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Questions tagged [spelling-pronunciations]

Erroneous pronunciations of words based on their spellings.

0
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1answer
106 views

Diacritics or meaning difference for deja vu

Could be trivial but would like to know, what is the difference between déjà vu and deja vu Is it primarily the pronunciation difference or something else?
1
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0answers
42 views

Best practice regarding the words until, till, til, 'till, 'til and to

I often see in English the word 'till used as until. Example I'll wait 'till the end of time. Now I have found out that this may be wrong. The correct writing is without the apostrophe 'till and ...
2
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3answers
247 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 ...
-2
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1answer
69 views

Is “shrubble” a well-defined word? [closed]

Is "shrubble" a well-defined word? I thought it means low lying brush and dirt. Thanks in advance!
2
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3answers
149 views

Scimitar or Cimitar?

I'm a cook at a restaurant. My liberal arts education combined with a classical culinary education helps me figure out most stuff on my own, but occasionally I'm unsure. The grey area, fuzzy logic. ...
1
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0answers
56 views

Examples and rules for one-letter change in spelling drastically changing pronunciation [closed]

I only have one example but it is striking for me as it showed how much I still do not know about spelling: breath /brɛθ/ vs. breathe /briːð/ Can you give more examples of this phenomenon? Are there ...
0
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1answer
485 views

Reengineering or re-engineering?

I have seen both spellings of re-engineering used (with and without hyphen). Personally I prefer the hyphenated version as it aids with proper pronunciation of the word. Dictionary.com seems to ...
0
votes
1answer
275 views

Use of silent letters and how to identify them? [closed]

While watching SpellBee on Discovery Channel I came to hear the word Malapropos which was just pronounced without the ending -s, ie. it was silent. The boy pronounced it correctly but missed the ...
0
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0answers
86 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
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0answers
253 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. ...
0
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0answers
79 views

Is 1 preceding and 1 subsequent word enough to define the pronunciation of a word inside of a sentence in English"

Some words change pronunciation based on the context in the sentence, even as they are spelled exactly the same. For example: Harry read the book. Harry, will you read the book? Is knowing one ...
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1answer
104 views

Using perfunctory correctly

Perfunctory is defined as doing something in a hasty, cursory manner. Would it be correct to use this word as perfunctorily as well? If not, what would be the correct usage? For example, if you were ...
1
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0answers
451 views

When did the pronunciation of “piranha” change?

"Piranha" is a Portuguese rendering of a Tupi word referring to a sharp-toothed fish with an unfortunate reputation. The correct pronunciation of this word is something like /pɪˈɹɑːnjə/. However, the "...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

How to pronounce -on endings?

Is there any rhyme or reason to why we pronounce -on endings in two different ways? Sometimes -on sounds like a short o as in marathon, hexagon, and neutron. But more often, the o sounds like a ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “of” pronounced as “ov”?

Few years back, one of our English teachers told that, In India, we [typically] pronounce "of" as "of" or "off". But the real pronunciation is "ov". When I try to listen the same in Google ...
46
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3answers
7k views

What is this famous example of the absurdity of English spelling?

A long time ago I read about this funny example posited by some relatively well-known author who spelled a word (I forget the word) in the most difficult way possible, but in a way that was totally ...
5
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1answer
139 views

Confusing 'r' sounds

In their kids song "Crazy ABCs", the Barenaked Ladies sing about words that start with confusing sounds: A is for aisle B is for bdellium C is for czar However, when the song gets to "r":...
1
vote
2answers
512 views

What effect do neighboring vowel-letters have on the pronunciation of the letters “sc” in a word?

Consider these words, with standard pronunciations from Oxford Dictionaries Online using in the worldwide-standard International Phonetic Alphabet: conscious, pronounced /ˈkɒnʃəs/ eschew, pronounced /...
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0answers
27 views

How to get the spelling of an unknown word by pronunciation? [duplicate]

I started to learn English by listening English news, from time to time I will come across some word that I have not learnt, with only pronunciation how can I get the spelling of the word? When you ...
2
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1answer
733 views

How to pronounce, “Tut! Tut!”

In older manuscripts, sometimes somebody says, "Tut! Tut!" Was this actually pronounced as written (as if referring to the famous King of Egypt)?
3
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1answer
161 views

When should or could I change the pronunciation of a word, like in water, little, lot

I've been learning English as a second language for years. I can read English articles without big problem. The problem is speaking. I am currently trying to improve my speaking English. In a course, ...
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2answers
321 views

Is it “expresso” or “espresso”? [closed]

Is it "expresso" or "espresso"? What is the correct spelling and pronunciation?
4
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2answers
5k views

Why is “Theresa” pronounced with the plosive /t/?

Judging from the spelling I always thought Theresa was pronounced with an interdental fricative. On the German news I often heard it pronounced with a /t/ as initial consonant. I thought this was due ...
4
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0answers
64 views

Is it possible to use 'me' as a possessive in English sentences? [duplicate]

I just found that the word 'me' was used as a possessive in sentences of spoken English, in the movie "Harry Potter": "I'm half and half. Me dads a muggle, mum's a witch." Generally, isn't it ...
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2answers
1k views

Different pronunciation of “o” in done, lone and gone

In what case and why is letter 'o' pronounced as 'ʌ' like in the word 'cut' /kʌt/? Done is pronounced /dʌn/ while other words of the kind are pronounced differently: lone, bone, tone. Why is gone ...
3
votes
2answers
467 views

1.3 Liters or 1.3 Liter? Fractions and plural form

I searched Google, but I couldn't get exact result. I think question is clear. Do you add 's' or not? 1.5 meter or meters , ...
1
vote
0answers
174 views

Is this a schwa sound exception?

Just when I thought I had mastered the schwa sound, I am stumbled by the words erase, escort (in verb form) and essential. All these words are stressed on the second syllable so I expect to see the ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Why do some words use duplicate letters seemingly without reason?

Usually, when we see two letters put together it is to define the pronunciation or to differentiate synonyms or just its foreign origins. But some words don't seem to have any reason to double up. ...
3
votes
1answer
479 views

Voiced or voiceless cluster in “Brexit?”

I was watching American national news coverage of the "Brexit" poll, and it seemed to me that none of the news anchors nor commentators used a voiced consonant cluster in their pronunciation of the ...
2
votes
6answers
602 views

Is “risky” an acceptable spelling of “risqué”?

Is "risky" an acceptable spelling of "risqué" or "risque" (suggestive of sexual impropriety), such as in this article? Selena Gomez has posed braless in a risky and sultry new photo-shoot for the ...
2
votes
5answers
541 views

How do I find examples where phonetic spelling is useful? [closed]

My son is learning English as a second language. Of course the phonetic alphabet is something they have to learn. Now he keeps telling me that it is a completely pointless endeavour, because he knows ...
0
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1answer
5k views

How to best correctly spell this sound?

Remember back in school (or still in school, like me) when someone got called to the office and all the kids in the class made an 'ooou' sound with the intonation slowly rising? Yeah... Anyway, I was ...
0
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1answer
534 views

The pronunciation rules of words which begin 'Com-, Col-, Cor-' or 'Con-' [duplicate]

What is the standard rule, if there is one, for pronouncing words beginning with the prefixes com-, col-, cor-, con-? Very often these words have an /ɒ/ vowel, like in the word hot - in Gen American,...
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votes
1answer
406 views

Specifically, what makes some words harder to spell, pronounce, and remember?

Edit: I apologize if my question lacks research effort, and is neither clear nor useful. Perhaps if you could tell me why this is in conjunction with your downvote, the quality of my post might be ...
0
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2answers
7k views

How to pronounce (OS X) Yosemite in Australian English

In Australian English, is (OS X) Yosemite pronounced to rhyme with "vegemite", or the same as in Yosemite Sam, who is named after the national park?
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1answer
2k views

When spelling, when to say 'double xx' and when 'x x'

This is something I have been wondering for a long time. When you spell (out loud) words that have some consonants doubled, you can say those as "double-X", or not (e.g. Allan: "Ay double-ell ay en" ...
0
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1answer
210 views

“P-U-L-L” vs. “P-U-double L”

I have heard some people spell double letters individually, e.g. "B-B", "C-C", or "D-D". But I have also heard others use the word double instead. Is there any dialectical preference? Is there any ...
1
vote
1answer
461 views

“Did I tell you what happened to him” pronunciation

Today, my American room mate was trying to tell me something and I had to ask him to repeat it three times until I guessed what his question was. It turns out he was saying "did I tell you what ...
3
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2answers
632 views

NATO and US Finance Spelling alphabets - Which is more commonly used in everyday situations?

This is mostly related to US "normal" day to day usage of the spelling alphabet. I am new to the country and most often emails/names etc needs to be spelled and I find it difficult to determine which ...
1
vote
1answer
518 views

What's the difference between heavyset and heavy set?

Adjective: heavyset or heavy set? With or without a seperator? E.g. a heavy set male, or a heavyset male? Could I say a male is heavy set? (space included)
1
vote
1answer
794 views

How do you Spell: Smused? Smoosed?

How do you Spell: Smused, Smoosed? As in: "Bill Smused the clients. Warming them up for the spiel from marketing."
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votes
1answer
531 views

Grenade or Granade [closed]

There are a lot of words that have slightly different spelling, but same semantic and sound, such as gray or grey, color or colour. There is also the case of dialog vs. dialogue (*see stackexchange ...
2
votes
2answers
505 views

Is there any reason so many people abbreviate “etcetera” as “ect.”? [closed]

People do many strange things, such as spell "loose" (the opposite of tight) as "lose" (the opposite of win) - and even vice versa sometimes. Another oddity is when they say "literally" when that is ...
1
vote
3answers
921 views

Are there any words in English pronounced with /eː/ which aren't spelt with a following “r”?

In Australian English (non-rhotic) the word "air" is pronounced /eː/, in Canadian English (rhotic) it is pronounced /ɛɹ/ and most other dialects pronounce it as somewhere between those two. All the ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is 'read' the only word that has the same conjugation with different pronunciation?

The past and present tenses of "read" are spelt the same but have different pronunciation. This question is related to the post Why are the past and present tenses of "read" spelt the same?.
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2answers
4k views

Are there any rules to differeniate when to use the “i” vs “y” in spelling

I am not sure if my title is clear but perhaps this example will clear things up. I wanted to write the word "amygdala", I sounded it out and concluded that it must be spelt "amigdala". When I ...
2
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2answers
4k views

What is “Gatcha” short for? [closed]

What is gatcha short for? Is it standard English, or is it used in the spoken language only?
4
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1answer
5k views

How to pronounce “often” [duplicate]

At the website where people pronounce words from their languages, the page for the word often gives 15 accounts. 13 people pronounced it with silent t (ofen), and only 2 with strong t (ofTen). But ...
7
votes
4answers
11k views

Differing pronunciations of “divisive”

I've always pronounced it dɪˈvaɪsɪv (rhymes with incisive). Today at his press conference, President Obama pronounced it dɪˈvɪsɪv (rhymes with dismissive). I've heard the latter pronunciation off ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How should “often” be pronounced?

I heard people saying "Of-fen" as well as "Of-ton". Till now I have been using the first one but few days ago I had an interviewer who pronounced often "Of-Ton" while interviewing.