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658504.  Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:53 pm Reply with quote

My son left the top three items on that list here after his visit. I always said he treated my house like an hotel, and that proves it.

737505.  Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:26 am Reply with quote

Poking my head out from the ether to say...

"Hôtel-Dieu" is archaic French for town hall, as in, a welcoming house where one would be received by the nobility with the blessing of God.

"Hotel" shares etymological roots with hostel, host, hospice, hospitality and hospital (<Late Latin hospes). "Hospital" meant a 'shelter for the needy' until the early 16thC, when it became 'a place of care for sick people'.

If you think about it, saying "An 'otel" is actually pretty archaic. Other French words have been completely anglicised, like blancmange, or "alley-up!".

741238.  Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:02 pm Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
Travelodge did an inventory in January 2006 of the lost property in their "hotels". The top ten lost/abandoned objects were:

1) Mobile phones and charges
2) Clothes
3) Toiletries
4) False teeth
5) Laptops
6) Electrical gadgets
7) Cash or credit casrds
8) Jewellery
9) Hen/Stag night "accessories"
10) Keys

Source: Schott's Almanac 2007

I imagine many of section 9 could be included in section 6

Ion Zone
741369.  Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:35 pm Reply with quote

I have no idea where my phone charger is, I recently stayed in a hotel....


Liefesa Idleleaf
744086.  Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:38 am Reply with quote


I know quite a few people who fall into the habit of writing "an" before any h-initial word, even though they do pronounce the [h] in their normal speech.
It then kinda works in reverse; reading "an" encourages the elision of a following [h]. If you read out loud "I put an herb in the pot", it is easier to pronounce "an 'erb" than "an herb". Both sound quite freakish to my northern ears; a nice schwa before a herb is what I like!


(schwa= that reduced, neutral vowel sound at the start of 'about' or 'America' [ə])

744188.  Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:49 pm Reply with quote

'erbs always sounds odd to me, but then I'm British and they definitely say 'erbs in the USA.

744810.  Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:38 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
'erbs always sounds odd to me, but then I'm British and they definitely say 'erbs in the USA.

Yes, Jenny. We always leave the h silent in herb(s), herbarium, herbage (popular slang for C. sativa), herblike, herbal, and herbalist. Without a leading h, the euphonious alternate forms of English articles now kick in, so one receives an herbal remedy from thē herbalist-on-call.

It turns out this is one of those frozen relics from an earlier age's English which one occasionally still encounters in North America:

The OED wrote:
In ME. usually erbe, a. OFr. erbe (11th c. in Littré), mod.Fr. herbe (= Ital. erba, Sp. yerba, Pg. herva):-L. herba grass, green crops, herbage, herb. In OFr. and ME. occasionally spelt with h after Lat.; regularly so since c 1475, but the h was mute until the 19th c., and is still so treated by many: see H (the letter).
    (Despite what the OED records above, hierba remains the more common spelling in Spain, whereas it's usually spelled yerba in the Americas — as in the drink, yerba mate.)
So we here never picked up this newly pronounced h from England when it appeared over there. Ours is the older usage. There's no such thing as right or wrong in this, of course; just what is. Customs diverge.

The h is (always?) pronounced in Herbert and herbivore.

I don't know the etymology of the somewhat rare male first name, Irvy, so I don't know whether it derives from Herbert, not Irving.

Herbaceous and herbicide can go either way, with the first perhaps less likely to have an expressed h, and the second perhaps more likely (due to stress differences).

With herbivorous, there might (or might not) be a tiny bit of h left, but not much. Because the stress is delayed by one syllable compared with the original herbivore, the h in herbivorous does tend to be lost, similar to what can occur when a history recounts an historic event.

The h-less word that always throws me is humble without its h, which one occasionally hears said. One endeavours to make no remark on this sonic lacuna, out of youmility for one's own unconscious transgressions.


Edited: For typo in yerba mate.

Last edited by tchrist on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

744819.  Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:49 pm Reply with quote

I fear that umble pie is approaching; I see it forming in the air..............will those pedantic harpies never leave me in peace.

744840.  Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Not on ere the wont.

845835.  Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:00 pm Reply with quote

My ear can't get used to hearing the product NORR being advertised on tv. 'Til a few months ago, I only knew it as KNORR.

845914.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:55 am Reply with quote

K-norr, they've got the k-now how? I find the pronunciation less irksome than I do Marco Pierre White's abandonment of all his earlier bile and vitriol for pre-made stock, I expect he's short of cash. Again.

845919.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:04 am Reply with quote

Does happen to the best of us. I wish somebody asked me to endorse some product (no matter how crap) for good money.
Have no reputation to lose anyway.
845986.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:02 am Reply with quote

The K in Unilever's Knorr brand (originally a German last name, in Dutch "knor" is the sound of a pig) is pronounced like the C in "candle". It's not a silent K, like in the already mentioned "to know". So it roughly sounds like Candle-andle+ nor.

845996.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:27 am Reply with quote

I thought I made the pronunciation of the letter 'K' in Dutch quite obvious.

846288.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:43 pm Reply with quote

It seems appropriate to mention that Bush Sr is not only a Shrub but an 'erbert.


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