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Re: Spelling pronunciations (was: rhotic miscellany)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Sunday, November 7, 2004, 5:58
Ray Brown scripsit:

> >I believe all Americans say this (rhotically or not, as the case may be). > > It wasn't the first syllable I was commenting on. I imagine all dialects > (and ideolects) of English pronounce the syllable with or withour > 'rhoticity' according its normal practice. It's the second syllable I was > commenting on. When I was a youngster AFAIK practically everyone pronounce > it [@s], as they did also with 'porpoise'. But now I too often hear both > these words pronounced as tho they rhymed with 'toys' - ach!!
I've also heard a Frenchified [-wAz] in British English. But my point was that in North America the traditional [-@s] pronuncation prevails.
> >Huh. I'm surprised. The object itself is rather archaic to me, > > Not the side of the Pond, it ain't. They are still often worn - especially > if colorful :)
Hmm, there seems to be a semantic issue here. MWC10 (, which is an American dictionary, defines "waistcoat" as "1. An ornamental garment worn under a doublet. 2. *chiefly British* A vest." Vests are certainly not obsolete.
> >I learned the pronunciation "weskit" (from a dictionary, probably) and > >didn't know it had changed back. > > Alas, it had well before the 1940s.
MWC10 lists two pronunciations: weskit and waist-coat, in that order, but it doesn't explain what it means for a pronunciation to appear first (historically earlier? prescriptively preferred? more commonly used?). -- "May the hair on your toes never fall out!" John Cowan --Thorin Oakenshield (to Bilbo)