Re: E-less Fiancé

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Mon Apr 3 16:35:58 UTC 2000

At 10:18 PM 4/2/00 -0700, you wrote:
>>>..."fiancé" pronounced as if it rhymed with nuance. I'm from California, 
>>>part of my family is southern and part midwestern, and I have heard that 
>>>pronunciation in my life. How common is it? How correct is it?
>>I've never heard it as a two syllable pronunciation.  How correct?  Well, 
>>I wouldn't be putting it in any dictionary I'd be working on any time 
>>soon.  Ick.
>I've never heard it as two syllables either, but I wonder if this could be 
>a way of distinguishing between male and female (since most users probably 
>think they should be distinguished in these French borrowings).  I assume 
>the female version is still pronounced with three syllables, or has anyone 
>heard "fiancee'" also pronounced with two?  I've noticed also that the 
>borrowing "nee'" (sorry, don't know how to put the accent above the 'e' ) 
>is common in newspaper society columns, but the masc. '"ne'" is 
>not.  Americans may be more used to the double 'ee' as a pronounced 
>syllable therefore; cf. "soiree."
>As to the "ick" reflex, this is a matter of taste, of course, not 
>incorrectness.  We've discussed the ubiquitous "suite=suit" on this list, 
>I believe; such modifications are common, and if the usage spreads, it 
>will eventually go into a dictionary.
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