]

For about 20 years I've pronounced Debian as "dee bee an" but I learned a few months ago that it is pronounced "deb ee an" (named after the creator's wife Debra + the creator Ian). ...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
135 views

The Pronunciation of "Lyre"

I've spent most of my life pronouncing "Lyre" as "Lear" and have only just recently learned that in English it's actually pronounced "Liar", and I find that confusing. &...
Demon's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
778 views

Correct Choice of First Vowel in Words Such as "Regret" and "Return"

Is it acceptable in formal American English to pronounce the first vowel in regret, realize, and return with /ɛ/ as in DRESS¹, as opposed to with /i/ as in FLEECE²? DRESS /ɛ/: the open-mid front ...
Hannah's user avatar
  • 61
-2 votes
1 answer
58 views

"Democrat Party" = deliberate needling or natural colloqial speech?

The major American political party is called "The Democratic Party". Their adversaries, the Republicans, think that calling them "The Democrat Party" scores feces-hurling points. ...
S K's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
255 views

Has British English always had two alternative pronunciations of "been"? [duplicate]

The OALD gives the following pronunciations for been (verb): /biːn/, /bɪn/ (British) /bɪn/ (American) Do American English speakers think the two lines below rhyme? Pussy cat, pussy cat, where ...
S K's user avatar
  • 1
4 votes
0 answers
107 views

pronunciation of "vehicle"

The Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary gives both forms for vehicle: /ˈviːəkl/, /ˈviːhɪkl/ for American English. Are the two pronunciations in free variation or can they be predicted based on ...
S K's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
79 views

Correct Possessive Form for the Name "James" [duplicate]

I have a son named James. James has a toy. When I speak and refer to his toy, should I say "Jaymz toy" or "Jaymz-iz toy?" Please avoid telling me how to spell it; I understand it ...
Display name's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
135 views

Other way to pronounce they'd

Is there another way to pronounce the word "they'd"? In this video (2:23), I think he pronounces it as "/ðed/ instead of /ðeɪd/. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXQQ94rg9ic Thank ...
Viet Hoang's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

Which indefinite article should be used before a period followed by a vowel: "a(n) .ir domain"?

I am writing an email and I just realized I am a bit baffled. I do not think there is a proper convention to this, unless there is and I have not heard of it. This is in regards to registering ...
Keltari's user avatar
  • 312
15 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is the T in ‘mistook’ pronounced the same as the T in ‘mistake’ is?

Should mistook be pronounced like “mis + took” — or like “misdook” (like the t in mistake)?
FindingNemo's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

To T or not to T in "Oft"

I don't pronounce the "T" in "often", and while I realize this is primarily a matter of preference in modern days, there is some historical precedent and plenty out there on ...
Eaten by a Grue's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Pronunciation of word-initial syllabic R in American English

E.g., what is the right pronunciation of the word earn -- [ɹ̩n] (syllabic R) or [ʔəɹn] (glottal stop + schwa + R)? EDIT: Is the word-initial (or more precisely "utterance-initial") syllabic ...
Jiri Vaclavik's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
228 views

Pronunciation of "our": One or two syllables?

It seems to me that certain words can be pronounced with either one, or two, syllables: "our" "fire" "dire" Specifically for "our", I hear it said as "Au-...
Ludvig Boysen's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
173 views

Why do (usually conservative) Americans pronounce "conservative" with an /ɪ/ sound, like consyrvative?

I have noticed this mispronunciation in post-1980 America. People who take a little pride in their conservatism are almost intentionally pronouncing the word conservative¹ as if it were spelled ...
Trunk's user avatar
  • 293
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

FLAP T has two versions?

everyone, my question is about the flap T. I'm not a native American English speaker, but I hear the difference between flap t in pretty (some natives pronounce it like the Spanish R, some like a soft ...
Plazma's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Term for a word based on an initialism

I recently came across the word 'geeb', a pronunciation and "wordification" of 'GB', itself an initialism of 'gravity bong'. It reminded me of 'okay', which has a similar relationship with '...
donotread123's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
162 views

Is there a common origin of the German and English "ch" and does English know the pronunciation of "ch" like in German "machen"

In German "ch" is pronounced in at least three different ways depending on context. It could be pronounced more like a K like in "Charakter" and in the two other forms which I ...
Niclas's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
87 views

Is there another example where the same word is pronounced differently other than Zeal and Overzealous? [duplicate]

This has been bugging me for almost a month now. The reason why I am considering them the same word is because overzealous doesn't change the meaning of zeal in it, while Zealot does. Is there a term ...
Sora3087's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Pronunciation of Christmas (krɪsmɪs vs krɪsməs)

I noticed this today when I was singing along with Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You". My standard pronunciation of Christmas (American English, early 20s, NJ near NYC): /...
yadec's user avatar
  • 103
1 vote
0 answers
20 views

Anyone else with this place of articulation of their rhotic sound? [duplicate]

As my question implies, I have an unusual manner of articulation for my rhotic sound, and I wonder if anyone else shares it: my rhotic sound is formed by bringing my bottom lip up so that my top teeth ...
Kyle Colbourne's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Is the variation in the spelling of the agent-noun suffix -er/-or related to any phonetic difference? [duplicate]

This excerpt in a book on English suffixes piqued my interest. Is there any phonetic correlate between the way the nouns below are pronounced and their spelling? I know execut-or/-er admits two stress ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 493
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Syndrome: older pronunciation?

Recently, I was reading The Kenneth Williams Diaries, and in one entry he records correcting some pronouncing syndrome (rhyming with aerodrome) to rhyming with epitome. I cannot find this ...
William Crawford's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
667 views

Why is 'women' sometimes pronounced as 'woman'?

Some American speakers pronounce both 'woman' and 'women' as 'woman' (ˈwʊm.ən). Is this a recent pronunciation change? Where, why, and when did it originate? I specified the American accent because ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
74 views

Pronunciation difference b/w Python and Pyramid

Why is "Python" pronounced differently than "Pyramid"? Is there a logic behind why the "PY" is pronounced differently in both?
user492591's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
110 views

Why are "all together" and "altogether" exact homophones in American English?

This question was inspired by the interesting discussion here: Why isn't the T in "relative" flapped? It seems like the adverb already and the two-word phrase all ready should be ...
Quack E. Duck's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
99 views

T turning into what sounds like a trill in Irish English?

I have been recently watching a channel run by an Irish guy and he has many interesting speech quirks (like the fact he still pronounces "wh-" like <hw>). But the thing that puzzles me ...
Gabel Luc's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
226 views

Why is "sepulcher" pronounced the way it is?

Since I first read it, I always pronounced the word "sepulcher" as /səˈpal.tʃə/, but recently I learned that the correct pronunciation is /ˈsɛ.pəl.kə/, or slight variations thereof. Now, ...
Cecilia's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
1 answer
484 views

Why do I sometimes pronounce my th's as f's and v's?

I am essentially a native speaker. My family moved to the US when I was ~4 and even before then spoke to me in English quite a lot in preparation. My family is Ashkenazi Jewish and I used to speak ...
ArthurPendragon's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

How does one pronounce "dwam"?

How should dwam be pronounced? As spelt? Or more educated - with 'R' or L' in the middle...?
Norm Sturrock's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
150 views

Sibilance/aspiration in the letter D in "don't", "day" etc

I can't seem to find anything explaining this, but on words like "don't" and "day", some people pronounce the D with a sibilant sound/aspiration and others like a dead D with no ...
Pedro Henrique Quiste's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
109 views

/s/ or /z/ in exacerbate

Today, someone asked me if the pronunciation of the "c" in "exacerbate" is an /s/ or a /z/. In fast speech, it seems indistinguishable if I substitute /z/ for the /s/ , which is ...
meepyer's user avatar
  • 708
-1 votes
1 answer
156 views

/fɑːl/, /fɔːl/ or /fɒl/?

Where in the USA do people pronounce 'fall' as /fɑːl/ as this version of CD recommends (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fall)? Nota bene: CD gives /ɑː/ for 'star', 'calm' and '...
Călin Cucuietu Kə'lin's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
261 views

How common is it for "windmill" to be pronounced rhyming with "wheel?"

I've always heard "windmill" pronounced to rhyme with "ill." I've recently heard it pronounced to rhyme with "wheel." Is this common? Is it a regional thing? All the ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 167
2 votes
3 answers
827 views

What are the syllables in "photography"? [closed]

How come every website I could find is saying that syllables in "photography" are pho-tog-ra-phy? Shouldn't it be pho-to-gra-phy? Where did that "tog" come from?
Pavel Emelianov's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
215 views

Pronunciation of "Ine", as the name of the Saxon king in modern English

Ine, also rendered Ini or Ina, (Latin: Inus; c. AD 670 – after 726) was King of Wessex from 689 to 726 (Wikipedia). This is a name still used today, apparently, but I do not find it in the Longman ...
LPH's user avatar
  • 22.6k
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

What's the difference between ɔ & ɒ? [duplicate]

What is the difference between ɔ and ɒ? Would bɔl and bɒl both be "ball"? (I'm talking about in standard American English.) I saw this similar question but it hasn't had any answers for ...
jastako's user avatar
  • 119
0 votes
0 answers
71 views

Historical pronunciations

Is there a unified resource that gives the pronunciation of an English word according to how those most responsible for establishing its current spelling would have pronounced it?
Jeh's user avatar
  • 457
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Why do we say some initialisms and acronyms as words but not others? [duplicate]

Initialisms and acronyms with vowels can be said as single words. Is there any coherent pattern or convention determining the choice? VIP? LOL? DIY? WAG? For example?
Daniel Watts's user avatar

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