Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

What do you call it

From:Sarah Marie Parker-Allen <lloannna@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 23:14
When a single word has two alternate pronunciations, amongst the same
population (that is, each and every person would say it either way, freely),
depending on context or a desire to make it rhyme?  I see this with "the"
all the time -- when someone says it normally, it *usually* rhymes with the
vowel in "sun."  But, quite often, people switch it to rhyming with "see" or
"be" -- sometimes to make it rhyme (in the new O-Town song, "I Showed Her,"
I counted an even number of "the" as "thee" and "the" as "thuh" instances,
entirely based on when they needed to rhyme and when they were just in the
middle of a sentence).  Other times, I've heard it used as "thee" when
someone is trying to sound snooty, or whatever.  I've also noticed that when
I read a piece of text using "the", sometimes I read it one way and
sometimes the other -- but when I give my sister the same text, she'll
choose to say it all the same way I did, even if she wasn't hearing me.  So,
anyway, is there a name for this phenomenon, or have I just lost my mind
(some more)?

Sarah Marie Parker-Allen

"I will not turn into a snake. It never helps." -- Rules for the Evil

[This E-mail scanned for viruses by SURFSIDE INTERNET]


Danny Wier <dawier@...>
John Cowan <cowan@...>
tim talpas <tim@...>
Aidan Grey <grey@...>
Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Muke Tever <mktvr@...>