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lti
2005-Mar-20, 05:02 AM
ive been lurking around these forums for a while now (and occasionally posting) and one thing i have noticed some peculiarities of speech amongst different cultures.

Im from New Zealand, and if there is an issue that really doesnt interest us, we would say we 'couldnt care less'.
I have noticed that most of the people on this forum say they 'could care less' when it seems to me that they mean the opposite. Is there an explanation for this apparently bizzare turn of phrase that im missing?

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 05:03 AM
No, "I couldn't care less" is the correct way to say it, no matter where you're from. "I could care less" is simply wrong. Like "irregardless." Just wrong. No explanation. :)

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 05:12 AM
I think it's an American thing.



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The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 05:15 AM
No, I hear it here as well. Bugs the heck out of me.

lti
2005-Mar-20, 05:24 AM
Wouldnt american customs tend to spill into canada tho? i mean the countries are bordering each other, they probably pick up the same tv channels, and there is probably a good deal of migration between them.

or am i way off.

Grendl
2005-Mar-20, 05:26 AM
No, "I couldn't care less" is the correct way to say it, no matter where you're from. "I could care less" is simply wrong. Like "irregardless." Just wrong. No explanation. :)
Yeah, people are just wrong. We have a poster on our board who gets bugged by the same phrase and I mean really bugged. Irregardless is another bad habit people pick up from each other.

My pet peeve: people who say "eckcetera" instead of et cetera. I hear many pundits on TV pronounce it incorrectly and it drives me nuts. Where did the "eck" sound come from?

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 05:33 AM
Some people don't like the 'T' in "often" pronounced.



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lti
2005-Mar-20, 05:34 AM
lol i also find miss pronounciation of etc to be an annoyance.

its good to see others share my vexation.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 05:38 AM
Wouldnt american customs tend to spill into canada tho? i mean the countries are bordering each other, they probably pick up the same tv channels, and there is probably a good deal of migration between them.

or am i way off.

Yes, but not entirely. Probably the same thing as between Australia and New Zealand; you share cultural traits, but cannot be called part of the same culture.

Unfortunately, in this case the custom did spill over. "I could care less" is alive and well in the Great White North.

Grendl
2005-Mar-20, 07:01 AM
Some people don't like the 'T' in "often" pronounced.
.
I think Americans are very bad about this: many say "offen" and don't pronounce words like, button, cotton and important correctly. People don't like sounding out Ts.

Then there are people who just have problems pronouncing certain syllables; for instance, my co-worker, who speaks Spanish, can't pronounce my name correctly, which begins with a shh sound. My name begins with a 'ch' and she pronounces it like the 'ch' in chair. It's like she wants to call me chorizo. But I can't roll r's very well, so it's a matter of what one is used to in their native tongue.

Though that's no excuse for "offen."

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-20, 07:08 AM
Maybe it's a lazy tongue. People are in a hurry and it's too many syllables. But more likely, the street language is dropping the sounds and many people want to be hip. Those who enunciate may be looked at as pretentious.

I don't know if the "t" in button and often are dropped or a silent pause. Are they saying offen or of'en. Maybe there's no difference.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 07:23 AM
No, I think the "t" in often isn't actually pronounced but the "t" in button definitely IS.

or else it would be "bu-un", wouldn't it?


people do drop the "t" in button in London, but it's not considered to be very good English.. 8-[



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Jpax2003
2005-Mar-20, 07:28 AM
No, I think the "t" in often isn't actually pronounced but the "t" in button definitely IS.

or else it would be "bu-un", wouldn't it?


people do drop the "t" in button in London, but it's not considered to be very good English.. 8-[ Cockney?

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 07:42 AM
Yep....




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Evan
2005-Mar-20, 07:55 AM
Well, there is "I couldn't care less" which is entirely common here or a little more forceful " I don't give a s***". In German it is "Das ist mir scheiss egal". It means that "it is the same as s*** to me", which actually makes more sense than giving one.

I do hope I'm not stepping over the bounds but language, including colloquial expressions and vulgarity I think are a reasonable topic of dispassionate discussion. It isn't like it is directed at someone.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 08:12 AM
You tell 'im.....



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2005-Mar-20, 09:12 AM
One saying I don't like at all is: "It'd be cheap at half-the-price." for an item that is cheap already?? #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o

Moose
2005-Mar-20, 11:32 AM
One saying I don't like at all is: "It'd be cheap at half-the-price." for an item that is cheap already?? #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o

I suspect the real quote (at least it makes more sense) is: "It'd be cheap at twice the price." It even rhymes.

"Have one's cake and eat it too" makes no sense at all. Why have cake if you aren't going to eat it? But, if you switch it around: "Eat one's cake and have it too", it makes sense.

Donnie B.
2005-Mar-20, 01:48 PM
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the correct pronunciation of 'often' is OFF-en. OFF-ten is not even a valid second option. Likewise on MSN Encarta Dictionary (awff'n or off'n).

However, Dictionary.com gives OFF-ten as an alternate pronunciation.

This may be a British- vs. American English distinction.

Evan
2005-Mar-20, 01:51 PM
"Cheap at half the price" is simply sarcastic.

"Have one's cake and eat it too" is wishful thinking. Kinda like "If he had half a brain he'd be a halfwit". Oder, ein hirnlosen Holtzkopf.

Donnie B.
2005-Mar-20, 01:52 PM
One saying I don't like at all is: "It'd be cheap at half-the-price." for an item that is cheap already?? #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o

I suspect the real quote (at least it makes more sense) is: "It'd be cheap at twice the price." It even rhymes.

"Have one's cake and eat it too" makes no sense at all. Why have cake if you aren't going to eat it? But, if you switch it around: "Eat one's cake and have it too", it makes sense.
Well, in mathematicion mode, I could argue that the 'and' function is commutative, so the order doesn't matter.

If you wanted it to be cyrstal clear, it would need to be something like "You can't eat your cake and still have it", or "You can't have your cake after you've eaten it".

I admit that I found the traditional formula confusing at first, until I realized what was meant. But it is traditional now, so you aren't likely to see it changed anytime soon.

Donnie B.
2005-Mar-20, 02:08 PM
Here's a pet peeve of mine. American sportscasters often (that's off'n) use the phrase "on track", as in "the Panthers just couldn't get their offense on track today". This is a valid idiom that dates back at least to the heyday of railroads, where getting "off [the] track" was an obvious problem, so staying (or getting) "on track" was a good thing. (Of course, it may go back much further, as a reference to tracking game animals.)

However, some ignorant sportscasters (an oxymoron, maybe?) have corrupted "on track" to "untracked". Now, can somewone explain to me how that makes any sense? First of all, what does it mean? The meaning of the verb "to track" is to follow a trail. To be tracked, then, is to be followed. So how can one get untracked? There's no such valid usage, but I suppose it could mean to erase your trail so you can't be followed.

"The Panthers just didn't leave a trail out there today"... huh?

Evan
2005-Mar-20, 02:23 PM
What is "sports"? Is it something to do with "We had a good ball game but we dropped the ball so we have to keep our eye on the ball to keep on the ball... We just have to get the ball, run the ball and keep the ball".

Phooey. I would rather watch paint dry.

weatherc
2005-Mar-20, 02:48 PM
What is "sports"? Is it something to do with "We had a good ball game but we dropped the ball so we have to keep our eye on the ball to keep on the ball... We just have to get the ball, run the ball and keep the ball".
Ha! Yup, that pretty much sums up every interview with every athlete that's ever lost a game. It's always exactly the same quote, every time. Why do they waste airtime with that garbage? Bah.


Phooey. I would rather watch paint dry.
Agreed.

As far as the original topic is concerned, I think that "I could care less" just means something along the lines of "I could care even less about this than I do now, which isn't much to begin with." That one doesn't bother me as much as something my supervisor at work says, which is "Let's flush out this concept," instead of "Let's flesh out this concept." That one makes me cringe every time I hear it.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 03:00 PM
Speaking of button, it's usually said "buddon" up here. Canadian thing, apparently.

Also, (and I've noticed this on a certain American home decor show that my mother watches. You know the one) people tend to pronounce armoir "armoi" and voilà "walla" (I've even seen it written "walla") in an attempt at French pronunciation. For the love of all that is good and holy, please stop!

I can't stand that.

um3k
2005-Mar-20, 03:47 PM
Also, (and I've noticed this on a certain American home decor show that my mother watches. You know the one) people tend to pronounce armoir "armoi" and voilà "walla" (I've even seen it written "walla") in an attempt at French pronunciation. For the love of all that is good and holy, please stop!
So how do you want us to pronounce them? "Arm-oy" and "vee-ol-uh?"

You can't say we're pronouncing something wrong and then not tell us how to pronounce it right!

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 03:53 PM
Sorry. :lol:

ARM-war and VWA-la.

Moose
2005-Mar-20, 04:08 PM
Sorry. :lol:

ARM-war and VWA-la.

You know, some day I'm going to go to one of those snooty french restaurants, you know, the ones with the stupid exaggerated fake accents? (The ones in North America, outside of Québec I mean.)

I'm going to go to one of these and speak French. I'm convinced the overwhelming majority of these people couldn't speak the language to save their lives. Outside of the menu and "oui oui, toot sweet", that is. #-o

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 04:09 PM
Hey, I like that. I may steal your idea.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 04:43 PM
You might get something very unusual for supper!!!!



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The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 04:44 PM
It'd be worth it!

Wally
2005-Mar-20, 05:08 PM
pronouncing the "T"s in button, etc. actually comes across as rather effeminant to many (well, me at least), hence you don't find many guys going out of their way to hit the "T"s. . .

That said, I've taken to pronouncing "schedule" in the British style ("shedule") rather than American ("skedule"), simply to amuse my friends. :lol:

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 05:10 PM
Hey, me too! But now it's stuck.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-20, 05:12 PM
How do you say "button" then?




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Wally
2005-Mar-20, 05:18 PM
Kinda what I'd call a "soft T". Take the word "but". I don't pronounce the "T" as a hard "T" sound, but more a softened "T", almost to the point of not pronouncing any constenant at all: "BU(t)"

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 05:19 PM
Actually, that sounds like what I was trying to express when I said "buddon."

Wally
2005-Mar-20, 05:29 PM
Actually, that sounds like what I was trying to express when I said "buddon."

Yeah. I was tempted to use "D"s as well, but it really isn't a "D" sound, is it! Hense, the "soft T" description, for what's it's worth! :lol:

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 05:30 PM
Yeah, the D sound is too nasal. The soft T sound comes from the mouth. Right?

2005-Mar-20, 05:57 PM
Speaking of button, it's usually said "buddon" up here. Canadian thing, apparently.

Also, (and I've noticed this on a certain American home decor show that my mother watches. You know the one) people tend to pronounce armoir "armoi" and voilà "walla" (I've even seen it written "walla") in an attempt at French pronunciation. For the love of all that is good and holy, please stop!

I can't stand that.

It seems as if your French restaurants are pretty-much like ours then...

Merkie boocoop mon amie!

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 06:05 PM
*Shudder*

At least I can hop over to Quebec if I want a good French restaurant.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-20, 07:02 PM
I don't think I've ever been to a french restaurant, not many french in Illinois perhaps.

Back to pronunciation, anyone see the commercial with the guy who says "we don't get french benefits?"

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 07:03 PM
What's it for?

Ad Hominid
2005-Mar-20, 07:24 PM
My particular annoyance is the use of "media" as singular, "media is" rather than "media are."
"Media" is the plural of "medium," period.
In any case, "media" as singular is a huge generalization, one of the largest in common usage.
What is commonly referred to as "the media" (singular) is actually the dominant commercial media (plural) and its characteristic internal culture as an (alleged) single special interest group.

If I have some warrant for generalization, I will use media to modify a singular noun, "the evil media culture" or "the nefarious media industry" for example.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 07:35 PM
Same argument for "data" (plural) and "datum" (singular). That one bugs me.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-20, 07:44 PM
What's it for?I just found a blurb about it on an ad site (http://www.marketingymedios.com/marketingymedios/search/article_display.jsp?schema=&vnu_content_id=1000818 076).


FedEx "Wrong"
BBDO/New York
Ned's always wrong. His colleague sets him straight. Steely Dan is not one person. They get fringe benefits, not French benefits. James Dean acts; Jimmy Dean makes sausages. It's not the leaning tower of pizza. And most important, FedEx is not too expensive.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-20, 07:47 PM
My particular annoyance is the use of "media" as singular, "media is" rather than "media are."
"Media" is the plural of "medium," period.
In any case, "media" as singular is a huge generalization, one of the largest in common usage.
What is commonly referred to as "the media" (singular) is actually the dominant commercial media (plural) and its characteristic internal culture as an (alleged) single special interest group.

If I have some warrant for generalization, I will use media to modify a singular noun, "the evil media culture" or "the nefarious media industry" for example.But you forgot to include the new plural form of media (as singular) --Mediums. I swear I actually heard that use somewhere.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 07:49 PM
Huh. Can't say that I have seen it. Though I kind of like it.

Added: "Mediums" usually comes up when someone is talking about a psychic.

Stregone
2005-Mar-20, 09:17 PM
The 'have your cake and eat it too' saying means you want your cake twice. To have cake is to eat cake, like "I am having cake for dessert". Which of course means that you will be eating cake after dinner.

NASA Fan
2005-Mar-20, 09:55 PM
Phooey. I would rather watch paint dry.

I had to make one of my co-workers watch paint dry one day. It was on the ground, and we needed to drive a tram over the area about every 20 minutes, so we needed to know when the paint was dry so that we could run normally again, rather than having to go around the wet paint area.

EvilBob
2005-Mar-20, 11:49 PM
Speaking of button, it's usually said "buddon" up here. Canadian thing, apparently.

Also, (and I've noticed this on a certain American home decor show that my mother watches. You know the one) people tend to pronounce armoir "armoi" and voilà "walla" (I've even seen it written "walla") in an attempt at French pronunciation. For the love of all that is good and holy, please stop!

I can't stand that.
And what is it with the cooking guy on 'Queer-eye' that he refuses to pronounce the "H" at the front of 'Herbs"? 'Erbs'? What're they?
At long last I have managed to stop my wife using the non-word 'irregardless', but I can't stop her pronouncing the letter "H" with an "H" at the start - 'Haitch". *shudders*

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 11:51 PM
Apparently dropping the H from herbs is acceptable:


herb ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ûrb, hûrb)

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=herb

EvilBob
2005-Mar-20, 11:55 PM
I've just never heard anyone else say it that way.

In American English, herb and herbal are more often pronounced without the h, while the opposite is true of herbaceous, herbicide, and herbivore, which are more often pronounced with the h.
Well, that makes sense! :D

Moose
2005-Mar-21, 12:07 AM
And what is it with the cooking guy on 'Queer-eye' that he refuses to pronounce the "H" at the front of 'Herbs"? 'Erbs'? What're they?

I'm not sure if you're kidding here or not, but he's pronouncing it correctly. The 'h' is silent when referring to the plant class. The proper name, however, the 'h' is pronounced.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Mar-21, 01:20 AM
Here's a pet peeve of mine. American sportscasters often (that's off'n) use the phrase "on track", as in "the Panthers just couldn't get their offense on track today". This is a valid idiom that dates back at least to the heyday of railroads, where getting "off [the] track" was an obvious problem, so staying (or getting) "on track" was a good thing. (Of course, it may go back much further, as a reference to tracking game animals.)

However, some ignorant sportscasters (an oxymoron, maybe?) have corrupted "on track" to "untracked". Now, can somewone explain to me how that makes any sense? First of all, what does it mean? The meaning of the verb "to track" is to follow a trail. To be tracked, then, is to be followed. So how can one get untracked? There's no such valid usage, but I suppose it could mean to erase your trail so you can't be followed.

"The Panthers just didn't leave a trail out there today"... huh?
Untracked means to be off the track. That's usually a real problem for a train. :)

Hence, the expression "so ugly, they'd make a train take a dirt road"

EvilBob
2005-Mar-21, 03:38 AM
And what is it with the cooking guy on 'Queer-eye' that he refuses to pronounce the "H" at the front of 'Herbs"? 'Erbs'? What're they?

I'm not sure if you're kidding here or not, but he's pronouncing it correctly. The 'h' is silent when referring to the plant class. The proper name, however, the 'h' is pronounced.

Actually, I'm completely serious. I have never in my life heard anyone else refer to 'erbs'. Even a certain fried chicken outlet (American) used to advertise here in Australia their "Secret Herbs and spices". So where is it the correct pronunciation? Only in the US?

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-21, 03:42 AM
Here too -- if you choose to pronounce it that way. Both options are acceptable.

um3k
2005-Mar-21, 04:10 AM
Of course, then there are "flammable" and "inflammable," which are just plain stupid.

AGN Fuel
2005-Mar-21, 05:47 AM
And what is it with the cooking guy on 'Queer-eye' that he refuses to pronounce the "H" at the front of 'Herbs"? 'Erbs'? What're they?

I'm not sure if you're kidding here or not, but he's pronouncing it correctly. The 'h' is silent when referring to the plant class. The proper name, however, the 'h' is pronounced.

Dropping the 'H' is a uniquely American pronunciation and can be quite grating to the Australian (and if I may suggest English) ear. When I hear someone say 'Herbal' without the 'H', I think that person has the hiccups.

The pronunciation that absolutely drives me crazy are those people who leave the 'L' out of vulnerable. More and more often (with a silent 't') I have been hearing news reporters say 'vunnerable' and it makes me want to scream and throw things at the TV.....

EvilBob
2005-Mar-21, 05:57 AM
Thanks, AGN, for showing me I'm not the only one! :)

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-21, 06:02 AM
I just remembered one that really gets to me. My peers (*shudder*) tend to say "supposably" rather than "supposedly." I feel like smacking them on the side of the head every time.

Torsten
2005-Mar-21, 08:17 AM
Though that's no excuse for "offen."

A high school teacher told me that one of the British monarchs actually spelled it that way, but I don't know if that's true.

And if I understand it correctly, the British would have spelled it "spelt" (and pronounced it that way too), whereas I prefer the more common American spelling. We Canucks are often left to argue whether British or American spelling and pronunciation is appropriate in our country.

I also prefer "burned" to "burnt", but neither if we're discussing food.

Evan
2005-Mar-21, 08:43 AM
Well, in German "H" is the only letter that may be silent. And, only if it is in the middle of a word, separated by at least one letter from the beginning or end of the word. I really like German, the rules of pronunciation are simple. If you can spell it you can speak it. If you can speak it you can spell it.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-21, 09:30 AM
Though that's no excuse for "offen."

A high school teacher told me that one of the British monarchs actually spelled it that way, but I don't know if that's true.

And if I understand it correctly, the British would have spelled it "spelt" (and pronounced it that way too), whereas I prefer the more common American spelling. We Canucks are often left to argue whether British or American spelling and pronunciation is appropriate in our country.

I also prefer "burned" to "burnt", but neither if we're discussing food.When I get burnt food these days they just tell me it's cajun-style.

But I do think there is a difference between burned and burnt, but maybe it's just me. I think of burned as a past tense verb, but burnt as an adjective.

Fram
2005-Mar-21, 10:02 AM
Well, in German "H" is the only letter that may be silent. And, only if it is in the middle of a word, separated by at least one letter from the beginning or end of the word. I really like German, the rules of pronunciation are simple. If you can spell it you can speak it. If you can speak it you can spell it.

Although it took me quite a while when I was younger to learn that it is Tat-ort and not Ta-tort :lol:

Grendl
2005-Mar-21, 10:57 AM
Evan: That one doesn't bother me as much as something my supervisor at work says, which is "Let's flush out this concept," instead of "Let's flesh out this concept." That one makes me cringe every time I hear it.
I can think of some concepts at work that need to flushed out!

OK, so often is a two-way pronunciation word, but to be honest, I never hear educated people pronounce it "offen." I guess it's a choice, but my pals at Merriam-Webster give "offen" first billing. Learn something every day. Torsten, I'm not sure that your teacher is correct. Often is Middle English and derives from oft. If it was Old English, I could see that since so many OE words have double f sounds, but that doesn't look like the case here. Sometimes I want to break down and pay for the Oxford English Dictionary Online, because the OED is much more thorough about citing usage.

Good call on "media." I have to admit I've fallen prey to the error and said, "The media is to blame for..." That is such a ubiquitous error these days.

And it's true, people do say "supposably" instead of sounding out the d!

I had a problem at work with everyone spelling verbiage as "verbage" and pronouncing it like cabbage. Really one should sound out the i, but the annoying thing was that I had to paste the dictionary citation, because people didn't believe me! They were convinced their spelling was correct since they say it like cabbage--hello, why don't use just open up a dictionary?? I see misspelled words on forms all the time and I hate when people don't use their spell checker in Outlook and you get global emails (I've been lobbying for over a year to rid the dash from e-mail) that are so mangled and embarrassing, especially coming from a VP. I'm not talking about a typo here or there, but flagrant abuse of language.

Corrected "pronounciation." Hey, it was 5:00 a.m.!

Fram
2005-Mar-21, 11:23 AM
(I've been lobbying for over a year to rid the dash from e-mail)

I'm not going to argue English here, but I'm very glad that there is a dash in e-mail in Dutch, as email is somethng completely different (and pronounced differently as well), some kind of very hard coating used for advertising boards and so on...

Grendl
2005-Mar-21, 11:40 AM
(I've been lobbying for over a year to rid the dash from e-mail)

I'm not going to argue English here, but I'm very glad that there is a dash in e-mail in Dutch, as email is somethng completely different (and pronounced differently as well), some kind of very hard coating used for advertising boards and so on...
Oh gosh, I'm sorry, I don't want to add to any more ideas that we are trying to impose our will on the world. #-o I just hate dealing with the dash (laziness) and feel email functions nicely as a noun and verb.

I don't want Dutch people hating me, however, so I may have to rethink my "email" crusade. :D

Fram
2005-Mar-21, 12:17 PM
(I've been lobbying for over a year to rid the dash from e-mail)

I'm not going to argue English here, but I'm very glad that there is a dash in e-mail in Dutch, as email is somethng completely different (and pronounced differently as well), some kind of very hard coating used for advertising boards and so on...
Oh gosh, I'm sorry, I don't want to add to any more ideas that we are trying to impose our will on the world. #-o I just hate dealing with the dash (laziness) and feel email functions nicely as a noun and verb.

I don't want Dutch people hating me, however, so I may have to rethink my "email" crusade. :D

Hey, don't worry, I have nothing against Americans, only against Texans (and certainly crusading Texans)!

:oops: Can I rephrase that?

Just kidding, Grendl, I think you are right, I just wanted to add my 2 cents. Allright?

Grendl
2005-Mar-21, 12:25 PM
Fram, I'm not a Texan, I'm very weird about being called a Texan. I'm a New Englander who just lives here.

Now I've offended all the native Texans!

Time to go back to my cave. :oops:

Evan
2005-Mar-21, 02:39 PM
Bah. My pet peeve is "orientated". What happened to oriented? So, when someone finds their bearings do they orientate themselves? The only word based on the root that has an "a" is orientation.

Fram
2005-Mar-21, 02:55 PM
Bah. My pet peeve is "orientated". What happened to oriented? So, when someone finds their bearings do they orientate themselves? The only word based on the root that has an "a" is orientation.

Oriental?

Evan
2005-Mar-21, 04:01 PM
:evil:

Sheki
2005-Mar-21, 04:38 PM
Stregone wrote:


The 'have your cake and eat it too' saying means you want your cake twice. To have cake is to eat cake, like "I am having cake for dessert". Which of course means that you will be eating cake after dinner.

Um, I think you may be misunderstanding the saying. I say that because I held your interpretation for years and always thought that the saying made no sense whatsoever. Then I met my wife... and everything came clear.

You see for some people (eg. my wife), "to have a cake" means "to be in the presence of, and generally enjoy it for its visual beauty - like a work of art". Eating the cake destroys it. Thus, you cannot "have" your cake (as a material possession), if you are going to eat it. Hence the expression "to have your cake and eat it too" is used whenever someone is, or is trying to, "have it both ways", or "have the best of both worlds".

Converted to terms that someone more masculine (such as myself, as opposed to my better half) might fully appreciate, wanting to "have your cake and eat it too" would be somewhat equivalent to wanting to "keep your new car absolutely immaculate, but also wanting to drive it all the time".

Of course, I, like you, prior to meeting someone that thought of a cake as "being a shame to eat", completely missed the intent of the saying.

Sheki

LunarOrbit
2005-Mar-21, 04:46 PM
Fram, I'm not a Texan, I'm very weird about being called a Texan. I'm a New Englander who just lives here.

Now I've offended all the native Texans!

There was an episode of "King of the Hill" once where Hank found out he was born in New York City. He was afraid people would find out because then he wouldn't be considered "a real Texan".

Disinfo Agent
2005-Mar-21, 04:57 PM
My particular annoyance is the use of "media" as singular, "media is" rather than "media are."
"Media" is the plural of "medium," period.
That's what you get for insisting on using Latin plurals in a Germanic language. :P


OK, so often is a two-way pronounciation word, but to be honest, I never hear educated people pronounce it "offen." I guess it's a choice, but my pals at Merriam-Webster give "offen" first billing.
People striving for sophistication often pronounce the T in this word, but true sophisticates know that the masses are correct in saying “offen.” (http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/often.html) :)


In Chaucer, ofte was used before consonants and often before vowels. Ofte was replaced during the sixteenth century by the one-syllable oft when unstressed neutral vowels (like the "a" in "about") ceased to be pronounced at the end of a word and the two words were thus said in exactly the same way.

In that same century, often became the term of choice in Standard English, and at that time the written "t" was pronounced. In the seventeenth century, the pronunciation without the (t) sound became predominant among the educated classes in North America and Great Britain, and the one that included (t) was not looked upon kindly (although it's hard to imagine the British without their "t").

Early dictionaries in both countries omitted any reference to the pronunciation with (t) until around the mid 1970s, and that omission signaled either a general lack of acceptance or a conclusion that "often" with (t) was not frequent enough to recommend as an alternative. During the 1970s and 1980s, the pronunciation was attested sufficiently among educated speakers to warrant its creeping quietly into the major dictionaries--usually with a subtle cautionary label. Sometimes the label was "sometimes," but often it was "often," which really means 'not very often, and if you use this, watch out'.

The Maven's Word of the Day (http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20000602)

Simplification of consonant clusters has been an ongoing process in the history of English, but during the 15th century English experienced a widespread loss of consonants, as the d in handsome and handkerchief, the p in consumption and raspberry, and the t in chestnut and often. Because of the influence of spelling, however, there is sometimes a tendency to restore sounds that have become silent, as is the case with often, which is now commonly pronounced with the t. Curiously, in other words such as soften and listen, the t generally remains silent.

Bartleby.com (http://www.bartleby.com/64/C007/0141.html)
Apparently, the story is that the t was pronounced centuries ago, but then everyone ceased to pronounce it. Then a couple of purists who apparently knew little about the history of their own language decided that if the letter was there it had to be pronounced -- and thus we got to the current messy state of affairs.

Torsten
2005-Mar-21, 05:02 PM
I don't like the sound of "orientate" when "orient" seems to suffice, and have also argued that the shorter version ought to be correct, but I was never bothered enough to try to determine which is considered correct. Then I noticed that the first link in kucharek's post here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=440484&#440484) uses the long form, and I became bothered!

I found this:

Robert Burchfield, for many years the Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, has written that "I have decided to use the shorter form myself in all contexts, but the saving is not great. And one can have no fundamental quarrel with anyone who decides to use the longer of the two words."

here (http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19960924).

Oh well.

When I was in high school there was a collection of essays that we had to read. One of them was a criticism of modern English. It was full of examples that the author claimed were cheap, trendy words that were creeping into daily use and he felt they had no place in civilized conversation. I thought the guy was way behind the times. All the examples were dated and anyone using them would have now been considered old. Then I saw that the copyright of the essay was in the 1950's, and this was the 70's. So I concluded that language changes (for better or worse?), criticism of it seems to be a constant.

Grendl: I wasn't able to find confirmation of that comment about the monarch, hence my qualifying remark. But as you can now guess, that comment was made ~30 years ago, and today we still discuss this aspect of pronunciation.

Jpax2003: I have that same sense about burnt, as in burnt almonds, but I still don't like it!

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-21, 06:26 PM
Orient (verb) and Orientate (verb)

I had an argument with someone worked with one day. I insisted that orient was correct, while he said that he had always used Orientate and claimed it was a real word. We both went home a looked in the dictionary. The next day we both had to eat our words. It turns out that orientate really is a word related to orient.

Orient --to align with a direction
Orientate --to align specifically east

At least, that's what we decided was true as a compromise. :-?

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-21, 06:29 PM
Disorientated ?


.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Mar-21, 06:33 PM
Hmm... One of the entries at dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=orientate) agrees with Jpax's distinction (when the verb is employed intransitively), but the other two say that the verbs "orientate" and "orient" are synonyms. I take it this verb is not used intransitively very often.

Evan
2005-Mar-21, 06:45 PM
Interesting when you look it up with Google.

1. oriented (vs. unoriented), orientated -- (adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances; sometimes used in combination; "the house had its large windows oriented toward the ocean view"; "helping freshmen become oriented to college life"; "the book is value-oriented throughout")

Note that it is listed but only described in the examples as oriented, not orientated.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Mar-21, 06:49 PM
I believe the verb is being used transitively in all those sentences.

§rv
2005-Mar-21, 07:31 PM
Jamaicans' use a strange language which, if you listen closely, might actually resemble english. An example: in a restaurant, the waiter asked the guest to choose "either(ee-ther)or either(i-ther)" dish. #-o Proper english is "either this OR that". Go figure.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Mar-21, 07:43 PM
It's a creole language. (http://www.jamaicans.com/speakja/patois_language.shtml)

10stone5
2005-Mar-21, 09:10 PM
Im from New Zealand, and if there is an issue that really doesnt interest us, we would say we 'couldnt care less'... 'could care less' ...


That's 'cause it is absolutely, positively necessary to ignore dumb people [ie., people that say 'could care less']. :^o

pumpkinpie
2005-Mar-21, 09:24 PM
And what is it with the cooking guy on 'Queer-eye' that he refuses to pronounce the "H" at the front of 'Herbs"? 'Erbs'? What're they?
At long last I have managed to stop my wife using the non-word 'irregardless', but I can't stop her pronouncing the letter "H" with an "H" at the start - 'Haitch". *shudders*

Which Queer Eye version are you talking about? (Is there more than one?) Anyway, In America, at least, that's the prefered pronunciation of herb--silent H. But I've never heard anyone pronounce h as Haitch!

Edit: oops, sorry I'm late. I was catching up on the thread and got to the above post, at the end of the second page, and forgot there were two more pages!

But reading about "orientate" made me think of another one. On an exercise video I've done, the instructor talks about "elongating" the body. She says it right the first time, but for the rest of the video, she leaves out the e. "Longate" isn't a word, as far as I know!

pumpkinpie
2005-Mar-21, 09:33 PM
Interesting when you look it up with Google.

1. oriented (vs. unoriented), orientated -- (adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances; sometimes used in combination; "the house had its large windows oriented toward the ocean view"; "helping freshmen become oriented to college life"; "the book is value-oriented throughout")

Note that it is listed but only described in the examples as oriented, not orientated.

Before I even read this post, I was thinking that people's mistaken use of "orienate" may come from the commonly-used "orientation." "We go to orientation to orientate ourselves." Sounds like it should the right word, even though it's not!

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-21, 10:49 PM
Interesting when you look it up with Google.

1. oriented (vs. unoriented), orientated -- (adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances; sometimes used in combination; "the house had its large windows oriented toward the ocean view"; "helping freshmen become oriented to college life"; "the book is value-oriented throughout")

Note that it is listed but only described in the examples as oriented, not orientated.

Before I even read this post, I was thinking that people's mistaken use of "orienate" may come from the commonly-used "orientation." "We go to orientation to orientate ourselves." Sounds like it should the right word, even though it's not!And imagination is the place these people go to imaginate. 8-[

EvilBob
2005-Mar-21, 11:36 PM
<snip>
But I've never heard anyone pronounce h as Haitch!
I think this may be a particularly Australian tendency, although I'm sure Henry Higgins berates Eliza for it in "My Fair Lady"!.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-21, 11:39 PM
<snip>
But I've never heard anyone pronounce h as Haitch!
I think this may be a particularly Australian tendency, although I'm sure Henry Higgins berates Eliza for it in "My Fair Lady"!.You mean Enry Iggins? :wink:

Grendl
2005-Mar-22, 01:51 AM
Torsten said: Grendl: I wasn't able to find confirmation of that comment about the monarch, hence my qualifying remark. But as you can now guess, that comment was made ~30 years ago, and today we still discuss this aspect of pronunciation.
Disinfo Agent pasted a history about the pronunciation on the previous page. Apparently I'm a snob in pronouncing the t! I was correct about its origins with oft and Chaucer is Middle English (I studied Old English)--it was never spelled offen, just pronounced that way. I guess it's how I learned from those around me and it's such a common word, so I've never had the desire to look it up. I'll have to discuss this with my father since he was an English major and tell him we're snobs, as well. #-o

Disinfo Agent: I liked that Washington University site--I love stuff like that. But why, oh, why do you use dictionary.com? Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Online Dictionary is like a fine Merlot and dictionary.com is like Riunite (snob again, eh?)

As an aside, here's a site people might like and they use good sources. It might be useful for people who use English as a second language.
http://www.businessballs.com/clichesorigins.htm

I also use this for British slang, because there's a British guy on our board who lives in Tennessee and sometimes I have no idea what he's referring to. That's for another discussion, but it's still a useful site. Who are the "dirties" in England?
http://www.effingpot.com/

My MW's Unabridged confirms Disinfo's post:


Main Entry: ori·en·tate Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: rn.tt, r-, -en.-; en.tt; usu -d.+V
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -ed/-ing/-s
Etymology: French orienter (from Middle French) + English -ate -- more at ORIENT
transitive verb : ORIENT <when they come to London, colonials orientate themselves by Piccadilly Circus -- Ngaio Marsh>
intransitive verb : to face or turn to the east
That was a free word for y'all. I pay for the unabridged version (snob again!)

Look at the free version--yuck.

Main Entry: ori·en·tate
Pronunciation: 'Or-E-&n-"tAt, 'or-, -"en-
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -tat·ed; -tat·ing
transitive senses : ORIENT
intransitive senses : to face or turn to the east

mopc
2005-Mar-22, 06:46 AM
We need more linguists on this board!

"Could care less" is not wrong, it's just ironic.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Mar-22, 11:02 AM
Thank you very much for the links, Grendl. 8)

worzel
2005-Mar-22, 11:44 AM
And what's with the way you Americans pronounce 'thorough'? It's like you learnt (or learned) to say 'thoroughly' first and then just dropped off the 'y'. How do you guys say 'borough'?

Grendl
2005-Mar-22, 12:14 PM
And what's with the way you Americans pronounce 'thorough'? It's like you learnt (or learned) to say 'thoroughly' first and then just dropped off the 'y'. How do you guys say 'borough'?
I don't understand what you mean, especially about the y. Thorough and borough have similar (and several) pronunciations--how do we say it?. What's wrong with dropping the y? Thorough is an adjective, adverb, etc., and is Middle English. You started it!

pumpkinpie
2005-Mar-22, 02:12 PM
And what's with the way you Americans pronounce 'thorough'? It's like you learnt (or learned) to say 'thoroughly' first and then just dropped off the 'y'. How do you guys say 'borough'?
I don't understand what you mean, especially about the y. Thorough and borough have similar (and several) pronunciations--how do we say it?. What's wrong with dropping the y? Thorough is an adjective, adverb, etc., and is Middle English. You started it!

Yeah, please be specific: how do you pronounce it, and how are you thinking we pronounce it? To me, they rhyme: thurr-o and burr-o.

worzel
2005-Mar-22, 02:24 PM
I often hear "thurall investigation" on American tv.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-22, 02:36 PM
If you assume that there IS a God then technicaly he "could care less", if you take the meaning of the sentence literaly. :D

pumpkinpie
2005-Mar-22, 03:04 PM
I often hear "thurall investigation" on American tv.

Oh yeah, that's wrong, and it would bug me if I heard it too! And I can just imagine:
"Brooklyn is one of the buralls of New York City."

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-22, 03:09 PM
Language HAS to evolve but I sometimes think that the way language is changed sometimes, we'll all be speaking Klingon in a few centuries!

Wally
2005-Mar-22, 05:57 PM
[
Dropping the 'H' is a uniquely American pronunciation and can be quite grating to the Australian (and if I may suggest English) ear. When I hear someone say 'Herbal' without the 'H', I think that person has the hiccups.



Hold 'er there Newt! Dropping the "H" is quite common in the French language as well, isn't it??? At least, I seem to remember that from my 1 year of French I took back in high school. . .

Disinfo Agent
2005-Mar-22, 06:12 PM
[
Dropping the 'H' is a uniquely American pronunciation and can be quite grating to the Australian (and if I may suggest English) ear. When I hear someone say 'Herbal' without the 'H', I think that person has the hiccups.


Hold 'er there Newt! Dropping the "H" is quite common in the French language as well, isn't it??? At least, I seem to remember that from my 1 year of French I took back in high school. . .
That's different. No one pronounces the 'h' in French. At least, not for a couple of centuries, now. :)

AGN Fuel
2005-Mar-22, 10:50 PM
[
Dropping the 'H' is a uniquely American pronunciation and can be quite grating to the Australian (and if I may suggest English) ear. When I hear someone say 'Herbal' without the 'H', I think that person has the hiccups.


Hold 'er there Newt! Dropping the "H" is quite common in the French language as well, isn't it??? At least, I seem to remember that from my 1 year of French I took back in high school. . .
That's different. No one pronounces the 'h' in French. At least, not for a couple of centuries, now. :)

The curious thing is that dropping the 'H' seems restricted to the word 'Herb' and its derivatives. The sufferer of the unfortunate condition does not have Erpes, the cattle do not gather together in an Erd, the solitary cavedweller is not an Ermit, nor does he live in an Ermitage.

So why do you cook with Erbs?

Evan
2005-Mar-22, 11:00 PM
English affective disorder?

worzel
2005-Mar-22, 11:03 PM
The curious thing is that dropping the 'H' seems restricted to the word 'Herb' and its derivatives. The sufferer of the unfortunate condition does not have Erpes, the cattle do not gather together in an Erd, the solitary cavedweller is not an Ermit, nor does he live in an Ermitage.
They do in the east end :)

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-22, 11:03 PM
CORRECT1!!....but keep it under your 'at.

paulie jay
2005-Mar-23, 04:26 AM
Things I hate –
expresso (espresso)
advocado (avocado)
pacific (specific)
asexual (celibate)
hot cross buns (hot crossed buns)
any word that ends in D that is mispronounced as ending in a T, eg secont (second).

The aitch vs haicth thing drives me nuts, but there is an explanation for haitch’s extended use in Australia. It all depends on your schooling. Apparently it was common for Catholic Schools to teach “haitch”, while the public schools taught “aitch”.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-23, 06:37 AM
People always say Coke when they really should say cola.

cola can be any brand but Coke is just short for Coca Cola, isn't it?

Evan
2005-Mar-23, 07:32 AM
And a machine that serves Pepsi is still a Coke machine. Many a trademark has been lost to common usage, zipper being an example.

Sheki
2005-Mar-23, 12:23 PM
Frog march wrote:


People always say Coke when they really should say cola.

cola can be any brand but Coke is just short for Coca Cola, isn't it?

Odd. Around here people say "Coke" when they want a Coke, "Pepsi" when they want a Pepsi, "RC Cola" when they want RC Cola, etc. As a matter of fact, there have been many times that I have said "I'll have a Coke with that, or Pepsi, whichever you stock" (As the fast majority of restaurants -at least the dives that I frequent - serve only one or the other).

Evan wrote:


And a machine that serves Pepsi is still a Coke machine.

Very odd. I have never experienced that. They are all "pop machines" and only specified as "Coke Machines" if they are, in fact, Coke machines!

Fun. Do you have any more examples?

Sheki

SeanF
2005-Mar-23, 12:25 PM
hot cross buns (hot crossed buns)
Hot cross bun (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=hot%20cross%20bun) is correct . . .
:)

weatherc
2005-Mar-23, 03:20 PM
Regarding the Coke vs cola thing, it is common in the southern U.S. for people to use "Coke" to describe virtually any kind of carbonated beverage. This is especially true in Georgia, where the Coca-Cola headquarters is located.

Evan
2005-Mar-23, 03:55 PM
Do you have any more examples?

Why yes, I do. How often have you heard people say "Could you xerox this for me?" when the only copier in the office is a Canon? I worked for Xerox for 23 years and one of the things that was drilled into us was to dissuade our customers from calling the copier a "Xerox machine" even if it was made by Xerox. It is a copier and a copy is, well, a copy. Xerox is in constant danger of loosing the right to the trademark.

Fram
2005-Mar-23, 04:11 PM
Do you have any more examples?

Why yes, I do. How often have you heard people say "Could you xerox this for me?" when the only copier in the office is a Canon? I worked for Xerox for 23 years and one of the things that was drilled into us was to dissuade our customers from calling the copier a "Xerox machine" even if it was made by Xerox. It is a copier and a copy is, well, a copy. Xerox is in constant danger of loosing the right to the trademark.

We don't use Xeroxing in Dutch, but for a long time, taking a photo was called taking a Kodak, and in French they called making comics first 'faire des Mickeys' and later 'faire des Tintins'. It happens all the time (we call a ballpoint a bic). Aren't those words called eponyms?

Sheki
2005-Mar-23, 04:32 PM
Why yes, I do. How often have you heard people say "Could you xerox this for me?"

OK, that's one that I have heard, but it seems to be used less and less. It is more common now to just say "copy".

I thought of some of my own:

Tendency to always request Scott towel, specifically, rather than just paper towel. (But I think this might be unique to a very small corner of the world.)

Similarly, to always want Saran wrap, rather than just "cling wrap" or "plastic wrap".

Sheki

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-23, 04:41 PM
Here are a few more

http://www.prairienet.org/~rkrause/brands.html

.

weatherc
2005-Mar-23, 04:43 PM
Here are a few more:

Ziploc bag
Thermos
Kleenex

I'll post more if I think of them.

EDIT: Nevermind. Frog March posted a nice link with a whole bunch.

Donnie B.
2005-Mar-23, 06:24 PM
Don't the British use "Hoover" as a synonym for "vacuum cleaner"?

IIRC, an 'eponym' is a word derived from a proper name, e.g. 'malapropism'. I'm not sure if that's technically applicable to a brand name, except where the brand is actually someone's name, as in "Hoover".

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-23, 06:31 PM
Don't the British use "Hoover" as a synonym for "vacuum cleaner"?

IIRC, an 'eponym' is a word derived from a proper name, e.g. 'malapropism'. I'm not sure if that's technically applicable to a brand name, except where the brand is actually someone's name, as in "Hoover".


correct. It is also treated as a verb as well.

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 06:35 PM
In Brazil, a razor blade for shaving is called a "gilete" (zheelettchi), from Gilette.

kleindoofy
2005-Mar-23, 06:51 PM
All of the above just goes to show that language is a means of communication which has rules based on common usage and is not an exacting science.


... we would say we 'couldnt care less'. ...

I actually have a much more graphic way of expressing this, but the BABB has a nifty little text parser script which suppresses it when typed. My expression lacks any shade of ambiguity leaving no room for speculation as to my meaning. :wink:

kleindoofy
2005-Mar-23, 07:03 PM
Well, in German "H" is the only letter that may be silent. And, only if it is in the middle of a word, separated by at least one letter from the beginning or end of the word. ...

This is not quite correct. Although the "h" e.g. in the word "gehen" ("to go," "to walk") is not pronounced as such, it is used as what is called an "intervokalisches Gleitlaut." This "Gleitlaut" is a type of consonant for which there is no letter in our alphabet. It expresses that the word is not to be pronounced "gejen" (as Italians tend to), or gähn (with one long vowel), but "ge'en," where "'" represents a very soft kind of glottis.

Another use of "h" is the "Dehnungs-H" which is used following a vowel, proceding a consonant representing that the vowel is "long."

Evan
2005-Mar-23, 07:22 PM
I didn't say it was always silent, I said it may be silent.

Grendl
2005-Mar-23, 07:27 PM
Things I hate –
expresso (espresso)
hot cross buns (hot crossed buns)
any word that ends in D that is mispronounced as ending in a T, eg secont (second).

I can second those! Especially espresso.

I just got this quiz in an email. I am a "definitive Yankee," however, I have adopted the very Texas term "feeder road." I think this quiz is pretty close for an entertainment kind of quiz--you have to click on all the answers to see.

For instance: I say tag sale, soda, sneakers, etc. It really bugs me that people in Texas say "tennis shoes" when they mean sneakers. To me, tennis shoes are Spaldings and worn on a tennis court.

Sorry, this quiz will mean little to foreigners.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/lgrob/southern_dialect_quiz.htm

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 07:43 PM
When I learned American English as a kid, the books said "tennis shoe" and never "sneakers".

SeanF
2005-Mar-23, 08:01 PM
Things I hate –
expresso (espresso)
hot cross buns (hot crossed buns)
any word that ends in D that is mispronounced as ending in a T, eg secont (second).

I can second those! Especially espresso.
What, even hot cross buns? It's not wrong! :)


http://mywebpages.comcast.net/lgrob/southern_dialect_quiz.htm
Interesting. To me, "frosting" and "icing" have always had two different meanings. Frosting is the more solid substance that needs to be spread with a knife or spatula, while icing is the more liquid substance that can be poured or drizzled. Dictionary.com doesn't back me up on this one, though - apparently, they are just synonyms! :-?

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-23, 09:16 PM
When I learned American English as a kid, the books said "tennis shoe" and never "sneakers".


well in Britain people say trainers, or is that everywhere?

StarStuff
2005-Mar-23, 09:18 PM
The curious thing is that dropping the 'H' seems restricted to the word 'Herb' and its derivatives. The sufferer of the unfortunate condition does not have Erpes, the cattle do not gather together in an Erd, the solitary cavedweller is not an Ermit, nor does he live in an Ermitage.

So why do you cook with Erbs?

Going back a bit in this thread, a couple more words where the "h" is dropped in pronunciation are "honest" and "honour". I'm sure there must be more, as I thought of these ones just off the top of my head (not 'ead :wink: ).

AGN Fuel
2005-Mar-23, 10:58 PM
The curious thing is that dropping the 'H' seems restricted to the word 'Herb' and its derivatives. The sufferer of the unfortunate condition does not have Erpes, the cattle do not gather together in an Erd, the solitary cavedweller is not an Ermit, nor does he live in an Ermitage.

So why do you cook with Erbs?

Going back a bit in this thread, a couple more words where the "h" is dropped in pronunciation are "honest" and "honour". I'm sure there must be more, as I thought of these ones just off the top of my head (not 'ead :wink: ).

Sorry - I wasn't being clear. While there are words where the 'h' is silent (heir, hour, etc etc as well as honour, honest as mentioned), these pronunciations are shared with the entire English speaking world. Yet the pronunciation of Herb without the 'h' seems uniquely American. I'm just wondering why.

EvilBob
2005-Mar-23, 11:16 PM
I have read a theory somewhere (I suspect it was a Bill Bryson book, or something similar) that it's a form of cultural cringe. Americans often seem to pronounce words that were originally French with a marked French pronunciation, where for most other english-speakers, the word has been assimilated and anglicised.
For example, most of the english-speaking world would pronounce 'homage' pretty much as it's spelt, but Americans (I've heard) tend to pronounce it " 'oh-majjjjjj". How much truth there is to this, I'm not sure.
On the other hand, the Evanescence song 'Tourniqet' really irritates me, as she mis-pronounces it every time - 'ternikette'. It just grates on my ears! 8-[

um3k
2005-Mar-23, 11:17 PM
What about stuffing vs. dressing?

Of course, for me it should be neither, as I refuse to eat it once it has touched the bird. :lol:

StarStuff
2005-Mar-24, 12:31 AM
The curious thing is that dropping the 'H' seems restricted to the word 'Herb' and its derivatives. The sufferer of the unfortunate condition does not have Erpes, the cattle do not gather together in an Erd, the solitary cavedweller is not an Ermit, nor does he live in an Ermitage.

So why do you cook with Erbs?

Going back a bit in this thread, a couple more words where the "h" is dropped in pronunciation are "honest" and "honour". I'm sure there must be more, as I thought of these ones just off the top of my head (not 'ead :wink: ).

Sorry - I wasn't being clear. While there are words where the 'h' is silent (heir, hour, etc etc as well as honour, honest as mentioned), these pronunciations are shared with the entire English speaking world. Yet the pronunciation of Herb without the 'h' seems uniquely American. I'm just wondering why.

Oops - thanks for the clarification. I just read your earlier post (had seen it before, but somehow only the one I quoted registered #-o ) and now it all makes sense.

Grendl
2005-Mar-24, 02:58 AM
Things I hate –
expresso (espresso)
hot cross buns (hot crossed buns)
any word that ends in D that is mispronounced as ending in a T, eg secont (second).

I can second those! Especially espresso.
What, even hot cross buns? It's not wrong! :)
You know after I posted that at work I thought of the Mother Goose rhyme, "Hot cross-buns! Hot cross-buns! One a penny..." and I thought, gee, I think Paulie and I are wrong. There are recipes for hot crossed -buns, but it's looking like it is, in fact, hot cross buns.I tried to find a debate over the correct version, but couldn't locate anything except the etymology here: http://tinyurl.com/5yjew. The Mother Goose book uses the hyphen. Thanks for that one, SeanF.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/lgrob/southern_dialect_quiz.htm

Interesting. To me, "frosting" and "icing" have always had two different meanings. Frosting is the more solid substance that needs to be spread with a knife or spatula, while icing is the more liquid substance that can be poured or drizzled. Dictionary.com doesn't back me up on this one, though - apparently, they are just synonyms! :-?
Websters Unabridged says that icing is a derivative of the gerund ice, which is Middle English from isen.


ice
1 a : to coat with or convert into ice <sleet iced the turnpike>
2 : to cover with or as if with icing <ice a cake> <houses iced over with multicolored stuccoes -- Norman Lewis>

Main Entry: 1ic·ing Pronunciation: si, -s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: from gerund of 2ice
: a sweet coating for baked goods usually made from sugar and butter combined with water, milk, or egg white, flavored, often colored, and often cooked -- called also frosting
Frosting's first definition is icing and it doesnt' get any etymological notations, so I would conclude that icing came first.


Main Entry: frost·ing Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: -ti, -t
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
1 a : ICING b : a trimming on a garment <white angora frosting on cuffs and collar of a box jacket -- McCall's Needlework>
But what I want to know is WHY this sugar, egg, butter stuff was associated with ice or icing. Is it because of how it looked? Like snow or ice on a cake? I would think so.

paulie jay
2005-Mar-24, 04:42 AM
hot cross buns (hot crossed buns)
Hot cross bun (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=hot%20cross%20bun) is correct . . .
:)
I don't care for the modern dictionary definition - the buns are hot and they are crossed. It's not the cross that is supposed to be hot [-X :D


edited to add

Grendl - we're still right, it should be hot crossed buns. :) People just get the nursery rhyme wrong due to the phrasing. It's like the famous old Australian bush song Waltzing Matilda - nobody ever sings it right these days either.

paulie jay
2005-Mar-24, 04:48 AM
Sorry, this quiz will mean little to foreigners.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/lgrob/southern_dialect_quiz.htm

Well, as a foreigner I ended up as 61% Dixie!

Grendl
2005-Mar-24, 05:44 AM
Sorry, this quiz will mean little to foreigners.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/lgrob/southern_dialect_quiz.htm
Well, as a foreigner I ended up as 61% Dixie!
Well, gosh darn, Paulie Jay, you can just fit right in to South Carolina (she says with a heavy Southern accent).

(You can also not watch IMAX movies on volcanoes there, too)

Don't you think TV pundits and politicians overuse "if you will"? (ha, someone just said it on MSNBC). It's a filler phrase, as useless and excessive as, "Personally, I think red is the best car color." Strunk & White say to scrap using personally. Of course it's personal--it's your opinion. Trim the fat and say, "I think red is the best car color."
trim, I meant trim

EvilBob
2005-Mar-24, 05:51 AM
<snip>
It's like the famous old Australian bush song Waltzing Matilda - nobody ever sings it right these days either.
:o
Ok, PaulieJay - Who's singing it wrong and how? I know most Aussies don't know the National Anthem, but we're all supposed to know Waltzing Matilda....

EvilBob
2005-Mar-24, 05:55 AM
Sorry, this quiz will mean little to foreigners.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/lgrob/southern_dialect_quiz.htm
Well, as a foreigner I ended up as 61% Dixie!
Well, gosh darn, Paulie Jay, you can just fit right in to South Carolina (she says with a heavy Southern accent).
I got 55% Dixie! Yeeehawww!

Evan
2005-Mar-24, 06:20 AM
Well, I got 50%. I guess that makes sense as I have lived in the south, north, east and west of the North American continent.

Grendl
2005-Mar-24, 06:55 AM
Evan, your signature line had me looking at The Devil's Dictionary. I hope you don't mind my stealing your idea for a bit, though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...though that belongs in the cliche thread.

paulie jay
2005-Mar-24, 07:27 AM
Well, gosh darn, Paulie Jay, you can just fit right in to South Carolina (she says with a heavy Southern accent).

(You can also not watch IMAX movies on volcanoes there, too)
Will I be allowed to read the works of JK Rowling or will I get burned at the stake for witchcraft...?? :-k





<snip>
It's like the famous old Australian bush song Waltzing Matilda - nobody ever sings it right these days either.
:o
Ok, PaulieJay - Who's singing it wrong and how? I know most Aussies don't know the National Anthem, but we're all supposed to know Waltzing Matilda....
Well, the current version differs wildly from the original set of lyrics that Banjo Patterson came up with, but the one line that grates on my nerves is when people sing "You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me" when it is really "Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me?". It's meant to be a whimsical question, not a direct order!!


I got 55% Dixie! Yeeehawww! I would have thought that as you are south of Sydney you'd have ended up with a bigger Dixie score! Or maybe it works backwards in the southern hemisphere... :)


Here are a few more pronunciations that irk me -


Words that end in G that are pronounced as ending with K – somethink (something)

Words that magically sprout “P”s that aren’t really there – sompthing (something), mumpfs (months). This is a lazy Australian thing for which I would gladly see the reintroduction of capital punishment.

And the double shot – sompthink – (something)



spelling edits

EvilBob
2005-Mar-24, 07:44 AM
I got 55% Dixie! Yeeehawww! I would have thought that as you are south of Sydney you'd have ended up with a bigger Dixie score! Or maybe it works backwards in the southern hemisphere... :)
Yep - Closer to the equator = higher Dixie score!

Gillianren
2005-Apr-29, 02:22 AM
51% Dixie, which is odd, given that I've never even been there. LA then here, and that's it.

what makes me cringe is "vanella" and "pellow." there was a Domino's commercial that hyped its "vanella" icing, and I had to hit mute every time it came on.

can I just say that I find the concept of a drive-through liquor store deeply disturbing?

weatherc
2005-Apr-29, 02:34 AM
What about stuffing vs. dressing?

Of course, for me it should be neither, as I refuse to eat it once it has touched the bird. :lol:

It's my understanding that stuffing is cooked in the bird, and dressing is cooked in a separate dish; the only way dressing would touch the bird is if some chicken broth is used in its preparation. I like dressing better, because there's more crunchy bits, and you can make enough for everyone!