The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 11 05:36:40 UTC 2009

In every ad that I've heard for the CD of this movie, the voiceover
*always* pronounces "striped" as [strajpt]. To my ear, this is passing
strange. The pronunciation "should," i.e. perhaps only IMO and in that
of others of my ilk, if any, be [strajpId]. The ADJ, for me, is
[strajpId]; [strajpt] is the PPP. If an object is striped because
that's the way it normally is, as a tiger or a concentration-camp
uniform, then it's [strajpId]. If an object has stripes because it
somehow got stripes added to it later, like a crosswalk painted onto a
black, asphalt street surface, then that portion of the street has
been [strajpt].

It's as jarring as hearing "beloved [bIl^vd] *by*" instead of "loved
by" or "beloved [bil^vId] *of*"

Saint Louis must have been a speech-island in more than phonology. Or
maybe it is, or was, a feature of BE, since I've lived among
BE-speakers from places other than Saint Louis without ever noticing a
failure to make these distinctions. Or maybe it's just old-fashioned,
like my grandparents using "wheel," long after "bicycle" was well on
its way to becoming "bike."

(For younger readers: a bike was once normally called a "wheel."
Strange, but true. Lots of traditional bike-riding organizations still
call their members "wheelmen," for that reason.)


Some say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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