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Mispronunciations in English language

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          Now, I have always been told that the English language is one of the hardest to understand and speak with all the regional differences and exceptions to the rules, but sometimes it can be misspoken with sometimes humorous results.

 

        One example that I have noticed recently is how a computer program used by the phone company to call out caller ID, can really have difficulties.  The printout on the screen read anonymous, but the voice said Anna Namous, as if it was the name of some woman!

        Another example came about while we were watching The Voice on TV where one of the contestants was trying to say something to Blake Shelton about the acoustic sound on the stage, but it came out as: a cue stick.  Blake caught on immediately, repeating his mispronunciation and asking what did that have to do with a game of pool. 

       In Boston a common occurrence is the people trying to say the island of Cuba, but saying Cuber instead. (I wonder how they spell it?)  I’m sure a lot of us have come across other similar miscues, so list a few here.  

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Posted (edited)

Sounds Brooklyn to me. Use guys know wad I mean. If ya don’t jus akse.

 

My dad was from Brooklyn, I had my formative years on Staten Island. And was made well aware of the accent in High School in Jersey.

 

Forgetaboudit!

 

Kurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kurt Johnson

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Actually, I just remembered a guy in college who was from an island off of Virginia who spoke with what was pretty darn close to a Brit accent, the whole island spoke that way. In New Jersey there a number of towns with names that the locals don’t pronounce the way you would think based on spelling. A dead giveaway you’re not from around here. Makes life interesting. I like the way some areas people have to talk with their hands  and others can talk quite clearly with their hands in their pockets or sittin on em.

 

Kurt

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Posted (edited)

Sorry if I got hung up on this topic. I heard a very interesting broadcast on NPR this past year. It concerned Shakespeare. The jist was, some linguist made an exhaustive study on Shakespeare, and supposedly it wasn’t anything like what we think of the eloquent speech that comes to mind. That was affected in the 1700’s don’t you know, Kings English, say what. The original was supposed to be spoken about 3x faster, in a dialect similar to an Irish accent, which was the similar to common everyday spoken English of the time.

 

It ain’t no high fallutin thing after all.

 

Kurt

Edited by Kurt Johnson

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    How about the word ask?   It seems that a lot of people pronounce it as ax.  It doesn't seem to be a regional thing as people from all areas of the country pronounce it that way.   Confusion may reign when they say "can I ax you a question", or I chopped the tree down with my ask. :rolleyes:  Pronunciation aside, how do they spell the word when they write it down?

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    I remember at one time a local politician was a guest on a local radio station and was asked to intro the next song.  I think he was trying to be hip with his knowledge of the current music scene, but it kind of fell flat when he introduced a very popular song by totally revealing he actually knew very little.  While he got the name of the song correct, he pronounced the group INXS as inks, rather than In Excess.

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In the horticultural industry the following plant names are mispronounced. 

 

Maple is moply (rymes with monopoly) 

Cotoneaster is cotton easter

Arbovitae is arbor vity

Burning bush is called fire bush as well. Burning and fire is the same 

 

These are the ones that come to mind and there are many more 

 

Marcus 

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But some inconsistenci s between writing and pronunciation are usual, aren't they?

there are some english cities that use quite a bit more characters in writing than are used in speaking. (Worchester and Leicester are famous in that respect).

(And as Marcus knows: we have some examples too)

 

Jan

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Parts of Eastern Kentucky:

it's  pronounced hits

tower  = tar  (longer a)

tire   =  tar

ice  =  eyes

 

a seemingly insurmountable one in a different community   escape  =  X cape

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Here's one from last evening: is dahlia pronounced 'dah-lia' or 'day-lia'? Enquiring minds wish to know.

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23 minutes ago, druxey said:

Here's one from last evening: is dahlia pronounced 'dah-lia' or 'day-lia'? Enquiring minds wish to know.

In California, we pronounced it with a short 'a' as in cat. Here in Greenville we have people from all over the country, so we hear many different accents (including foreign, since we have plants for both Michelin and BMW nearby). The word that makes me cringe now and then is when folks from Eastern Kentucky or West Virginia say on, but they pronounce it "own". The typical Deep South accent around here doesn't affect me too much, since my Granny Coyle (Granny -- never "Grandma") grew up in rural East Texas and had the same sort of twang.

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If the shoo fits war it.

 

Brits speak English

We speak American and still cannot understand each other.

(Brad Pitt movie Fury this is an American tank we don't speak Mexican we speak American).

 

Worked a small town in Alabama Smut Eye asked a local how it got its name kidding around I asked did something dirty happen here a long time ago. 

Well Par for the course should have been more diplomatic, he became defensive and said it was pronounced (Smoot Eye) and he was tired of folks making it sound like it was nasty.

Stupid me I suggested change the spelling and he said if we did that they wouldn't know they were in Smut Eye.

There was 1 four way stop with a closed service station with a sign painted on the roof Welcome to SMUT EYE. :wacko:

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Oh, I wasn't slinging off - I love the way language (particularly English) changes and abbreviates itself, and how old survivals still hang on after hundreds of years - like how the Thames river is pronounce Tems.

 

In West Australia you can always pick a blow-in by how he pronounces the place-name Mandurah (should be MAN-dyoo-rah), and Careening Bay on Garden Island off the coast of WA was pronounced (when I was a kid in the sea scouts) Careenion.

 

Steven

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6 minutes ago, Louie da fly said:

you can always pick a blow-in

And with internet, your term becomes my term in an instant, halfway across the world! Love the term "Blow-in". SO much better than visitor, or foreigner, or new people/person!

 

Around here people in the smaller mountain towns call visitors or new comers, or in my new term "blow-ins", "Flat-landers". 

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Posted (edited)

You're welcome, Lou. Have fun with it.

 

Funny, if you read science fiction, a "flatlander" is either someone who's never been in space, or else someone from Earth (which upsets much-travelled Terrans).

 

By the way, when I was a nipper a book came out called "Let Stalk Strine" (=Let's Talk Australian) gently ribbing, but also celebrating, the way we talk here and the Strine wire flife (way of life).

 

Many new words (like "stewnce" - as in "Didja readna piper [=read in the paper] about the uni stewnce?"), but also re-use of English words in new meanings. My favourite was "aorta" = someone in authority should - as in "aorta widen the roads"

 

It was compiled by Afferbeck Lauder (I'll let you see if you can work that one out - it took me years before the penny finally dropped!).I think I still have the book around somewhere.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Louie da fly said:

Afferbeck Lauder

I think I worked it out but if I would have done it I think it would have been a little more like "Allerbeck Auder".:D But then I am a born and raised north west American so what could I know about speaking Strine? Based on what you natives were saying back and forth a few posts ago I would have a hard time just saying some of the local names even without chopping them up!

Edited by lmagna

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Yes, I think you've worked it out, Lou.

 

An interesting thing I've noticed about American idiom is what I like to think of as the "American conditional". In the sentence above I would have said "but if I had done it . . .", with the rest of the sentence unaltered.  Neither one is "more correct", just local usage.

 

Steven

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14 hours ago, lmagna said:

Around here people in the smaller mountain towns call visitors or new comers, or in my new term "blow-ins", "Flat-landers". 

Down here all newcomers are damn yankees, when they move there good yankees if they stay and learn to say yes maam and no maam, yes sir and no sir and the byword Y'ALL. they be the adopted sons and daughters of the south.

 

You have to be gracious when in a diner and your called honey and sweetie, and Y'ALL come back now ya heeer. 

 

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John, I have a story for you. When I first moved to Greenville, my cubicle was right across the hall from a Greenville native. One day the topic of local eateries came up, and this fellow says that "all you Yankees and Westerners think we have good restaurants around here, but we don't." Feigning indignation, I replied, "'Yankees and Westerners'? I'll have you know that my ancestors were originally from Gaffney" -- which is true (Gaffney is about 50 miles up I-85). He says, "Gaffney, eh? (long pause) You might be all right then."

 

Turns out our great-great grandfathers were in the same Confederate infantry regiment.

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Less Stalk Strine. I remember reading that years ago and having to read it out loud to 'get it'. One of my favorites? "Egg nishner". Say it.

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Closer to home for those of us in the UK

A Load of Old Bristle: Krek Waiter's Peak Bristle

 

Translation: The correct way to speak Bristol. Bristol (the original, not the one in Tennessee) is a big city in the west of England and was once a very important port. The local dialect was completely baffling to me when I first moved to the area, and although this book was written with tongue in cheek it actually helped! The Amazon blurb includes ... "Speak Bristle fluently, without going to Nice Cool! Master the difference between Forgots Ache and Yukon Talk."

Nice Cool = night school

Yukon Talk = You can talk

Forgots Ache = you've got the idea by now, figure this one out .

Written by Derek Robinson who later wrote 'Piece of Cake' among other things.

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