Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

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Is “painstaking” pronounced the same in Britain as here, as “pain-staking”?

I was in empty space in an elevator one day when it occurred to me that it’s actually “pains-taking”, the taking of pains to do something thoroughly. I’d never thought about it before.

But it’s too hard to pronounce “painz-taking”, because the “z” sound must be voiced; whereas the unvoiced “s” combines easily with the “t” to make “-staking”, so that’s what we say. That’s my theory, but BrE might be different. Is it?

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Where is "here"?

jayles the unwoven June 2, 2015, 12:13pm

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Here is Berkeley, California, USA, Earth.

Manetfan June 2, 2015, 3:08pm

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It's definitely officially with a hard z sound in BrE. Check out (and listen at) Oxford. But after repeating it to my (British) self several times, I think you might well be right that the s sound tends to soften in practice.

Warsaw Will June 4, 2015, 2:48am

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