Author Topic: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...  (Read 932 times)

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2020, 07:54:04 am »
Did a search on Alumium and it said it was obsolete and on the Periodic table it shows as Aluminum, not Alumium.  Yeah, back when I was a whipper snapper it was Alumium (early 1800s when it was discovered).  Another morphed word/pronunciation.  The pronunciation and spelling morphed shortly after the element was discovered.  Not a new thing at all.
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2020, 08:47:34 am »
Funny but we all seem to remember it differently. My version  ;D  goes like this: It started out as aluminum in England but someone (not the elements' discoverer) wanted it to be named in a way that paralleled other elements names and threw in that extra syllable. The US was already split off from Britain by that time and simply went along with the original, aluminum.

It is named for the oxide that is the source of the metal, alumina, as preferred by the German who sorta' discovered it (actually isolated the elemental metal aluminum).

Either way, I always thought the stuff was the same but the price must go up when it is called aluminium. Besides, lots of people I know call it 'alumimum', in the same way they call asphalt 'ashphalt'.

The name of the element is alumium. I believe that the usage of aluminum came from ALCOA, the Aluminum Company of America). The brand name overcame the element's correct name, like Frigidare (refrigerator), Xerox (photocopier) and Kleenex (tissue).

One of my university profs insisted that if we used aluminum, we should also use germanum, strontum, etc.
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2020, 09:51:32 am »
Dare we even consider catsup vs ketchup?
-------------------------------------------------------
Johnny Carson frequently comes up as an American with no accent (by USA standards) and has been used as an example of region-less American English. He was from
Nebraska but I suspect he had some accent at some point and worked on it. This map supposedly shows where general American English is used.

http://dialectblog.com/2011/08/01/general-american-english/

This English vs English discussion made me think of the practical joke played on Johnny Carson in England where he was invited to a cocktail party and all the Brits at the party
were actors speaking gibberish. Johnny stood there nodding and smiling pretending to understand what they were saying.

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2020, 12:28:53 pm »
I have often heard of different areas of certain countries as having 'no accent', such as Hanover, Germany, and several places in the northern - mid-west US. But after actually speaking with people from these 'no accent' places in the US, I have found they do have a regional accent as well as some local quirks (the 'ruff' thing and similar). So as I said, I suspect that most people in the public eye, such as newscasters and many entertainers, have perfected a perfectly neutral speech pattern that really does not exist outside a dialog coach's place of business :-)

Charlize Theron once said that she adopted the speech pattern she now uses (perfect, neutral American) because it was just too difficult to go back and forth with her speech pattern. Many Americans would probably be astounded to know that she is actually South African and used to speak with a very distinct regional accent. Also, her first language is not English but Afrikaans, an evolution of Dutch, which is of course is itself and off- shoot of German, as is English. Which I speak fluently and without any accent...... yeah, that's the ticket.

For whatever it is worth: I think regional accents and idioms are both interesting and of some value. I enjoy listening to people with regional accents and find some of these accents quite nice- the rhythmic speech of many areas of the south, for example. I have listened to Shelby Foote speak (with his Mississippi delta accent) speak for hours and thoroughly enjoyed it, both the accent and his stories. I also greatly enjoy listening to Jerry Miculek with his Cajun (southern Louisiana- it is unique even to most Americans) accent and general speech pattern. I actually like the accents used in both the movie and TV series Fargo, which is apparently a typical speech pattern of Nordic (specifically Scandinavian) peoples who have settled in the north- central- west area of the US. I think we should embrace our regional characteristics rather than try to diminish them- they bring interesting aspects to a 'melting pot' society; after all, where else could Olive Garden (that genuine / fake Italian style eatery) thrive but in a place where lots of Americans think they are eating genuine ethnic foods? I particularly like their fake fettuccine, which I find excellent and have learned to duplicate at home (real Fettuccine has no cream in it but that makes a slimy, thin mess IMO).

Brian ( I don't caaah about fittin' in with anyone's expectations about how I should speak)

Dare we even consider catsup vs ketchup?
-------------------------------------------------------
Johnny Carson frequently comes up as an American with no accent (by USA standards) and has been used as an example of region-less American English. He was from
Nebraska but I suspect he had some accent at some point and worked on it. This map supposedly shows where general American English is used.

http://dialectblog.com/2011/08/01/general-american-english/

This English vs English discussion made me think of the practical joke played on Johnny Carson in England where he was invited to a cocktail party and all the Brits at the party
were actors speaking gibberish. Johnny stood there nodding and smiling pretending to understand what they were saying.
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Offline gPink

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2020, 02:49:51 pm »
And just now marks the THIRD time in four days I have heard a smart person misuse the word "there's" in a video.  This time, a PhD that I greatly admire said "What I do is I say what I think; and thar's consequences to that."  <shutter>  There ARE consequences to that, it makes me cringe!
fify
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Offline George R. Young

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2020, 03:40:54 pm »
Did a search on Alumium and it said it was obsolete and on the Periodic table it shows as Aluminum, not Alumium. . . .
Intriguing. Wikipedia's article on the periodic table
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table#Metals,_metalloids_and_nonmetals
includes aluminium but not aluminum.

(It's raining and cool here in Ottawa, hence the interest in the arcane)
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Offline maxtog

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2020, 03:56:45 pm »
Intriguing. Wikipedia's article on the periodic table
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table#Metals,_metalloids_and_nonmetals
includes aluminium but not aluminum.

But the article on aluminum, itself, goes into good detail about the two spellings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminum

The summary being:

British chemist Humphry Davy[...] is credited as the person who named the element.

A January 1811 summary of one of Davy's lectures at the Royal Society proposed the name aluminium —this is the earliest known published writing to use either of the modern spellings. However, the following year, Davy published a chemistry textbook in which he settled on the spelling aluminum. Both spellings have coexisted since; however, their usage has split by region: aluminum is in use in the United States and Canada while aluminium is in use elsewhere.

But there is much more info there, too.
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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2020, 07:04:24 pm »
Personally I prefer Aluminium over the US pronunciation but I'm somewhat biased..
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Offline Boomer

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2020, 02:49:25 am »
Gillian Anderson is another one. She lived in London from 2-11 years old and can now switch between RP English and a Mid-Western US accent.
I always love watching Americans faces when they see her in UK interviews such as this appearance on Top Gear.
You are so used to her as Dana Scully in The X-Files.  :rotflmao:
https://vimeo.com/170476341

Like Brian, I also love most regional accents and dialects and languages.
They are all worth hearing and understanding and make us all unique in our ways of communicating with others.

There are a few that I don't like though, especially the Birmingham(UK) ""Brummie" accent and Valleyspeak and some accents/dialects can make some people extremely hard to understand. I have a particular problem with some Indian accents when they speak English. For some reason I just can't process the sounds into words which means I'm only getting half of what they are saying.  :-[
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Offline Nosmo

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2020, 01:05:19 am »
Jeez (Geeze...Cheez......Luweez) don't get me started.  I have almost given up trying to watch the local news on TV.  In Washington State we have a lot of places and things that were originally named by the Native Americans before the Europeans stole everything from them and bastardized it all.  It seems that lately we have a lot of recently transplanted people who come from other regions and don't take the time to learn local pronunciations. 

We have a city, Yakima, that used to be called Yak-i-maw.  Now the new(s) people have taken to calling it Yak-im-u.

Our state capitol is in O-lym-pee-a, now called U-lim-pee-uh.

It seems that for every word that starts with a vowel, the first sound has morphed into a generic "Uhh" sound.  Uh-mergency, uh-rested, etc.

And I am sick to death of hearing people use the word "impact" when they really mean "effect". 

Up here we designate our highways as "I-5" or "405".  Transplanted folks (especially Kaliphorneeyans) give themselves away by saying "THE I-5" and "THE 405".

Our native bivalve is the geoduck, real name pronounced Gwee-duk", but Anglicized as "Gooey-duck". 

And everyone under the age of thirty composes their sentences of endless streams of "Umm...like....ya know....." with little use of words that actually convey information.

Another major peeve I have is with people who say things like "me and my girlfriend seen this car wreck" instead of "my girlfriend and I saw a car wreck", because they weren't taught how to properly compose a compound sentence.

It has been a few years since I attended what used to be called "grammar school" (I'm 65 years old), but it sure seems as if they no longer teach actual English grammar and pronunciation.
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Offline Nosmo

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2020, 01:11:14 am »
And one more thing, speaking of the proper names for elements, here's one you may not have heard of:


New Element Discovered

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet
known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron,
25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy
neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which
are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be
detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into
contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would
normally take less than a second, to take from four days to four years
to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; it does not decay,
but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the
assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact,
Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each
reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming
isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe
that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical
concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an
element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has
half as many peons but twice as many morons.

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Offline maxtog

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2020, 05:51:39 am »
And everyone under the age of thirty composes their sentences of endless streams of "Umm...like...."

Not just under 30.  One of my employees, a 45-year-old male, is also inflicted.  To me, nothing is more distracting and irritating than hearing endless, mindless, misuse of the word "like."  I am to the point now that I wish the word were banned from the English language completely.  Even a greatly respected postcaster I listen to, who is quite intelligent and thoughtful, can't formulate more than a few sentences without the word "like."

I was, like,
It was, like,
I am, like,
Do you, like, go
What, like, do you think
Like, when are they

If the person he is interviewing is also a "liker", then use doesn't just double, it triples because they seem to feed off of each other.

https://www.sankinspeechimprovement.com/the-like-epidemic-using-word-like-excessively/
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2020, 10:09:09 am »
For some reason, this one sticks in my ear- hole whenever I hear it; I have never heard anyone refer to an interstate highway with a preceding 'the', at least not in person. I have heard it while watching TV and occasionally in movies perhaps. It is a regional thing that I associate mostly with the western and south- western US states. And it is the single oddest sounding phrase I think I have ever heard in colloquial English..... ever.

Nothing wrong with it and of course it is merely a regional quirk of the spoken language (I assume it is NOT written that way). Lots of us modify (read: butcher) spoken English in some ways, especially with those sounds such as 'like' and 'ya' know' that are designed to fill the air pockets in the brain. But that specific manner of speaking just surprises me every single time I hear it. Not a pet peeve, more like a pet amazement..... ya' know?  ;D

Brian


<snip>

Up here we designate our highways as "I-5" or "405".  Transplanted folks (especially Kaliphorneeyans) give themselves away by saying "THE I-5" and "THE 405".

<snip>

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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2020, 12:11:35 pm »
pronounced the same, mean the same, but spelled differently..... Gray...or ...Grey....  ::) ::)

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Offline maxtog

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2020, 12:20:24 pm »
pronounced the same, mean the same, but spelled differently..... Gray...or ...Grey....  ::) ::)

Yep.  I was taught "grey" for some reason, and it seems every spell checker prefers "gray."  After decades of using grey, I am now grey, and too old to change (but not too old to dye it out).
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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2020, 12:56:03 pm »
Other than peoples' actual names I have found the grey spelling to be much more common. It seems 'the world' prefers grey while I personally like gray and use it whenever it is not a proper name.

This one time, in banned camp in Germany, I needed to say the color gray but did not know the word in German.... so I said 'schwartz und weiss' (black and white in English) while making mixing motions with my hands. Hey, maybe not the slickest way to communicate but they got the idea (or idear for some of you in Kansas). Successful communications and I learned the word for gray, 'grau'.

Brian (not Bryan but sometimes people call me that anyway)

Yep.  I was taught "grey" for some reason, and it seems every spell checker prefers "gray."  After decades of using grey, I am now grey, and too old to change (but not too old to dye it out).
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2020, 02:05:54 pm »

We have a city, Yakima, that used to be called Yak-i-maw.  Now the new(s) people have taken to calling it Yak-im-u.

One of my pet peeves is words not being spelled how people want them pronounced. If they wanted a "maw" on the end they should have spelled it that way. I gotta
side with the news folks on this one, assuming they are pronouncing the "u" as a short sound not a long one that is "Yak-im-ahhh" not "Yak-im-ewww".
You'd hate how I say it. I just said it out loud here a few times and it came out "Yuk-i-ma"..mentally I know it's wrong but if I just blurt it out instead of thinking
about it that's the way it comes out.


And I am sick to death of hearing people use the word "impact" when they really mean "effect".

 Some use of it verbally is probably just a carryover habit from writing. Many forgetting which "affect" or "effect" to use have substituted "impact" instead. Impact is spelled the same either used as a verb or a noun, so it's use is easier.


Our native bivalve is the geoduck, real name pronounced Gwee-duk", but Anglicized as "Gooey-duck". 

Well two wrongs don't make a right...er..correct..er..well anyway if it's going to be spelled geoduck then it's pronounced as gee-o-duk. Saying one mispronunciation
is better than another is silly when the word is clearly misspelled.

And everyone under the age of thirty composes their sentences of endless streams of "Umm...like....ya know....." with little use of words that actually convey information.

Agreed, "I mean" [sic] people feel obligated to speak so quickly that their brain can't keep up when searching for the correct word, so all this like "ya know" gobbledy gook air filling noise comes out instead, ya know? No that wasn't really a question, I just felt obligated to punctuate it that way because of the "ya know " which wasn't a question but an air filler, right? OOPs I did it again. "I mean" used to be something you said when your brain catches up an realizes what you just said may not be very clear, it acted as a pause between what you just said unclearly and what you are about to say more clearly after mental editing. It also was an indicator to the listener that they should quit trying to process what was just said, and instead concentrate on what is about to be said. However, now it has become a sentence starter for no apparent reason just like "ya know" has been added to the end for no apparent reason, right? (<---oops)

Another pet peeve ( I mentioned it in the things that annoy me thread but I'm rolling and can't stop now) is starting a greeting with a question at the beginning of a one way discussion, such as a YouTube video. "Hey guys how's it goin'? Here's how you can get your dog to stop licking it's paws....blah blah.."  "Hi what's up? I'm often asked how to lance a boil on your own butt without asking for..." irks me more than being stuck in traffic on the I-35W, ya know? Right? Eh?

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2020, 10:00:42 am »
Not just under 30.  One of my employees, a 45-year-old male, is also inflicted afflicted .  To me, nothing is more distracting and irritating than hearing endless, mindless, misuse of the word "like."  I am to the point now that I wish the word were banned from the English language completely.  Even a greatly respected postcaster I listen to, who is quite intelligent and thoughtful, can't formulate more than a few sentences without the word "like."

I was, like,
It was, like,
I am, like,
Do you, like, go
What, like, do you think
Like, when are they

If the person he is interviewing is also a "liker", then use doesn't just double, it triples because they seem to feed off of each other.

https://www.sankinspeechimprovement.com/the-like-epidemic-using-word-like-excessively/


FIFY...I think.  But you may be right..





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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2020, 10:04:29 am »
Gray vs grey...  US uses Gray for the most part, whilst other English speaking countries use Grey.  Either one is correct but as I was raised in England in my early years I have all sorts of problems with words and going back and forth with spellings and pronunciations.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 10:43:51 am by VirginiaJim »
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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Words where the pronunciation has changed over the years...
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2020, 10:06:26 am »
For instance the word been.  Most US people use 'bin'.  I use the English version 'bean'.  Totally made fun of me while I was in HS here.  I love watching English TV over here as I feel at home with the language.   The word herb.  Pronounced over here 'erb'.  I pronounce it 'herb'.  The wife gives me heck over this one.
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