Questions tagged [pronunciation-vs-spelling]

Questions about putative differences between spelling and pronunciation.

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6
votes
1answer
71 views

The spelling “ui” and the pronunciation /uː/ in juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, nuisance, recruit, bruit

The words juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, pursuit, suitcase, lawsuit, nuisance, recruit, bruit are spelled with ui and pronounced with the IPA phoneme /uː/. Full pronunciations from OED: ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

One letter refers to two sounds — what is it called?

There are words where one letter refers to two different sounds, e.g. eighth, where T exists itself and also makes a /θ/ sound, or threshold, which is sometimes pronounced with a /h/ sound, especially ...
0
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2answers
135 views

Why do we pronounce 'Mother' as 'Mather' but we write it as 'Mother'? [closed]

This question was asked by my son: Why do we pronounce 'Mother' as 'Mather' but we write it as 'Mother'? I don't know what to say. He keeps on writing 'Mather'. He is not agreeing. Please suggest ...
0
votes
0answers
5 views

propositions, using that which whose [migrated]

Is the following sentence correct? "It is an organization including the countries, all or a significant part of their population has a connection with French language and culture." If not, how can I ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Was it ever standard to pronounce “malinger” to rhyme with “ginger”?

In The Pronunciation of Standard English in America, by George Philip Krapp (1919), I found the following surprising statement: For malinger the standard pronunciation is [mə´lɪndʒə̉ɹ], though ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

How do you spell windey? [closed]

sorry dumb question, but: How do you spell "windy" as in a winding road could be described as "windy" Not to be confuse with "the weather is windy" Also, is there a better way I could have figured ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

How does one read aloud a birth year with no death year? Eg: John Smith (1994 – )

It is common to notate someone's lifespan using the syntax [year of birth] – [year of death]. When the subject is still living, you simply omit the death year, such as 1994 –. When reading this aloud,...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Different etymologies for spoken and written forms

I know a word in another language which appears at first to have a highly irregular spelling that does not match the pronunciation. However, further examination suggests that the spoken and written ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Pronunciation vs Spelling of Done [closed]

Why is 'Done' pronounced with a short ŏ vowel sound instead of the long ō vowel sound? Rules typically dictate when a word ends with an E, it changes the O to a long vowel sound. I've tried to find ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

I pronounce question as kweshtin. Is my pronunciation wrong?

I've lived in Houston,TX for about 10 years and after that I moved to the ME and I've made friends since then. Whenever they heard me say kweshtin they told me my pronunciation was weird. I told them ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

GAOL origin isn't English [closed]

If the origin is French and the British have adapted it, why would they claim America corrupted the so-called English version if it wasn't theirs to begin with? And why must a simple word like jail ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

When does a word end in 't' vs 'te'. eg. Why 'context' does not end with an 'e' but 'participate' does? [closed]

English is not our first language. Practising English dictation with my 6-year-old it is always confusing to know from the sound of the word when it ends in 't' or 'te', is there a rule when a word ...
3
votes
3answers
575 views

Interested in 'naive' pronunciation

I'd like to know why 'naive' is pronounced ny-eve but is spelt naive. Where is the ny part coming from? 'na-' isn't pronounced ny, and if the ny part is nai-, then there is only -ve left. This is ...
-1
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1answer
106 views

Journalist cum Researcher - without hyphens [closed]

As seen here. I’m a WordPress Journalist cum Researcher who can turn the torrent of words into something of an acceptable length. Does the use of the word "cum", assuming from latin, work in this ...
1
vote
2answers
261 views

Contraction “-'dn't” from formal English “would not”

Can "wouldn't" be reduced to the clitic -'dn't when attached to any other pronoun besides y'all, such as she'dn't or you'dn't? (Appearing for example in "y'all'dn't've" from formal English "you all ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

When is word initial E pronounced /iː/ ? (as in 'Ego') [closed]

Words beginning with e usually be pronounced as /e/ or /ɪ /, for example: egg /eg/ effort /'efət/ explicit /ɪ k'splɪ sɪ t/ Very rarely, words are pronounced with /iː/, for example: epoch /'i:pɔk/ ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

How is “victualling” pronounced?

Victuals is famously pronounced "vittles". But how is victualling, as in victualling yard, pronounced? I presume the "c" remains silent, but various unsourced and presumably autogenerated ...
2
votes
3answers
296 views

Why is the accent on “petrol” and “patrol” different?

Petrol and patrol are written very similarly, though completely and obviously different in meaning. My question here is actually about the accent on these words. Why is petrol stressed on PE, and ...
0
votes
1answer
294 views

Why is the word 'heroine' not pronounced like 'hero-ine?'

Why is the word 'heroine' not pronounced like 'hero-ine' but instead like 'heroin?' It has the word 'hero' in it and it's the female equivalent of a hero. It's not like I use the word in public often ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

How is paciic pronounced?

This video covers how an airline with the word pacific in its name accidentally wrote paciic on their airplane. While very amusing, the lady in the video pronounces the mistaken ‘pasiic’ like ...
2
votes
2answers
406 views

Is it correct to say “double eight” or “triple nine” when spelling a number? [duplicate]

I hear from indian colleagues my TeamViewer password is six, nine, double-eight (to say 6988) or my telephonenumber is three, five, four, triple-nine, six, double-eight, two, one (to say ...
0
votes
1answer
201 views

Spelling of temperature and preparation

Today, I have come up with the two confusingly-spelled words: temperature and preparation. The 'para' in preparation, and the 'pera' in temperation, look quite similar in pronunciation when we read ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why doesn't English spelling vary with region that much?

Even though English spelling is so irregular, native speakers still share a common writing system with little regional difference. When you refer to the moving organ in your mouth, you may pronounce ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

How do you pronounce “HTTPS”? [closed]

When I refer HTTPS, I pronounce it by reading each character. However, I wonder whether there is a quicker and easier way to pronounce it.
35
votes
5answers
5k views

ETcetera pronounced as EXetera ? Correct?

I keep hearing everyone at my work (Native speakers) saying e-X-etera. They said my pronunciation of the word as e-T-cetera was incorrect. I got into a big argument, they thought I was mad. Is there ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Insight into the pronunciation of the word algae?

Can anyone provide some insight into the pronunciation of the word algae? Various dictionaries give either the /g/ version as in gear or the /dʒ/ version as in jeep. For example: https://dictionary....
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Why is it okay for word initial /ɪ/ to sometimes be voiced as a /ə/ but not always?

For example what is the rule that says that, "Enough" (ɪˈnʌf) can be pronounced as /ənʌf/ But for "Introduce" (ɪntrəˈdjuːs) the /ɪ/ can't be pronounced as a /ə/?
3
votes
1answer
267 views

Weinstein: Why “Winesteen”, not “Winestine” or “Weensteen”?

I am constantly bemused by American pronunciation of German names. How did it come to be pronounced "Winesteen"? The German pronunciation, of course, is Vineshtine. I can understand the consonants ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Why is high spelled that way? [duplicate]

Why is "high" pronounced "hiy" but is not spelled as the latter, but the former? Wouldn't "high" be read as "heeg-h" or "haig-h"? The other possible duplicate's examples all have a "t" prefixing, ...
0
votes
0answers
94 views

Why is “high” pronounced “hiy” but is not spelled that way? [duplicate]

Why is "high" pronounced "hiy" but is not spelled as the latter, but the former? Wouldn't "high" be read as "heeg-h" or "haig-h"? The other possible duplicate's examples all have a "t" prefixing, ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

How Should 'Are' be Pronounced? [duplicate]

According my second grade teacher, when you have an e in your word, the letter 'one skip' behind it is pronounced hard. For example, the word name. In 'name', the fourth letter is e, the letter behind ...
-1
votes
3answers
467 views

Why there are three different sounds for -ed?

Following this question on the pronunciation of the final -ed. What is the reason why there are three different pronunciations (/ɪd/, /t/ and /d/)? EDIT: I'm well aware that phonetic shifts exist, ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

sound or spelling to determine the choice of indefinite article [duplicate]

Is it correct to use indefinite articles based on the spelling of a word or the way it's pronounced? Would we say "Take an NHS leaflet." or "Take a NHS leaflet."? Also, what is the case with words ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

Are there nouns that undergo no change when used in the possessive (Saxon genitive)?

I’m looking for the existence of English nouns (common or proper) that undergo no change when used in their possessive (Saxon genitive) form, i.e. that do not take the usual ’s appendage the way radio’...
1
vote
1answer
899 views

How to pronounce furore/furor?

I know what the word "furore" means. I also know it's a variant spelling of "furor". "furore" seems to be a BrE spelling. I've never spoken this word despite how often I've seen it in both its forms. ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there words other than “friend” where “ie” is pronounced as /ɛ/ (“short e”)?

Are there any words in English other than friend where the spelling "ie" corresponds to the "short e" sound /ɛ/?
1
vote
1answer
231 views

Why is the spelling of “company” different from the pronunciation?

My students regularly pronounce the word "company" with [o] in the first syllable. Why do we pronounce [ʌ] in this syllable? but write "o"? Thank you.
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Progress: verbs pronounced differently in transitive and intransitive forms - pro'gress vs progre'ss

uncovered during an informal English conversational lesson today, according to my (1970s) Concise Oxford Dictionary, the vi and vt forms of 'progress' do have separate entries, different pronunciation,...
0
votes
2answers
364 views

How to pronounce words starting with hypo-?

According to Wiktionary, hypocrisy (/hɪˈpɑkɹəsi/) and hypothesis (/haɪˈpɒθɪ̈sɪs/) are both coming from French, from Latin, and earlier from Greek, with the same root ὑπό (hupó). However, the ‘y’ in ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

who(m):whose::who(m)ever:?

I am actually asking about the spelling of this word, not whether it exists... which in fact makes it rather difficult to write about. I will spell it as "whoever's" for the purpose of explaining the ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

The double “ff” in tariff

The term tariff has come a long way before entering the English language. Its derives from Arabic ta'rifa, Italian tariffa and ultimately from French tarif: From French tarif, from Italian ...
1
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0answers
262 views

long vowel spelling rule

A spelling rule is saying something like "add e to the end of a word to get a long vowel." for example:- the o in hop is short vowel, that is why it has no e at the end. the o in hope is long vowel. ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

Confused by spelling [closed]

My Mom likes to sew clothes in the bedroom. My Dad likes to sow seeds in the garden. On Fridays, they both like to ---. Is there any way this can be completed properly?
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Actor, motor, tutor, … mentor?

There is a very productive suffix in English coming from Latin: '-or': doctor, actor, aviator, etc. meaning 'the person that does the thing'. It is spelled '-or' but is pronounced to rhyme with the ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is the correct pronunciation of SQLite? [closed]

I seem to be hearing many different vocalizations of the name, and I'm not sure which one is correct. The last thing I want to do is "erroneously" drop the name in a meeting, and someone feel the need ...
-1
votes
1answer
346 views

When is the short u sound as in fun spelled with the letter A? [closed]

Can you give me examples of when it's spelled with the letter A?
4
votes
4answers
581 views

Can the schwa sound predict spelling?

More specifically, I was wondering whether the schwa sound can predict which vowel to use in spelling? For instance, does the schwa sound predict "a" spelling more than "e" spelling? I noticed that ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Is [tʃw] a valid pronunciation of the consonant blend 'tw'?

I came across this conundrum years ago in my phonetics class in university. Although the consonant blend 'tr' is pronounced [tʃɹ] as in 'tree' [tʃɹi:] in American English, I was taught that 'tw' is ...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

I have a Linking r question

I know that in non-rhotic versions of English the /r/ sound is not pronounced - unless the next word begins with a a vowel. So my question is, If a British person says "How are you?" Would "are" ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Explaining the “e” in “bye”? [duplicate]

Was the ‑e at the end of bye deliberately added in order to distinguish it from the word by? Did they do that so that that way, even though the two words sound the same, they look different when ...