Stress on "donate"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Aug 9 21:19:40 UTC 2009

Tony Au wrote:
> According to several dictionaries online, the word "donate" can be stressed
> on the first or the second syllable, though I've heard it only on the first.
> However, I've noticed in a commercial on an Ontario radio station as well as
> in a line in Corner Gas (a Canadian sitcom) people stressing the second
> syllable of "donate." Does anyone know if this is more prevalent in Canadian
> English (or for that matter, how prevalent it is in American English)?

No doubt some of the savants know much better than I ... but I can give
the naive impression of a single US-an.

Both DO-nate and do-NATE seem natural enough to me. Surely I hear both
although I can't say in what proportions. I can picture myself speaking
either, chosen more-or-less arbitrarily, although more likely I'd say
DO-nate (I think).

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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