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Pronunciation

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Hairy Scot
1338984.  Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:11 am Reply with quote

Just been watching some old episodes of QI and I wondered, since Fry is such a pedant, why he gets so many pronunciations wrong.

EG:
Is Stephen pronounced in the same way as Steven?

Is Davies pronounced in the same way as Davis?

 
suze
1338998.  Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:39 am Reply with quote

Yes, and yes.

Welsh persons called Davies can get a bit annoyed if their name is pronounced "day-VEEZ".

 
Saalinotn
1348135.  Thu May 14, 2020 6:07 am Reply with quote

misunderstandings happen

 
grabagrannie
1374453.  Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:21 pm Reply with quote

I heard him once pronounce 'dissect' to rhyme with 'bisect'. He's not the only one, not by a long chalk.

 
suze
1374458.  Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:07 pm Reply with quote

See my reply at post 518279 when you raised the same point nigh on twelve years ago!

 
Brock
1374471.  Sun Feb 14, 2021 6:01 am Reply with quote

How did "dissect" ever end up being pronounced to rhyme with "bisect"? It's not spelt that way; it clearly contains the prefix "dis-" (separation) rather than "di-" (two); no other word beginning "diss-" is pronounced that way.

Yet the COED puts it first, and it's undoubtedly the commoner pronunciation. I first heard it from my school science teacher, and have hated it ever since.

 
crissdee
1374477.  Sun Feb 14, 2021 6:34 am Reply with quote

I would say "dai-sect", but wouldn't be overly bothered if someone used the other pronunciation. Tbh, it is about number 947,658,463,528,838,687,946,726,284,968,773,352 on the list of things I give a rat's *ss about!

 
grabagrannie
1374543.  Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:56 pm Reply with quote

Suze! What a fantastic memory you have!
The answer to Brock's question is ignorance, dear boy, ignorance. Some people say, "What does it matter, so long as you understand what is being said?" I can't argue with that, but it's still bl**dy annoying. Were* wil* it end? Wiv the peeple hoo cant string three wurdz togevver wivout adding "No worrI meen?". The peeple hoo begin evry reply to a question wiv "D'you no wha(t)?" or "I ain't gonna lie."
My Chambers dictionary has an entry for "miniscule". It says it is a less acceptable spelling of 'minuscule'. Since many people seem to spell 'separate' as 'seperate', and 'surprise' as 'suprise', can we expect to find entries for these 'words' too?

 
Brock
1374550.  Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:10 am Reply with quote

grabagrannie wrote:

The answer to Brock's question is ignorance, dear boy, ignorance.


No, that's not an answer to my question. Perhaps you misunderstood the question.

In another thread recently we were discussing the pronunciation of "ebullient". The older pronunciation, which I use, has the vowel of the word "gull"[*] in the second syllable; but many people nowadays pronounce the second syllable like the word "bull". In this case, it's fairly clear that the change came about by analogy with the pronunciation of the word "bull".

What similar analogy could have brought about a change in pronunciation of "dissect" to rhyme with "bisect"? The only plausible analogy is with the word "bisect" itself.


[*]Southern English

 
PDR
1374557.  Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:10 am Reply with quote

I thought Dissect was the nickname of the leader of the welsh branch of the moonies...

FWIW I've always pronounced it "dye-sect", rhyming with "bisect", because it seamed logical and aligned with related prefixes. Where there are two distinct groups we don't all it a "Dick-otomy", and we don't refer to hydrogen & oxygen as "Dee-atomic".

PDR

 
Brock
1374559.  Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:23 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
I thought Dissect was the nickname of the leader of the welsh branch of the moonies...

FWIW I've always pronounced it "dye-sect", rhyming with "bisect", because it seamed logical and aligned with related prefixes. Where there are two distinct groups we don't all it a "Dick-otomy", and we don't refer to hydrogen & oxygen as "Dee-atomic".



But "dissect" doesn't contain the prefix "di-" (two); it doesn't mean "to cut into two pieces". It simply means "to cut into [any number of] pieces", and contains the same prefix "dis-" as you find in "dismantle" or "disassemble".

 
CB27
1374591.  Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:08 am Reply with quote

I've always found the "rules" around English phonemes to be more relaxed\confusing than other languages.

There seems to be agreed pronunciation of words that sometimes break the general rules and are agreed by most dictionaries, but the question is, who decides and sets the rule?

Similarly, I find I sometimes find certain words pronounced differently depending on where people are from, and the different pronunciations are accepted by different people.

For example, the word "schedule". Some people accept a K, others do not, and the etymology of the word is even more confusing because the Old French word (cedule) has no K, but further back the Latin word (schedula) has a K.

Then there are words like "appreciate". I was told it's pronounced as "ah pree shee ate", but I know some regions use "ah pree sea ate".

 
suze
1374614.  Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:13 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
I've always found the "rules" around English phonemes to be more relaxed\confusing than other languages.


Than most of the other major languages of Europe, yes. French and Russian have their moments too, but languages like German, Italian, and Spanish have hardly any words whose pronunciation is not in line with the spelling.

Irish spelling isn't actually as weird as it looks once you know things such as "<mh> is pronounced /v/", but there are rather a lot of silent letters. The government abolishes a bunch of them every fifty years or so, and so for instance there is no longer a political party called Fianna Faghbhail.

Thai too has rather a lot of silent letters which are very slowly being abolished, many of them in words borrowed from Sanskrit. Just for extra fun, some words are spelled out of order. For instance, the Thai name for Bangkok is usually given in the Roman alphabet as Krungthep, and that is how it is pronouced, but the Thai characters กรุงเทพฯ are actually arranged in the order K-r-u-ng-e-th-ph. (The "u" is the subscript under the second character, while the last character is a punctuation mark which is by convention part of the city's name.)

Don't even attempt Icelandic!

 

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