192

Because Nike was the Greek goddess of victory (see Wikipedia) and final 'e's are not silent in Greek. Similarly, the final 'e' should be pronounced in the name Irene, as it is in other Greek-derived names like Chloe, Zoe and Phoebe.


130

PLEASE NOTE: English is not a tonal language like Cantonese, so I’m going to assume you are simply talking about stress, a phonemic property of English words which speakers of tonal languages may hear in terms of tones. Exactly why awry sounds like the beginning of “a rye sandwich” with the stress on the second syllable is a longer story than just that ...


123

Although such variation could be the result of things like when the word was borrowed into the language, this variation is probably due to the prosodic structure of the words; we get different vowel sounds because of the way that stress influences vowel quality in English. In English, unstressed vowels are generally reduced. Take the word record for ...


97

There are sev­er­al fac­tors in play here. Dif­fi­cult con­so­nant clus­ters are of­ten re­duced in rapid speech or over time; think of friend­ship, spend­thrift, twelfth, months. Much of the dif­fer­ence be­tween an un­voiced and a voiced stop in English is ac­tu­al­ly not its voic­ing but its as­pi­ra­tion, and be­cause one nor­mal­ly on­ly as­pi­rates ...


94

No it wouldn't, because devour doesn't rhyme with colour/color or armour/armor. It does rhyme with hour. In other words, the ending -our is only respelled as -or when it represents an unstressed, r-colored schwa [ɚ]. The stressed diphthongs in hour, devour, flour, etc. retain their original spelling.


91

Ghoti (/fɪʃ/) This fallacy arises from the incorrect application of the rules linking orthography to phonology1, resulting in an argument that 'ghoti' should be pronounced similarly to 'fish': gh, pronounced [f] as in enough [ɪˈnʌf] or tough [tʌf]; o, pronounced [ɪ] as in women [ˈwɪmɪn]; and ti, pronounced [ʃ] as in nation [ˈneɪ̯ʃən] or motion [...


68

If you need to know for sure, go to the source! Video presentation about Git by Linus Torvalds This confirms that [gɪt] is the expected pronunciation.


68

Your dictionary goes further than Johnson's, for which the entire chapter for X was thus: X Is a letter, which, though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language. And actually, it's not found in that many Saxon words. Saxon itself was one exception; Seaxe in Anglo-Saxon, as was the seax, the knife from which they took their name. (The ...


65

In the first place, it’s not f, but long s. It was just a different way of writing s. It was always pronounced as an s is pronounced; it was never pronounced as an f. Its history explains the letter pretty well. Long s: The long-s originated at a very early date in cursive Roman scripts, and can be seen in both Old Roman Cursive (1st to 3rd centuries ...


63

Sean (written "Seán" or "Séan" in Irish) is a Hibernization of the English name "John"; that is, it's a transliteration of "John" into a form which can be pronounced in Irish and written with the Irish alphabet (which nowadays is simply a version of the Roman alphabet). The Irish language does not have the sound /ʤ/ (the sound which ...


62

The reason boils down to English prosody and stress patterns. First, a general observation that the vowel [aɪ], which is the first vowel in cycle, very rarely occurs in unstressed syllables. Unstressed syllables that would otherwise contain this vowel tend to reduce it to [ɪ] or even [ə], as nearly all English vowels are so reduced when they occur in ...


58

The seed of Guizotia abyssinica used to be known as niger seed. That combination of letters is pronounced differently from the much more common word with a similar spelling, and the difference should be obvious because of the single g. But you'll find it much more commonly listed (e.g. on packaging for bird food) as nyger or nyjer™, a phonetic spelling ...


58

The pronunciation of "et cetera" is an extremely common pet peeve, to the extent that there is a lot written about it on the Internet already. E.g. https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/pronunciation-etcetera-etc.1025972/ http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/blog0701.htm https://www.quora.com/I-hear-some-people-pronounce-etc-as-ekcetra-which-is-correct ...


56

The problem is that there are a number of hidden assumptions behind this question that need to be picked away before the question can even be posed. Let me take them one by one. Are there other languages out there, more phonetic than English, This apparently refers to the English writing system, which is notorious for misrepresenting English ...


52

The English language has incredibly many different regional accents, leading to the same words being pronounced differently by different people, sometimes in different places and other times in the same place. What’s happening here is that some people say [ˈkʰlɪntən], such as Mrs Clinton herself, but others say [ˈkʰlɪ̃ʔn̩] with a glottal stop where the /t/ ...


50

English spelling does not have a one-to-one relationship with English pronunciation, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that "Nike" does not rhyme with "bike" and "strike" (except for when it does—apparently, there are some speakers who don't use the "official", disyllabic pronunciation for the brand). "Nike" is from a Greek word-form, unlike "bike" ...


47

When a person’s identity is unknown (which is often the case when a dead body is found, before the body is identified) or must be anonymised, but the person still needs to be entered into some kind of system that requires a name, placeholder names are often used. The most common placeholder names are John Doe for males and Jane Doe for females (as mentioned ...


46

Matt's answer here is close but off in a few regards. The semi-Anglicised Sean is formed by removing the fada (accute accent) from the Irish name Seán. It is a Gaelicisation (more specific than Hibernisation) of the Norman-French name Jehan which makes it cognate of the English John with both coming from the Old-French Jehan but in the case of the English ...


45

I'd say that your German colleagues are mishearing the English pronunciations. The German letter ü makes the sound [y], which does not occur in English. The words loose, poodle, food, and most other words with oo have the vowel [u], which is usually spelled u or uh in German. Historically this is a long /o/ sound that was written with "oo", the ...


40

Won’t actually has a pretty interesting and complex history. Ultimately it does come from a contraction of will and not, but it all happened in a rather roundabout way. It all started off with the Old English verb willan/wyllan, meaning to will, wish, or want. Even in Old English it was used occasionally to denote a future intent. “Ic wille gan” could mean “...


37

Interestingly, this question appeared as number 15 on the Harvard Dialect Survey, so it is possible to give a good summary of the pronunciation differences in these three words as they are spoken in the United States. The 11,422 respondents were asked to choose from five options given the following prompt: How do you pronounce Mary/merry/marry? The ...


36

I don't have any proof, but a big clue to me is that the letter X in the default case represents the sound sequence /ks/, which is not a valid onset according to the rules of English phonotactics. That is, spellings of words don't start with X because pronunciations of words don't start with /ks/. All the words that do start with X have an exceptional ...


35

Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap one's mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know, like people could just scratch off ...


35

Pronunciations vary according to the local dialect, as well from person to person. There are many examples of variants according to local dialect, even within the same country. It's not reasonable to label any one of them as "incorrect", especially considering the etymological basis of the words. In your example, et cetera is pronounced /et ˈkeː.te.ra/ in ...


33

You have to distinguish English vowels from English orthography. There are between twelve and fifteen distinct vowels in English, depending on your dialect, but there are only 5 vowel letters in the orthography. This causes no end of problems. The letter æ was used in Old English to represent the vowel that's pronounced in Modern English ash, fan, happy, ...


32

There are more than two actually. Here's a list of twelve heteronym pairs in which one word is capitalized (typically, a proper noun), and the other is not: August /ˈɔːgəst/ (proper noun) and august /ɔːˈgʌst/ (adjective) Begin /(the Israeli politician) and begin /bɪˈɡɪn/ (to start) Degas /deɪɡɑː/ and degas /diːˈɡæs/ Job /dʒoʊb/ (the Biblical figure) and ...


31

From the quoted definitions at etymonline, I would suspect that you may be asking the wrong question :) If I look at the related words in other languages (dag, Tag) for day, it seems the final g has changed into a [j]. The same seems to have happened with (Dutch) leggen -> English lay. As it is normally pronunciation that defines spelling, and not the ...


30

Voicing Assimilation is the technical term for what happened here. In English (and Latin, and most Indo-European languages, among many others), /b/ and /p/ are identical in pronunciation (both are bilabial stops), differing only in their Voice parameter; /b/ is Voiced, while /p/ is Voiceless. It is a fact about the human vocal tract that consonant ...


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