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December 26, 2008
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Although I live in Canada, I was originally from Somerset in the west country of England. A lot of the names in southern Ontario come from England - Exeter, London, Stratford, Cambridge, Wellington, Palmerston, Leamington, Essex, Windsor, etc. What I find interesting is that when I visit family in Somerset and Devon I hear many similar pronunciations to what I hear in souther Ontario. The West Country dialect is typically rhotic similar to southern Ontario.
It took me years to learn to say idea instead of "idear".
There are a couple of differences in place name pronunciation:
- Leamington (Ont = "leemington, English = "lemmington")- Palmerston (Ont = "pammerston, English = "palmerston")- Woolwich (Ont = Wool-wich, English = "wool-ich")
Re: "February 10th, 2011 by Alyson DraperIs it really proper to say “I graduated high school,” or should it not be, “I graduated from high school?” Previously, I thought only rednecks were able to “graduate high school.”
Actually, I do not believe a true redneck would have reason to use either expression!
Not all "silent" letters are silent in all accents and dialects. For example, in Claudia's list I disagree with:
- d in fudge- e in lime (without the e it rhymes with tim, with the e it rhymes with time)- j in marijuana (it's a spanish word and 'ju' gives you the 'w' sound)- l in balm (I say balm, not bam)- q in lacquer (lac-ker)- r in February (missing the r in February is sloppy pronunciation)- v in fivepence (weird - the v in five is always pronounced.- y in stray (without the y, it's just stra which rhymes with bra)
Claudia - with what accent or dialect do you speak?
There is one Americanisation that cracks me up whenever I hear it said - vehicle being pronounced as "vee-hickle". I was taught to say veer-kul....and yes I know it comes from the Latin "vehiculum". It still sounds funny! Right up there with the Canadian "fil-im" for film..
Phonetic spelling of English is impossible because of the variations in pronounciations between the various accents. For example, I disagree with almost every example from Jm. To me girl = girl, saying = saying and name=name.
Unfortunately there are some absolutely horrendous accents in existance. I cannot foresee a time when we could ever reach agreement - we can't even agree on British v. American spellings!
Chris says: "Regarding “marijuana”: you do pronounce the j… if you’re speaking Spanish. But this is English! I pronounce it “marowana”."
Yes, but the "ju" gives you the "w" - Juan is pronounced "wan"...the ju is not silent. Without the "ju", you would say "mari - ana" not "mari-wana.".
I hear a lot of nouns used as verbs...my personal hate is the misuse of "action". You can commit to an action, you can perform an action, but you do not "action something"!!! Everytime I hear that I want to slap someone in the head.
A close second is the misuse of dialogue. Why can't they just say they're going to talk or have a conversation rather than "dialogue each other"! Business Analysts and Project Managers...bah... they are the bain of English...
How about Cirencester... I've heard it pronounced "sister" among others!
In southern Ontario and around Toronto you will hear "Tronna" or "Tronno". In a s. Ont village called Palmerston - for reasons unknown - it's locally pronouced as "pamerston". My mum says she can barely tell apart a Canadian 'd' from a Canadian 't'.
Marijuana doesn't actually have a silent J - it has a Spanish J - marihuana; 'ju' same as in Juan. Sometimes letters get added as well, my relatives back in Somerset usually call Canada "Canader".. I also heard Justin Lee Collins refer to Chicago as "Sher-cargo". Damn rhotics!
English will be a great language if we ever figure out how to spell it - or even agree on what to pronounce!
These lists are problematic. Depending on your accent or dialect, letters may or may not be silent. In both of the lists submitted so far I can disagree with several entries. The definition of silent is also open to question - does a true silent letter have no bearing on the pronunciation or can it influence the pronunciation.
examples: aisle - isle - I'll (silent 'a' and 's') - In some accents those are homophones and in others not.
Y: Malaysia - the 1st part of the name is "Malay" with the Y most definitely pronounced as in “Malay-sia”.
Words like 'game' do not have truly silent letters as the 'e' modifies the pronunciation of the 'a'. This is an argument that could go on ad infinitum. Some letters are silent as spellings have not kept up with the language.
Ritchie - I'm located in southern Ontario in Canada. Approximately 100km southwest of Toronto.
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