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Spelling pronunciations (was: rhotic miscellany)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, November 6, 2004, 19:05
On Friday, November 5, 2004, at 09:03 , Philip Newton wrote:
> > On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 07:20:42 +0000, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> wrote: >> When I was young (chronologically) everyone called a _tortoise_ a >> "tortus" >> - now I often hear ['tO:tOjz} - ach! > > Ah. I also have ['tO:t@s] -- and ['pO:p@s], for that matter.
So do I :) ---------------------------------------------------------- On Friday, November 5, 2004, at 12:34 , John Cowan wrote: [snip]
> 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 'rhotocity' 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!! ===================================================== [WAISTCOAT] On Friday, November 5, 2004, at 12:34 , John Cowan wrote:
> Ray Brown scripsit:
>> For example, in English "waistcoat" had become pronounced 'weskit', >> but the Victorian bourgeoisie that this too vulgar so the spelling >> pronunciation now 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 :)
> but > I learned the pronunciation "weskit" (from a dictionary, probably) and > didn't know it had changed back.
Alas, it had well before the 1940s.
> I note that in one of the last chapters of the _Lord of the Rings_, > the Gaffer (Sam's father) says "What's become of his weskit [sic]? > I don't hold with wearing ironmongery, whether it wears well or no."
Quite so. JRRT had to spell it 'weskit' otherwise it would not have been read that way by most readers over here. Every so often I make a vain attempt to revive the older pronunciation, but am regarded either as eccentric (which is probably right) or just ignorant & vulgar. My dictionary says of the pronunciation /'wEskIt/ "archaic and now dialect" . I probably ought to have added, "rustic dialect". Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>