Questions tagged [pronunciation-vs-spelling]

Questions about putative differences between spelling and pronunciation.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
3answers
969 views

Or, Ore, Awe and Oar [closed]

Does everyone pronounce these the same way? (I mean all 4 words - not American vs. English)
0
votes
1answer
631 views

How do I tell the difference between 'dd' and 'tt' in words?

I have a spelling bee today and I would like some tips on how to differentiate 'tt' and 'dd' in words. Words like bottle and prattle have a 'tt', but most people pronounce it like a 'dd', like in ...
4
votes
0answers
175 views

How to spell vis-á-vis out loud [closed]

Thank you very much to the 4 people who quickly responded a few days ago as to how to spell vis-á-vis out loud for an upcoming spelling bee. I apologize that the moderator did not think it was on-...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Singaporean Makan <Hoken???> Centre <<transcript question / listening question

Can anyone who is familiar with Asian cuisine help me with a food word? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYFe2-hqA2Q "One thing unites all Singaporeans; food. It’s the national obsession. For an ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How to spell vis-à-vis out loud [closed]

Vis-à-vis is a word on the spelling bee list, but I'm not sure how to say the accented "a" when spelling it out loud. Can you please help?
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Is there any rule of silent initial letters in English? [duplicate]

Mostly we some times uses silent words like knife, knock, knee etc i want to know is there any law in english please also inform me why these are silent? I am a new english language learner.
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Relic as a verb: why the spelling relicing, reliced?

I just discovered the verb relic, meaning “to make something look worn” and used as far as I can tell only about guitars. (Examples: 1 2 3 …) I was surprised to see that its participles are pretty ...
27
votes
4answers
4k views

Why did the letter “o” disappear in the word “pronunciation”?

The verb pronounce has the letter o in its second syllable, but in the noun pronunciation, that same letter disappears from the corresponding position. Why is that?
77
votes
2answers
112k views

Why is Sean pronounced Shawn?

I've always had this question about the pronunciation of Sean. Is Sean a word from another language? Is it actually not pronounced Shawn and instead it's some sound between Shawn and Seen? Also, why ...
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

Why has English spelling reform never caught on? [duplicate]

English spelling is notorious in (literary) language learning for being chaotic. It would be better for reading and writing learners if the spelling were reformed to a more phonetic spelling like ...
3
votes
2answers
669 views

wrecking vs wracking vs wreaking

What I understand so far: Wrecking - to trash/destroy/be destroyed Wracking - to be tortured, possibly from variant of "rack". http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=wrack also seems to mention ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Why a “chef” is a shef but a chair is not a shair" [closed]

I am unable to understand, why the sounds in english are not commonly spread. I looked into the IPA on google and could not understand, why the sounds change. e.g. chef vs chair.
4
votes
2answers
414 views

Which rules define how to pronounce a consonant? [closed]

My question might appear silly and pointless to some, but I find it pretty interesting myself. If we look at the word 'circus', it has 3 consonants and 2 vowels. However, the 2 c in the words are ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Silent letters in English [closed]

With the help of dictionaries, I’ve assembled a list of letters that can be silent in English: For most letters, I found more than one example, what are the other examples of a silent z (rendezvous)...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why the word “Circle” doesn't start with “s”?

Today my daughter (goes to kindergarten) asked me this question which made me post here? I felt that was a good question. Can anyone help me with an answer?
6
votes
2answers
9k views

Why was Tokyo sometimes called “Tokio”?

The city Tokyo was sometimes called Tokio, as can be seen in ngrams, and as one example, the WWII anti-Japanese movie Tokio Jokio. Why was Tokyo sometimes called "Tokiyo"? The Japanese hiragana for ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

How to spell the word 'trie'? [closed]

In computer science, there is a word trie. It is pronounced either /tri:/ or /trai/. However, according to the common spelling rule, "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking", the ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Should 'g' followed by 'e' and 'i' be pronounced with a soft or hard g? [closed]

In English, words with a 'g' followed by a front vowel (e, i, y) can be pronounced with a soft g or a hard g: Words with Germanic roots are usually pronounced with a hard g: gear, get, gift, give ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does U sound like W in words like “penguin”?

A semivowel is a vowel that acts like a consonant (including only W and Y and yet U sounds like W sound in words such as penguin, sanguine, but not in guide. Can anyone tell me why?
1
vote
3answers
734 views

Why is “work” spelled with an “o”

Why is the word "work" spelled with an "o"? I can't find the answer anywhere. I know it comes from Old English "weorc" but I can not find how it came to be spelled "work" instead of "werk".
5
votes
1answer
315 views

Grocery Store Aisle

When speaking the phrase grocery store aisle, I leave the s in aisle silent. Are there any regional variations of English in which the s is not silent?
4
votes
3answers
18k views

How to pronounce Ouroboros?

When i first came across the name Ouroboros it was in Fullmetal Alchemist referring to the tattoos that the Homunculi; I was watching the Dub so it was pronounced in English as Or-Ro-Bo-Ros. However ...
34
votes
4answers
11k views

Why are Leicester & co pronounced as they are?

What is the origin of the pronunciation of words like Leicester, Gloucester, Worcestershire? Presumably, the spelling predates the pronunciation but what is the history here? What language do the ...
46
votes
4answers
21k views

Why is “cupboard” pronounced with a silent “p”?

According to Google at least, the word "cupboard" originated in late Middle English as denoting a board that held cups. Since then, the word has evolved to mean a kind of cabinet. My question is, ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

Why isn't “connoisseur” spelled “connaisseur”?

From what I gathered on the Web, "connoisseur" is spelled that way because it is derived from the Old French verb "connoître" (to know) which has been spelled "connaître" for close to two centuries. ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

some questions about pronunciation [closed]

I notice that some words have the same prefix but are pronounced differently; for example: precision, preference, prescription, etc. Are there rules about pronunciation that you apply when you find a ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

pronunciation : Vine vs Vineyard

Why vin in vine sounds similar to vice, but vin in vineyard is similar to that in the name Vincent? I would expect since both vine and vineyard are related to grape in some way, they probably should ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Last names that are English words with an extra 'e'

I noticed that there are a lot of last names that have an 'e' at the end. The pronunciation usually isn't changed from that of the base word. Poole Steele Browne Clarke Why do English words not ...
5
votes
1answer
18k views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Adding “-ing” to a verb ending with a pronounced “e”

When a verb ends with a "e" that is pronounced, do you get rid of the "e" when you add "-ing"? For example, would you say "His karaoking last night was really unique", or "His karaokeing last night ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Please explain the pronunciation of “indict.”

The word indict is not pronounced as it is spelled (big shocker in English, right?). It looks like it should be pronounced in-dikt, but it is pronounced in-dite. Why is it pronounced like this? Are ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there any rule for pronouncing words beginning with “re-”?

It’s hard for me to guess how to pronounce words beginning with re- correctly. Sometimes it is /rɛ/ as in reference, but sometimes it is /ri/ as in report. Is there any rule about this?
4
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the proper pronunciation for Kipling's character-name “Mowgli”?

Does the first syllable rhyme with “glow” or with “how”? It is no use appealing to the Hindi for “Little Frog” or anything else, since Kipling confessed to making ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

How to pronounce “aa” vowel pair? [closed]

The word in question is "thraal", a species from the Dr. Who universe (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Thraal) and coincidentally also a species from the Transformers universe (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Connexion pronunciation & verb

Connexion is the original and variant spelling of "connection", common until at least the 19th century, and still occasionally used in British English (it was the house style of The Times of London as ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Words like “threshold”?

Threshold is pronounced like "thresh-hold" as noted in this question, however, what is interesting is that there is only one h in the word, and it serves two phonetic roles (being part of sh and as a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “the” before a long u sound

All my life I have been hearing and pronouncing /ði/(unstressed) in "the US", "the UK" and "the UN", but I'm not sure that was correct. How do you pronounce "the" before a long u sound? I searched ...
22
votes
0answers
3k views

Why does the 'i' in 'explain' disappear when written as 'explanation'? [duplicate]

The word 'explain' has an 'i'. Why does that 'i' disappear when we write it as 'explanation'.
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is “poignant” pronounced /ˈpɔɪɲənt/?

I felt a little bit strange when I heard poignant pronounced as /ˈpɔɪɲənt/. It is also pronounced as /ˈpɔɪgnənt/, but the former seems to be more popular. A word stagnant has similar spelling, but ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Pronunciation of the words 'height' and 'weight'

Why is "height" an "weight" pronounced differently, when the spellings are so similar? Is there any logical explanation or it evolved that way?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Unnecessarily Using a Long “E” Sound in Plurals Whose Singular Form Ends in “S”

Singular "analysis" becomes plural "analyses". The e has a long sound because otherwise the two would sound the same. This seems to be a pretty solid rule for nouns whose singular form ends in "is" ...
32
votes
3answers
8k views

Why “daily” and not “dayly”?

Checking how adjectives related to time are created, I see: year → yearly month → monthly week → weekly day → daily Why has “day” been derived into “daily” with an ‘i’ instead of “dayly” with a ‘y’? ...
5
votes
1answer
896 views

Relaxed Pronunciation

As a court reporter & supervisor for 34 years our rule of thumb in the transcription of evidence, many people relax their pronunciation whilst on the stand, such as "gotta, kinda" but we've always ...
6
votes
3answers
23k views

What is the name for “pronunciation spelling”?

Dictionaries often have "pronunciation spelling" listed next to the word. For example: port·man·teau - noun \pȯrt-ˈman-(ˌ)tō\ What is the name for this alphabet/system? Is it a universal system, ...
1
vote
3answers
355 views

How can a written language develop with unspoken letters? [duplicate]

English is a language in which you write quite a few letters that you do not pronounce, or you write letters in one order and pronounce it in another. For example, centre. It is pronounced /ˈsɛn.tə(...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

In a combination of two vowels (such as “ae”), what rule determines if the first (“a”) or second (“e”) is silent?

In a combination of two vowels (such as "ae"), what English rule determines if the first ("a") or second ("e") is silent? For example, in the word "praetor", the vowel "a" is silent but in the word "...
4
votes
1answer
831 views

Different sounds of “t” [closed]

Why do we sometimes pronounce t as /t/, whereas other times we pronounce it as /ʧ/ or /ʃ/? /t/ in town, /ʧ/ in natural /ʃ/ in hamartia/tertiary Is there any special rule for these?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does Business read like busyness?

This is a bit weird, but the word business reads like busy-ness, but it sounds like biz-ness. Why is that? What happened to the i?
-1
votes
1answer
711 views

confusion about the 'ch' sound [duplicate]

i am confused about using the "ch" as there are three sound starting with "ch" as-/k/sound, and like these. is there some important rules to find out word formation?.someone please help me.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

The etymology оf “handkerchief”

I've heard that the origin of the word "handkerchief" is: hand (in the modern meaning), ker (old "cover"), chief (old "head"). In old French is couvrechief. Why these changes were take place? Can ...