words starting with "ex"

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Fri Jul 27 12:08:32 UTC 2007

"Free variation" means 'some people say one thing one time and another thing the next, even in pronouncing the same word'. Using MY ears, I conclude that [I] and [E] tend to be in free variation in words beginning in "ex-". Reading books can be a good thing: books can tell us what other students of language have concluded on the basis of rigorous scientific testing in publications that are subject to vigorous peer review. That is the way that science works: scientific studies are valued; casual anecdotes are of little or no value, especially when the anecdotes are framed in an ideological framework that ignores the facts about human linguistic behavior .
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-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>

Date:         Fri, 27 Jul 2007 09:30:59
Subject:      Re: [ADS-L] words starting with "ex"

I collect data all the time, listening to meda.  Having respelled the
English language phonetically, I'm as expert as anyone.  That's why I think
"ex" is most often pronounced in USA as short e, or an allophone thereof,
rather than short i or an allophone thereof.

I asked here for data, for opinions.  No one here apparently feels qualified
enough to give an opinion on this subject.  It amazes me that people don't
trust their own ears.  They say, like you, go read a book and see what "some
expert (ixpert?)" says.

Send us some sound files, Amy, to show us the diffence between "ix" and "ex"
for some words and let us hear which sounds more typical.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
See truespel.com - and the 4  truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

>From: Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Re: words starting with "ex"
>Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 06:12:24 -0400
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
>Subject:      Re: words starting with "ex"
>You misunderstand me:
>What I want to say in a very direct way is this: leave M-W out of it,
>go out and collect your own data in the wild, and study the
>linguistic field of phonology/phonetics. Take Laurence Urdang's
>---Amy West
> >Date:    Tue, 24 Jul 2007 11:32:37 +0000
> >From:    Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> >Subject: Re: words starting with "ex"
> >
> >Thanks Amy,
> >
> >I really should say that the m-w.com site is truly a marvelous free
> >and commend Marriam-Webster and all that worked on it for a fine job.
> >Hearing the spoken word actually revolutionizes the dictionary.  Sound
> >must be used in this forum as well.  This is a wonderful thing they did.
> >
> >Many of the issues I address I believe are due to changing pronunciation
> >over time that legacy phonetic spelling hasn't kept up with, or due to
> >accents.  I certainly never intimated that the pronunciation were "from
> >wild."
> >
> >I agree that phonetic spelling is needlessly cryptic and should be redone
> >an English friendly way so it's more accessible, especially for
> >in reading and English pronunciation.  That's the thrust of truespel.
> >
> >What you seem to have said below is that my reliance on m-w.com as a
> >pronunciation guide for typical USA accent is a good one because m-w.com
> >ably quality controlled, with the proviso that regional accents will
> >I agree with you.
> >
> >Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
> >See truespel.com - and the 4  truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at
> >authorhouse.com.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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