free variation in pronunciation

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Tue Apr 3 15:13:17 UTC 2001

Responding to Lynne Murphy, Charles Wells <charles at FREUDE.COM> writes:

I have always felt that the nye-ther pronunciation was pretentious, and so was
surprised recently when everyone except me in my church choir insisted on that
pronunciation in an anthem we were singing.  (Maybe it's because it is an
Episcopal choir.)  There is certainly no free variation in that group: a 8 to 1
preference for nye-ther.

This may be a difference between the USA and Britain.

I have found my preference changing as I get older, admitting the /aI/
("eye") pronunciations to my vocabulary and sometimes preferring them.
(Grew up in NYC suburbs & city, fifties & early sixties.) In looking at
when I use them, I get a feeling that I lean toward them somewhat more when
singing my own or others' songs* than when speaking, but that perception
may be due only to paying greater attention to details of performance.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   FIJAGH! Now, *filking*, on the other hand...

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