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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #12181
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Colonel "Bat" Guano worried about preverts taking over the country.
    If I remember correctly, he not only said that, but also referred to "preversion".

    I hear a wide variety of pronunciations of "February".
    Last edited by 21st Century Schizoid Man; 2019-Oct-07 at 06:42 AM.

  2. #12182
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I suspect it's just a case of someone with one accent attempting to transcribe vowels from a different accent, using Latin characters. What I hear is something close to ˈlæbrəˌtəri.
    Sorry, I don’t know how to get phonetic symbols from my iPhone. The first two vowels are spot on, but I would pronounce the final one to rhyme with lorry or Tory. If they pronounced the last vowel to rhyme with furry, I would suspect that is is someone from the South.


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  3. #12183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Sorry, I don’t know how to get phonetic symbols from my iPhone. The first two vowels are spot on, but I would pronounce the final one to rhyme with lorry or Tory. If they pronounced the last vowel to rhyme with furry, I would suspect that is is someone from the South.
    The problem here is that I don't know how you pronounce "lorry" or "Tory".* It's generally true, I think, that American accents have lost the rounding on the vowel represented by "o" which is preserved in most British English. So the "o" in "God" is rendered as an unrounded low back vowel, like the "a" in "father" in RP. Or, under the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, it migrates forward, to resemble the fronted "a" that I use for "father" in a Scottish accent.
    This makes the vowels in American "laboratory" difficult for a British ear to tease out. What we do notice is that you miss out an entire syllable and shift the emphasis, compared to British English.

    *ETA: which I, in any case, pronounce using different vowels.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Oct-07 at 12:34 PM.

  4. #12184
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    I would pronounce it as oʊ/, like in home.


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  5. #12185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I would pronounce it as oʊ/, like in home.
    So that's nearer the Scottish pronunciation of "home" than the RP, which would be the same as my version of "Tory". Were you saying that you pronounce "lorry" the same way, or that the vowel in "lorry" is another, different way that Americans might pronounce the second "o" in "laboratory"?

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #12186
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    When I say "Tory" and "lorry," they rhyme.
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  7. #12187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    When I say "Tory" and "lorry," they rhyme.
    Interesting. I seldom hears Americans say "lorry" or "Tory", for obvious reasons. These vowels are strongly distinguished in Scottish English, with an open-mid back rounded vowel /ɔ/ and a close-mid back rounded vowel /o/, respectively. (RP uses an open back rounded /ɒ/ and a dipthong /ɔə/.)

    What I believe I commonly hear at the end of American "laboratory" is something between a schwa /ə/ and an open-mid back unrounded vowel /ʌ/. I'm not aware of ever hearing Jens's /oʊ/, which I think I'd have found quite striking.


    Grant Hutchison

  8. #12188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Do you say the first "l" in "colonel"? How about the "r"?
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I sometimes say it as if the first “l” is an “r”, but the “o”s are exactly as they look.
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    That's interesting. I don't think I've ever heard a native English speaker pronounce the second "o".

    Grant Hutchison
    "Kernal". Without any O's at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I find metathesis really interesting. I always found George Bush’s use of nukuler to be quaint, but there are cases like comfortable or center where we either consider the wrong version to be correct or have changed the spelling to accommodate the change. The change from three to third is so ancient that we don’t really consider that anyone would have ever said thrid.


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    I think Jimmy Carter also said "nucular". And he claimed to be a "nucular engineer".

    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The problem here is that I don't know how you pronounce "lorry" or "Tory".* It's generally true, I think, that American accents have lost the rounding on the vowel represented by "o" which is preserved in most British English. So the "o" in "God" is rendered as an unrounded low back vowel, like the "a" in "father" in RP. Or, under the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, it migrates forward, to resemble the fronted "a" that I use for "father" in a Scottish accent.
    This makes the vowels in American "laboratory" difficult for a British ear to tease out. What we do notice is that you miss out an entire syllable and shift the emphasis, compared to British English.

    *ETA: which I, in any case, pronounce using different vowels.

    Grant Hutchison
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    When I say "Tory" and "lorry," they rhyme.
    Same here. Except I'd usually just say "truck". Now I'm curious as to how Grant says them.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #12189
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    Now I'm curious as to how Grant says them.
    See above. We were posting at the same time.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #12190
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    What I believe I commonly hear at the end of American "laboratory" is something between a schwa /ə/ and an open-mid back unrounded vowel /ʌ/. I'm not aware of ever hearing Jens's /oʊ/, which I think I'd have found quite striking.
    Sorry, I think I meant ɔ. Which I think is the standard American vowel in “store” for example. And yes, I would pronounce lorry (and Laurie) and Tory and store with this same vowel. I think this is standard in American English.

    I kind of think we are talking about two different things here. I think that metathesis is interesting, but if we start talking about the pronunciation of vowels then English is all over the place because there is so much regional variation. To Americans, it sounds like Australians are saying “to die” when they say today, but that’s just the accent.


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  11. #12191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Sorry, I don’t know how to get phonetic symbols from my iPhone. The first two vowels are spot on, but I would pronounce the final one to rhyme with lorry or Tory. If they pronounced the last vowel to rhyme with furry, I would suspect that is is someone from the South.


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    Not from this part of the south.
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  12. #12192
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    All the pronunciation differences are why English spelling reform won't work.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  13. #12193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Sorry, I think I meant ɔ.
    That makes sense in terms of what I'm hearing, given that American "o" sounds are very unrounded compared to their Scottish equivalent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I kind of think we are talking about two different things here. I think that metathesis is interesting ...
    Well, I offered American "laboratory" as an example of metathesis. But it may just be ellision, given the ambiguous way I seem to hear American vowels in the a/o territory.

    The town I grew up in has its own signature metathesis, much to the confusion and amusement of the rest of the world. We pronounce words ending in -ern as -ren. Modren, westren, lantren.

    Grant Hutchison

  14. #12194
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    All the pronunciation differences are why English spelling reform won't work.
    Indeed--in order to spell words the way they're pronounced, you have to figure out who's doing the pronouncing. Which of course is why some English words are spelled so oddly in the first place--they're spelled the way they were pronounced, and pronunciation has changed.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

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  15. #12195
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    On the rare occasions that I have to say "laboratory" in full, I always pronounce it as Boris Karloff would.
    “DeeDee! GET OUT OF MY LAH-BOR-AH-TORYYY!”
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  16. #12196
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    “DeeDee! GET OUT OF MY LAH-BOR-AH-TORYYY!”
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  17. #12197
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    My ancient electronic American Heritage Dictionary tells me that there are regional variations for the pronunciation of -or-. It uses non-IPA phonetics, so it's a little difficult to puzzle out what sounds it intends to symbolize. The options are ô, ō and ŏ. From context, and association with Latin, I'm guessing that ō is in the vicinity of /o/ and ŏ in the vicinity of /ɔ/. The glory/Tory series are listed with pronunciation options of ô or ō, whereas the lorry/sorry series are list with ô and ŏ, suggesting that some US dialects differentiate between them, in roughly the same way Scottish English does. The voice recordings pronounce both series the same, with a mid back not-very-rounded vowel (so I guess that's what ô symbolizes), with the interesting exception of "Tory", which is pronounced with a more close vowel, nearer to cardinal /o/ but still not very rounded.

    Grant Hutchison

  18. #12198
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The glory/Tory series are listed with pronunciation options of ô or ō, whereas the lorry/sorry series are list with ô and ŏ, suggesting that some US dialects differentiate between them, in roughly the same way Scottish English does.
    Interesting. I don't pronounce "sorry" and "lorry" the same. "Lorry" rhymes with "glory" and "Tory". "Sorry" doesn't.

    What does it say for "worry"? That's different than either "lorry" or "sorry".
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  19. #12199
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Interesting. I don't pronounce "sorry" and "lorry" the same. "Lorry" rhymes with "glory" and "Tory". "Sorry" doesn't.

    What does it say for "worry"? That's different than either "lorry" or "sorry".
    We have a choice of two u's: either ŭ or û. The first is listed in the pronunciation guide as being the vowel in cut; the second is listed as being the vowel in urge, term, firm, word and heard. In RP that would correspond to /ʌ/ and /ɜ/, respectively. (In Scottish English there are three different vowels represented in that list, one of which is shared with cut.)

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #12200
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    Yeah, I pronounce sorry differently from lorry as well. I pronounce the o in sorry the same way I pronounce the second a in safari, so that it’s a homonym with the Indian dress, sari.


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    Last edited by Jens; 2019-Oct-09 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Add italics to make it easier to understand
    As above, so below

  21. #12201
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    And for worry, and I think most Americans, pronounce it like urge or word. There are accents where it is pronounced like “but.”


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    Last edited by Jens; 2019-Oct-09 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Add italics to make it easier to understand
    As above, so below

  22. #12202
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Well, I offered American "laboratory" as an example of metathesis. But it may just be ellision, given the ambiguous way I seem to hear American vowels in the a/o territory.
    I think that at least in my case, it is just elision, as we are basically dropping the 'o'. In fact, if it makes it easier to understand, I (and most Americans, I think) pronounce lavatory and laboratory exactly the same, except that the v is replaced by br. I suppose there may be Americans who do do metathesis, in the sense that they pronounce it with the r after the vowel, in the same way that some Americans use metathesis in prescription , so that it sounds like "perscription" (quite common) and pretty (pertty) (not so common).
    As above, so below

  23. #12203
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    Our power is out. Oops, now it's on!
    Anyhow it's been upsetting to the kitty because I'm sitting in the recliner, and she wants me to recline it so she can join me. But it's an electric recliner!
    Last edited by Trebuchet; 2019-Oct-09 at 03:26 PM. Reason: typo
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #12204
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    And for worry, and I think most Americans, pronounce it like urge or word. There are accents where it is pronounced like “but.”
    Where I grew up Worry is pronounced like War.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  25. #12205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think that at least in my case, it is just elision, as we are basically dropping the 'o'. In fact, if it makes it easier to understand, I (and most Americans, I think) pronounce lavatory and laboratory exactly the same, except that the v is replaced by br. I suppose there may be Americans who do do metathesis, in the sense that they pronounce it with the r after the vowel, in the same way that some Americans use metathesis in prescription , so that it sounds like "perscription" (quite common) and pretty (pertty) (not so common).
    My point was about whether speakers are dropping the o before the r, or the a after it. It usually sounds to me as if the a is dropped and the -or- metathesized to -ro-. Speakers say labro- rather than labra-, in other words.
    But, honestly, we've already spent more time on it than a passing remark deserves.

    Grant Hutchison

  26. #12206
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    Some fellow composed a rather clever poem for The Baker Street Journal long ago, about how two different radio players of Sherlock Holmes would directly address the police inspector. It went something like this ...

    Basil Rathbone speaks like God
    When he pronounces it "Lestrade."
    But Sir John Gielgud won't be swayed,
    As he pronounces it "Lestrade."

  27. #12207
    The fact that the a box of tissues is increasing its entropy, well the reason its entropy is increasing I think I have bit of a head cold.
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  28. #12208
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Some fellow composed a rather clever poem for The Baker Street Journal long ago, about how two different radio players of Sherlock Holmes would directly address the police inspector. It went something like this ...

    Basil Rathbone speaks like God
    When he pronounces it "Lestrade."
    But Sir John Gielgud won't be swayed,
    As he pronounces it "Lestrade."
    but current actors find it hard
    to deviate much from "Lestrade"
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  29. #12209
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    A recent on-line dialect map indicated that the area where I grew up is the only part of the US that pronounces the following three words differently:
    Mary
    Marry
    Merry




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  30. #12210
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    The power went out four or five times this morning, all but the last being for just one second or so. The last was about a half hour.
    Each time, the printer woke up and went into Intentionally Wasting Ink Printer Maintenance mode. That was enough to put it over the edge so when my wife tried to print something, the black just wasn't there. A search of the utterly disorganized office ensued, and I finally found a black cartridge in a box. No color ones, and they are marginal at best but we can get by. I really need to do something about the office.
    Anyhow, I was heading into town so I stopped at the art and office store. Nope, they don't have cartridges -- HP will not sell them through small businesses. Rather infuriating, that. Off to Amazon, I guess.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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