Friday, June 14, 2024

Words #397

I pronounce words so differently to many people in Australia. I don't know why. It is just how I speak. Here are some  examples.

Integral. I put the emphasis on int, but mostly people put the emphasis on teg, inTEGral rather than my  INTeGral. 

I say KILOmetre. Most here, even in England people, say kilOMetre. I recall then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam telling us of the correct pronunciation when the metric change occurred, and that's how I've pronounced it ever since. 

I pronounce secretary as SECretry. Most say SECreTARY. 

I say REPortarge as a French word, which it is, but others say rePORTage. I was far from being young when I first heard the word, and the way I say it is how I first heard it said by radio broadcaster Elaine Canty. I don't think I've ever heard said the word aside from in media.

ProTESTors and not PROtestors. ProTESTors do PROtest.

Your suburb might be Reservoir and you pronounce it as Reservor, and I happily do the same. Your suburb, you have the right to pronounce it how you like. But if you have a body of stored water in Reservor, I will call it a reservwha in Resevor. 

None of this is intentional on my part. It is just how I speak. I would guess I had some strong influence at a young age from someone or something. I am too old now to change the way I speak.

I've not finished yet, sorry. My hearing aids speak to me with a very limited vocabulary. I think I've heard them say, Maximum volume. I am not sure. I can't make them say that now. But the other word it says, and I've heard this a number of times when one of the batteries is exhausted, is battery. Except it is pronounced baddery. They are two very different sounding words. Where would that come from? It sounds so weird. What other words are there with double t between an a and an e? Cattery. Caddery. How amusing.

The times are a changin'. During AM this morning, ABC radio's thirty minute current affairs programme, the host was talking about period bleeding, 'a new treatment for women and others who suffer from excessive bleeding during their periods'. I don't have a problem with 'others' and I just thought it was interesting to note as a society and media marker. 

43 comments:

  1. thecontemplativecat here. When we lived in Ireland, the pronunciations really confused me. After a while I acclimated, but some words make me giggle.

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    1. CC, it can take a bit of time to tune into an accent. But once you have, all is good. What words made you giggle?

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  2. How interesting. You are putting the emphasis on the same syllables as someone from the North of England.

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    1. Fun60, that's crazy. I didn't pick it up from Ray who spoke more like most Australians speak, with a a couple of give away o sounds.

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  3. Just what I was thinking! We used to hear BBC people saying inTEGral, and dismiss them as s***ing southerners!

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    1. Boud, this is all such a queer thing. I don't mind at all that I sound like a northern English person. But I don't.

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  4. I don't mind any choices in pronunciation, as long as the words are clear. After all, it may depend on where our parents came from or how the English teachers taught in 1958.

    But I DO mind if there are three "likes" and five "you knows" in every sentence. That makes the enamel on my teeth wear off.

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    1. You know Hels, you made me think of the way my mother spoke. As she aged like, she spoke in much broader Australian than she did when she was younger.

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  5. There are many regional variations in pronunciation here, both in emphasis and oonsonant sounds. One that struck me most was the different way that people say the letter"H" - i.e haitch not aitch. It seems to depend on which part of the country people come from.

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    1. JayCee, oh the aitch. How often I have argued about it and you only have to look at the spelling. Here it was once a marker of a Catholic education to say haitch. Not now. Haitch is widely used and I hate it.

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  6. I am mostly with you - which I put down to the influence of my parents. Interesting I think I pronounce kilometres both ways - at random. I wonder why?

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    1. EC, maybe with kilometre you adjust to who you are speaking with. I think I may have done that too with kilometre.

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  7. How you pronounce these words give a sense of authority or posh feel.

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    1. Roentare, if that is true, it is not intentional. I just speak the way I speak. I don't choose how to say words. It is how they come out.

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  8. I'm reading them aloud and then trying to hear how I say them ....

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    1. Bob, US speech is a whole different matter. It is complicated but generally, via what I read, the differences between our English languages is minimal.

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  9. I also tend to pronounce words differently, often putting the accent on the first syllable. You don't think it's a gay thing, do you?

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    1. Kirk, what on earth would you think I would know about gay things? I don't think I always put the accent on the first syllable. Can you give me some examples.?

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  10. There words I get tongue twist about. I know the local speech therapist here and he also mispronounce words.

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    1. Oh yes Dora. I too get words tangled. It is embarrassing at times.

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  11. I also say KilOmetres, but KILOlitres when talking about large bodies of water, dams for instance. Integral stymies me, and I usually follow others I hear on TV and say inTEGral. SECretary sounds right to me, why would anyone emphasise two syllables? RePORTage as I've heard on TV, PROtestors though I hear others say ProTESTors. Large body of water is Reservwhar unless it's a dam which is the same "damn" thing . my external speakers tell me "baddery low" when I'm listening to my one remaining i-Pod, but I personally say 'battry" skipping the 'e'.
    I do mispronounce a LOT of words that I only know through reading them.
    "Women and others" has me baffled. What others? Younger teenage females? Transgender males whose bodies still function as women?

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    1. I suppose River, I should Google this baddery thing...maybe later.
      I assume others is transgender and who knows who else. I guess anyone who functions physically as a woman, no matter what their self identity is.

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  12. I think I pronounce most of those words the same way you do and I'm not a Northerner, but a soft Southerner.

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    1. Interesting JB. Fun60 above was I think born in Manchester but for her adult life has lived in London. She just has to me, an undefinable English accent. Is there such a thing as a general London accent?

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  13. I believe we as in B and I say those words as you do. We were only discussing words and the way they are said just the other day...I think how words are pounced is a generational thing, Andrew.

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    1. Margaret, I think you are spot on. It is a generational thing and I bet your offspring speak somewhat differently to the way you speak.

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  14. Proudly, I have always spoken English as I did when I was a boy growing up in my East Yorkshire village. I never once consciously tried to change anything about my accent or pronunciation and it is how I will speak till the end of my days. How we talk is an important part of one's identity.

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    1. With the exception of those with English as a second language YP, that's the case for most of us. However, Ray lost his Geordie accent in Australia. No native Australian speaker thought Ray was English born and I doubt English people thought he was English. I could pick up that his 'o' vowel wasn't quite Aussie in every word, and of course he would slip back to Geordie when speaking to his sisters. Quite remarkable really.

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  15. I had an English grandmother, who was a role model for pronunciation, except for aluminum, adding an "i" has never made sense to the world.

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    1. TP, I know you and I will pronounce that word differently. Ah, I see where we put in the extra i. Ok, five seconds of research tells me we spell the word differently. The i is there in the Australian English spelling. We have a different emphasis on the syllables too.

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    2. Al-you-MIN-ium for us; a-loo-min-um for the yanks.

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  16. If I were to concentrate how I speak, there would be deathly silence because I would be to nervous to say anything. I think words with a few syllables are the most difficult.

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    1. Thelma, god forbid that I would have to think about the way I speak. I have to speak at Ray's memorial on Sunday. I am not a natural at speaking but I did at my mother's funeral last year and Ray told me I as ok. I hope I am ok on Sunday. I will speak the way I normally speak, warts and all.

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  17. "Reportage" is an overfancy word, isn't it? Who says that in real life?

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    1. Steve, 'The reportage was terrible'. We are more likely to say, 'The reporting was terrible', or 'That bastard Murdoch'.

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  18. Now you have me thinking about how I pronounce things. We had English nuns in school so some comes from them and I watch a lot of British TV shows so pick up things there too. It is aitch for me.

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    1. Pat, it was the Irish nuns and priests that had the 'haitch' influence, not the English ones, so your speech wasn't sullied by an illogical pronunciation.

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  19. I left a comment on this blogpost but it failed to pierce the iron wall of your nuclear defences.

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    1. YP, I check twice daily for comments in spam. There were three there this morning, including yours. Now, did you say anything important? I can't remember.

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  20. Language fascinates me. At the tender age of 21 I moved a mere few hundred miles from my childhood home and some turns of phrase confused me for a while. lol Best wishes!

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    1. Darla, in England accents and expressions change in ten miles. They seem to manage.

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  21. I remember kilometre was the first word I looked up when the ABC launched its internal database to the public. The URL is very much focussed on internal use, for reporters out in the field, but it's there if you ever want to check it. https://www2b.c0.abc.net.au/abcpronunciation-external/Default.aspx KIL-uh-mee-tuh or kuh-LOM-uh-tuh Not every word is listed, only the words broadcasters and journalists might need (or SHOULD) look up before they open their mouths.

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    1. Thanks James. I have looked at the guide before but I can't remember how I have it bookmarked. Maybe you sent it in the past. Best we don't go down the road of place names though, where ask around or call a local are the only ways to go.

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