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  1. #46
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    "axe" for "ask" drives me batty

    as does "supposibly" and "pacific" instead of "supposedly" and "specific"

  2. #47
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    I'm fascinated by "axe." I can't for the life of me figure out how it arose.

    "Supposibly' and "pacific" one can understand as natural mispronunciations by people who don't do a lot of advanced reading. "Supposibly" parallels the construction of other "able" and "ible" suffixes like "impossibly," and "specific" is just hard to pronounce. But "axe"? Especially since it's typically African-American, not just a mispronunciation that occurs generally or even regionally. Fascinating.

    One that used to bother me a lot is "irregardless," which has two negative elements tacked onto it. Do two negatives make a positive? Of course, that's not an error one is likely to find on Wheel of Fortune, because if you're reading the word aloud, you're not going to add an entire prefix that isn't represented by the letters.

    In real life, the error I really have to bite my tongue about so as not to correct people (it's so rude to correct other adults) is using the nominative pronoun after a preposition--"with John and I." You wouldn't say "with I," so why say "with John and I"? And yet people do it all the time, even on national television. I listened to Steven Spielberg use that construction last night on TCM, in an otherwise wonderful program on his collaboration with composer John Williams. Dang, I'm presumptuous. I want to correct Steven Spielberg's grammar. I couldn't make five seconds of narrative that would stand comparison with his, and I want to correct him...shame on me. I've been an editor for too long.

    Scrufflet, is that a common error in Canada as well, or is it just an American one?

  3. #48
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I'm working on a lesson on Macbeth currently, and I realized that when I studied it in high school, I, my classmates, and my teacher all pronounced Glamis incorrectly. (Remember "Hail, Macbeth, Thane of Glamis"?) We all said it the way it looks, "Glam-mis," in two syllables. Well, in Scotland and England they pronounce it "Glahms." I'm putting this in our lesson.
    Cool! I suppose it makes a difference in getting the meter right.

    Speaking of “ng,” what about that sound at the beginning of words? (For initial gn, the g is always silent in English, right? Gnome. Although…there once was a wildebeest puppet character on the Howdie Doodie show named Paddle the Gnu, where the G had a separate syllable. Paddle the Gnu lived in the town of Early, Tibet. We kids never understood why that cracked our parents up. And why wouldn’t Bullwinkle the Moose go to college at Wazzamatta U.? )

    The initial Ng is common in many African and Pacific Island languages. It is more sub–tile in Vietnamese, where the most common name is Nguyen. The best that Americans can do when trying to pronounce this name is just to ignore the whole issue and say “Win.”)

    Some linguists claim that every language retains a vestige of the initial glottal stop in a slight tightening of the throat muscles at the beginning of certain words. This is offered as evidence that all modern spoken languages have a single common African source.

  4. #49
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    In real life, the error I really have to bite my tongue about so as not to correct people (it's so rude to correct other adults) is using the nominative pronoun after a preposition--"with John and I." You wouldn't say "with I," so why say "with John and I"? And yet people do it all the time, even on national television.
    ikr. I think it's because our first grade teachers drummed into us that we should say "John and I went to the store," not "Me'n John."

    Then there is the opposite mistake, saying "It's me" instead of "It is I." "It is I" sounds so pedantic that most people would rather make a deliberate grammatical error than come off like a pompous stuffed shirt.

  5. #50
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    About "axe," I am pretty sure that this pronunciation is just what linguists call African American Vernacular English. This is the surviving remnant of the creole or pidgin language of slaves brought to the American South and Caribbean region in past centuries, where the people spoke all kinds of different African languages and tried to communicate as best they could with a few words of English and French.

    If you look at the first attempts by American writers of the eighteenth century – or even as late as Mark Twain – to write “slave talk” phonetically in English, it is practically indecipherable to modern readers of English.

    Edited to add. BTW, I just noticed that "English" is another word like Long-Gyland where the G does double duty.

  6. #51
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    About "axe," I am pretty sure that this pronunciation is just what linguists call African American Vernacular English.
    Thanks for the explanation, I often wondered about it too, since I think, "axe" is harder to say than "ask."

    It's funny in the Midwest we say ruff for roof, dowel for doll and clouset for closet.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I'm fascinated by "axe." I can't for the life of me figure out how it arose.

    "Supposibly' and "pacific" one can understand as natural mispronunciations by people who don't do a lot of advanced reading. "Supposibly" parallels the construction of other "able" and "ible" suffixes like "impossibly," and "specific" is just hard to pronounce. But "axe"? Especially since it's typically African-American, not just a mispronunciation that occurs generally or even regionally. Fascinating.

    One that used to bother me a lot is "irregardless," which has two negative elements tacked onto it. Do two negatives make a positive? Of course, that's not an error one is likely to find on Wheel of Fortune, because if you're reading the word aloud, you're not going to add an entire prefix that isn't represented by the letters.

    In real life, the error I really have to bite my tongue about so as not to correct people (it's so rude to correct other adults) is using the nominative pronoun after a preposition--"with John and I." You wouldn't say "with I," so why say "with John and I"? And yet people do it all the time, even on national television. I listened to Steven Spielberg use that construction last night on TCM, in an otherwise wonderful program on his collaboration with composer John Williams. Dang, I'm presumptuous. I want to correct Steven Spielberg's grammar. I couldn't make five seconds of narrative that would stand comparison with his, and I want to correct him...shame on me. I've been an editor for too long.

    Scrufflet, is that a common error in Canada as well, or is it just an American one?
    I am jumping up and down shouting, "Oh yes, someone else gets it"! Indeed, this is becoming a Canadian error! The grammar these days on CBC is horrible. It used to be the one place where you could rely on decent grammar and pronunciation! People do say "with John and I" instead of "John and me", whichis correct. One also hears "with myself" a lot. Come shop "with myself". Seriously? My mother used to yell at us if we said "irregardless" so of course we used to do it periodically just to annoy. But we knew it was incorrect! And I always hear "there is" when it should be "there are".
    Because I am in Toronto, a very international place, I am so used to many different accents and levels of language skill. I worked at a college with new Canadians and was surprised to find that their English was superior to those born here. Now that really ticked me off.
    A humourous aside: one day we were listening to a garden show on CBC and caller complained that squirrels has "desecrated" her flower bed. What could she do? A long silence. The expert suggested that she might have to "reconsecrate" her garden. We presume she meant "decimate".
    By the way, Chris and all, how does one pronounce "coyote"? I've always said "keye-oh-tea" because it flows.

  8. #53
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    OK, since we are venting pet peeves, here's mine. Some people seem to think that "gonna" is a word. It's all over the Internet. "Mao Asada is gonna win Four Continents." No, no, no; she is going to win.

    But at least that's better than "gwine." As in the song Camptown Races, "Gwine to run all night! Gwine to run all day!"

    Then there is "fixing" meaning intending or preparing to do something. I am fixing to get up and cook (pronounced "I am fittin to git up an cook.")

  9. #54
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrufflet View Post
    And I always hear "there is" when it should be "there are"
    And so many people say "this data is" for "these data are" that it hardly seems wrong any more.

    But at least young people nowadays have learned to say DAY-TA instead of DATTA.

    I don't know exactly why, but when computers first came on the scene almost all computer programmers and software engineers pronounced this word wrong. It was sort of like an inner circle. If you said (correctly) DAY-TA, then you weren't a member of the club.

    The only thing that saved us was Star Trek. On the Next Generation there was a character name Data, so the "next generation" of kids knew how to pronounce it. (I always thought it was cool that Data's evil twin was named Lore.)

  10. #55
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    I loved the cleverness of Data's and Lore's also! Yeah, sometimes it sounds so off to say the data "are," though technically data is plural—datum is the original Latin singular. I think it's second declension neuter, if that means anything to anyone here. Four years of Latin...sometimes it comes in handy. The Romans were very punctilious about word endings. Five different declensions of words, each with six singular and six plural cases. You could go out of your mind chasing a noun around a sentence.

    That's cool, that "fixing" is pronounced "fitting," because it marks it as a Southern expression. That's where the pronunciations "bidness" and "wadn't" for "business" and "wasn't" originate, I believe. Another phonetic variation that I simply can't explain. At least the Brooklyn/New Jersey plural "youse' (as in "youse guys") seems logical (add an s to make a plural) and also has a historical justification—it tracks back to certain parts of Ireland, I believe.

    Scrufflet, that is hysterical about decimate/desecrate, and the garden expert's clever response about reconsecrating the garden.

  11. #56
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm gonna keep using gonna

    I say coyote as "Ky-yo-tee"

  12. #57
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    As long you don't use pockabook, pissketti, chimbly, or prolly!

  13. #58
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    The one that bothers me is "should of." That's what "should have" often sounds like, so there are people who write it that way.

  14. #59
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Toni is correct....KI (hard I) - "O" hard O- Tea....those that say the word KI-oat have a bad opinion of this sacred animal......
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrufflet View Post
    I am jumping up and down shouting, "Oh yes, someone else gets it"! Indeed, this is becoming a Canadian error! The grammar these days on CBC is horrible. It used to be the one place where you could rely on decent grammar and pronunciation! People do say "with John and I" instead of "John and me", whichis correct. One also hears "with myself" a lot. Come shop "with myself". Seriously? My mother used to yell at us if we said "irregardless" so of course we used to do it periodically just to annoy. But we knew it was incorrect! And I always hear "there is" when it should be "there are".
    Because I am in Toronto, a very international place, I am so used to many different accents and levels of language skill. I worked at a college with new Canadians and was surprised to find that their English was superior to those born here. Now that really ticked me off.
    A humourous aside: one day we were listening to a garden show on CBC and caller complained that squirrels has "desecrated" her flower bed. What could she do? A long silence. The expert suggested that she might have to "reconsecrate" her garden. We presume she meant "decimate".
    By the way, Chris and all, how does one pronounce "coyote"? I've always said "keye-oh-tea" because it flows.

  15. #60
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    foe-ah on the flow-ah....
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrufflet View Post
    How does a southerner say "Four on the Floor"?

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