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Jenny
1157257.  Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:35 pm Reply with quote

I say constable with the o sound as in honey but I say Coventry with an o sound as in dog. I've never heard combat pronounced in any other way than to rhyme with wombat.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1157261.  Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:55 am Reply with quote

Combat and wombat rhyme for me, and constable starts the same as con artist, but Coventry is Cuventry.

 
browncow
1157280.  Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:12 am Reply with quote

The BBC Pronunciation Guide for newsreaders from the 1928 is quite explicit that combat should be pronounced as cumbat - and for that matter that pristine should rhyme with wine and respite as if there is no e on the end.

Things change although 'combatant' is still pronounced as 'cumbatant' by a few, as well as 'respite' being 'respit'.

 
suze
1157291.  Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:20 pm Reply with quote

There ought to be a "rule" for this "turning o into u" thing, but I don't know what it is.

Everyone pronounces honey and money as "hunny" and "munny". And indeed, a similar word for a rabbit used to be "cunny"; it only changed because that was considered to sound rude.

Similarly, practically everyone pronounces woman as "wumman"; I have heard it pronounced to rhyme with "common" but it sounds strange and is rare.

It's not so universal, but I reckon that most people pronounce a straining tool as "culander". "Cuventry" is by now rather less common, and "cumbat" is vanishingly rare if it still exists at all.

No one says "wumbat". No one refers to the cunstabulary as "the cups", or opines that Ms J Lopez has a nice "buttum".

If anyone has any clue what the rule is, please enlighten us all !

 
Jenny
1157310.  Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:15 pm Reply with quote

Yes, I say culander not colander, and now that I've been reminded of the word I do say cumbatant, but I think that's because the stress goes on the first syllable in combat and the second in combatant. At least it does the way I say it.

 
Zziggy
1157343.  Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:13 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Everyone pronounces honey and money as "hunny" and "munny". ... practically everyone pronounces woman as "wumman"

Just to check: those 'u's aren't the same noise, right?

What's the rule on 'theatre' and 'waistcoat'? You pronounce them one way if you're a grandparent and another if you're a child?

 
Zziggy
1157344.  Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:15 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Yes, I say culander not colander, and now that I've been reminded of the word I do say cumbatant, but I think that's because the stress goes on the first syllable in combat and the second in combatant. At least it does the way I say it.

That's odd because you're northern (unless I'm much mistaken) and one thing I always notice about northerners is their tendency to really stress a "con-" or "com-", whilst I would usually opt for a schwa in the same instance.

 
Jenny
1157394.  Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:11 am Reply with quote

Yes my dad - born and brought up in Hull - would stress the first syllable in con- and com- words, but I was born in India and didn't move to Hull until I was almost five, at which time I spoke with a slightly sing-song Anglo-Indian accent that sounded Welsh to people at school. My mum was a Londoner, though with not much of a London accent, so I never really grew up with a totally northern accent, though I can put one on if required.

Zziggy wrote:
suze wrote:
Everyone pronounces honey and money as "hunny" and "munny". ... practically everyone pronounces woman as "wumman"

Just to check: those 'u's aren't the same noise, right?


They're not the same the way I say them. Honey and money sound the same, but the o in woman sounds like the oo in wool.

 
suze
1157412.  Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:10 pm Reply with quote

Zziggy wrote:
Just to check: those 'u's aren't the same noise, right?


They're not, no.

Unless the speaker is Australian or Welsh (in which cases she probably has an entirely different pronunciation of the honey vowel), the tongue is further forward and higher in the mouth for woman than it is for honey.

Further, the lips are rounded for woman which they're not for honey. If you try to say honey with rounded lips, the word which comes out will sound more like horny.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1157413.  Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:12 pm Reply with quote

It comes out as hooney if I pronounce honey with rounded lips.

 
suze
1157415.  Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:46 pm Reply with quote

Ah. Maybe I should have known this but I didn't, but I discover that South Africans in fact use the same vowel sound as Australians in a word such as honey.

So you, together with the Aussies and the Welshies, won't get horny if you round your lips and attempt to say honey. Do you get something somewhere between "hoony" and "hurny"? Most English, Scottish, and North American speakers of English will however get "horny".

Irish speakers of English may in fact use the same vowel for honey as they do for woman; they use the woman vowel for both words. I think they (together with the Newfies, perhaps) may be thus the only English speakers who would use a rounded vowel in honey.

 
dr.bob
1158721.  Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:23 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
the tongue is further forward and higher in the mouth for woman


Don't mind me, just quoting out of context.

I'm late to the party as I didn't watch the short version of this episode so had to wait for the XL version, over 2 weeks later.

I was present for the recording of this ep, and really enjoyed it. I remember Stephen's description of Pakistan as being a lot less broadcastable in the recording, which is why it was so heavily edited in the episode.

The only bit I didn't like was the quote about being able to "prove anything with statistics except the truth." I find this a bit depressing since normally QI is keen to challenge accepted wisdom, not merely repeat it.

 
CharliesDragon
1158738.  Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:36 pm Reply with quote

I took the statistics quote as just a general warning to be vary of statistics and people using them to push their own agenda, or at least are convinced there is a trend showing when it isn't. Statistics are useful, but you need to know for example the social situation to make anything useful of it.

 
dr.bob
1158824.  Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:23 am Reply with quote

You also need to understand how statistics work.

Sadly most journalists and medical researchers haven't the faintest idea.

 
PDR
1158827.  Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:27 am Reply with quote

Of course 78.392% of statistical evidence is made up to support the argument rather than being calculated from actual data.

PDR

 

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