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Subject: An irritating linguist's obnoxious whining about pronunciation rss

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Maciej Kozlowski
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So I started listening to ludology from episode 1 and it is the best podcast I've ever listened to in my life...

...HOWEVER!!!

Geoff, if you say 'Speel di jarre' or 'Vlada shwatil' again, baby seals will be clubbed!

AFAIK German is not French, i.e. most letters are pronounced, and Spiel des Jahres is pronounced 'SHPEEL des YAH-res'

As for the latter, Vlaada's last name is 'KHVA-til'.

I'm really sorry, I had to. I know. This is just beyond my control. Laughing and bashing may now commence.
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Bob (he/him)
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English is hard enough. Can you read this poem out loud correctly first time through?

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!
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Bob (he/him)
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oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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matzieq wrote:
So I started listening to ludology from episode 1 and it is the best podcast I've ever listened to in my life...

...HOWEVER!!!

Geoff, if you say 'Speel di jarre' or 'Vlada shwatil' again, baby seals will be clubbed!

AFAIK German is not French, i.e. most letters are pronounced, and Spiel des Jahres is pronounced 'SHPEEL des YAH-res'

As for the latter, Vlaada's last name is 'KHVA-til'.

I'm really sorry, I had to. I know. This is just beyond my control. Laughing and bashing may now commence.


I appreciate the assist. I will endeavor to improve in the future.

Good thing you didn't hear me on the Dice Tower when I was talking about 'flow' and tried to pronounce the name of the progenitor of the concept, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.

Geoff
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Bob (he/him)
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engelstein wrote:
matzieq wrote:
So I started listening to ludology from episode 1 and it is the best podcast I've ever listened to in my life...

...HOWEVER!!!

Geoff, if you say 'Speel di jarre' or 'Vlada shwatil' again, baby seals will be clubbed!

AFAIK German is not French, i.e. most letters are pronounced, and Spiel des Jahres is pronounced 'SHPEEL des YAH-res'

As for the latter, Vlaada's last name is 'KHVA-til'.

I'm really sorry, I had to. I know. This is just beyond my control. Laughing and bashing may now commence.


I appreciate the assist. I will endeavor to improve in the future.

Good thing you didn't hear me on the Dice Tower when I was talking about 'flow' and tried to pronounce the name of the progenitor of the concept, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.

Geoff


Come on Geoff, that's pronounced just like it's spelled. devil
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Travis Hill
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pilotbob wrote:
English is hard enough.


Well if poor English hadn't borrowed such a mishmash of words from other cultures and languages, then we wouldn't have this problem. However, if the Normans hadn't invaded "Britain" I guess we would still be speaking some derivative of Anglo-Saxon.
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matzieq wrote:
Geoff, if you say 'Speel di jarre' or 'Vlada shwatil' again, baby seals will be clubbed!

AFAIK German is not French, i.e. most letters are pronounced, and Spiel des Jahres is pronounced 'SHPEEL des YAH-res'
Oh, well. I likely cringe as often as you do - or even more There are so many podcasters out there butchering German names and only a few are trying (sometimes really hard) to pronounce them correctly.
Although it's dead simple with a little help: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/169008/how-pronounce-... or https://translate.google.com

@pilotbob Great poem. And yeah, it's hard. I stumbled at ague (never heard this word ).
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Chris Berger
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pilotbob wrote:
oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.


Do you have this problem with all homophones?
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Bob (he/him)
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arkayn wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.


Do you have this problem with all homophones?


My point sir is that "ant" and "aunt" are in fact NOT homophones.
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Maciej Kozlowski
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yzemaze wrote:
I stumbled at ague (never heard this word ).


I've seen it before, and that time I stumbled at ague as well. This time I managed to get to revile

@Bob

Thank you for the bashing. To my defense, I'd like to point out that I'm not German, and I'm not Czech, heck, I don't even know the languages (well, I can order a wurst and eine flasche bier, and Czech is similar enough to Polish that we can understand each other). I'm just a weirdo who has some kind of fetish with pronouncing things right, and since Geoff talks a lot about speel di jarre, and I REALLY wanted to continue listening to the podcast, I just had to.
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Greg
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pilotbob wrote:
arkayn wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.


Do you have this problem with all homophones?


My point sir is that "ant" and "aunt" are in fact NOT homophones.


In point of fact "aunt" pronounced as "ant" is the older more established pronunciation. It is not a degenerative form. Rather the aunt pronunciation only took off widely in the 19th century and even there only in England and the US Northeast. (There is a lot of discussion and history about the growth of the "ah" sound and the formation of modern British pronunciation in the 1750-1900 period.) The "ant" pronunciation remains far and away the more widely used pronunciation in the US.
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Randall Bart
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pilotbob wrote:
My point sir is that "ant" and "aunt" are in fact NOT homophones.

They rhyme in most American dialects, but some rhyme "aunt" with "haunt".

As used in the poem, some words are ambiguous. "Does" could be the verb or the noun, as could "wind". "Mould" is an affected British misspelling of "mold". "Live" works only because it must rhyme with "sieve". "Chair" does not rhyme with "mayor", not "four" with "Arkansas." "Bass" is constrained by rhyming with "efface", but otherwise looks like the fish. I don't think "enough" rhymes with "cough" in any dialect.

I have never seen "Melpomene" before.
 
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pilotbob wrote:
arkayn wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.


Do you have this problem with all homophones?


My point sir is that "ant" and "aunt" are in fact NOT homophones.


Maybe not where people speak posh, but up north where we speak proper, I assure you they are.
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Stephen Miller
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Barticus88 wrote:
[q="pilotbob"]"Mould" is an affected British misspelling of "mold".


By which you mean 'is spelt properly, rather than with the misspelling that Mr Webber was partial to when he happened to be writing the dictionary adopted as the standard dictionary by Americans - one of the few successful attempts at spelling reform in English... But confined exclusively to the USA.'
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Bob (he/him)
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Gizensha wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
arkayn wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.


Do you have this problem with all homophones?


My point sir is that "ant" and "aunt" are in fact NOT homophones.


Maybe not where people speak posh, but up north where we speak proper, I assure you they are.


What's "up north". I grew up in New England, can't get much more north than that. I guess they have a much stronger British influence.

It took me quite a while to figure out who ANT Bee was. Is it an ant or a Bee. Oh, it's Aunt Bee!

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matzieq wrote:
@Bob

Thank you for the bashing.


Was I bashing? I certainly didn't mean to. Or, perhaps this is a cultural thing. I was just kidding around. Good natured ribbing and all that.
 
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Barticus88 wrote:
"Chair" does not rhyme with "mayor", not "four" with "Arkansas."

Chair certainly does rhyme with mayor, how I say them at least.

For the second, now I am worried because I thought I knew how to say Arkansas but if it doesn't rhyme with four how is it pronounced?
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pilotbob wrote:
Gizensha wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
arkayn wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
oh, and the above poem wants you to pronounce aunt like ant for the poem to rhyme. However, my mother's sisters aren't insects so I don't call them ants.


Do you have this problem with all homophones?


My point sir is that "ant" and "aunt" are in fact NOT homophones.


Maybe not where people speak posh, but up north where we speak proper, I assure you they are.


What's "up north". I grew up in New England, can't get much more north than that. I guess they have a much stronger British influence.

It took me quite a while to figure out who ANT Bee was. Is it an ant or a Bee. Oh, it's Aunt Bee!



According to google, the original pronunciation sounded like the insect. Other words which were pronounced similarly like aunswar (answer) and haunde (hand) had the spelling changed, but aunt has survived.

At some point people in England started pronouncing it differently, and sure enough New Englanders followed along. Now apparently 75% of America pronounce it correctly and the majority of the mispronouncers are New Englanders and African-Americans.

Edit: to note that I missed the post from Greg above, who said almost the same thing, but better. Oops!
 
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Maciej Kozlowski
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pilotbob wrote:
matzieq wrote:
@Bob

Thank you for the bashing.


Was I bashing? I certainly didn't mean to. Or, perhaps this is a cultural thing. I was just kidding around. Good natured ribbing and all that.


No, it's okay, I just said 'laughing and bashing may now commence', and you weren't laughing, so I just classified your posts as bashing. Or should it be thrashing? Or maybe lashing, or smashing?
 
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Gizensha wrote:
Barticus88 wrote:
[q="pilotbob"]"Mould" is an affected British misspelling of "mold".


By which you mean 'is spelt properly, rather than with the misspelling that Mr Webber was partial to when he happened to be writing the dictionary adopted as the standard dictionary by Americans - one of the few successful attempts at spelling reform in English... But confined exclusively to the USA.'


On further review, this is the conflation of two words. The fungus word was spelled "mold" until some pedant noticed that in Middle English it had a "u", so we can be historically justified making English just a little more confusing. There are several other words afflicted by this type of historical change, such as "debt" and "indict".

And as long as they were muddying the language, they included the shape word, which had never had a "u" before the late 18th century. Many words were afflicted by this type of odd spelling for odd spelling sake, such as "tyre", "foetus", and "grey".

 
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pilotbob wrote:
Gizensha wrote:
Maybe not where people speak posh, but up north where we speak proper, I assure you they are.


What's "up north". I grew up in New England, can't get much more north than that. I guess they have a much stronger British influence.


I'm pretty sure Lancashire is a bit further north than New England. And I've always been under the impression that /ɔnt/ (aw like in saw) was an affected pronunciation meant to project an unwarranted aire of sophistication, and that /ant/ (ah as in top) was a British influence. Not sure which one you're saying, but I do agree with Greg that /ænt/ (a as in cat) is most common across the US (basically everywhere but Massachusetts, from what I understand) and has historical precedence.

So, basically, yuk

 
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loofish wrote:
Chair certainly does rhyme with mayor, how I say them at least.

"Mayor" is one syllable only when in front of a name (eg, "Mayor Daley"). At the end of a sentence it is two syllables.
 
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Christian Gienger
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Thanks for putting up this thread. It's fun to read, but I think the poem has the problem that there are so many English dialects that basically all are correct that the poem doesn't work everywhere.

And I prefer Geoff's pronunciation over Tom's every day. And I really loved the "Social Milieu" episode just for the choice of the title.
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Barticus88 wrote:
loofish wrote:
Chair certainly does rhyme with mayor, how I say them at least.

"Mayor" is one syllable only when in front of a name (eg, "Mayor Daley"). At the end of a sentence it is two syllables.

What about Arkansas?
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In (my part of) Australia "aunt" rhymes with "aren't".

Also in Australia "cat" and "hat" are one syllable words, that is not the case in all parts of the USA.
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