the dissappearing "awe" sound (UNCLASSIFIED)

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue May 26 19:24:27 UTC 2009

What problems would occur if English pronunciation would be  stabilized vs. unstabilized.


1. creates a teachable standard and thus a default common communication platform that one can fall back on despite accents.


1.  there is no real standard, communication clarity decreases, no fallback common platform
2.  Homonyms get created and thus confusion.
3.  Danger of words pronounced closer together that can cause crisis situations (eg off/on).

I recently warned of the awe-dropping trend making words "on and off" dangerously close in pronunciation if both vowels are said the same - "ah".  Just recently on a flight the stewardess said "Turn all electronic media ah."  She clipped off the last sound.  She ws an awe-dropper that meant to say "off", but the "ah" sound to me is the word "on".  I hope we all knew it was "off", but that is a real problem.

I don't want the nuclear powerplant manager saying "turn the water ah".  And have that interpreted the wrong way.  It should be mandatory that "off" have the "awe" vowel and "on" have the "ah" vowel for safety sake.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+

> Date: Tue, 26 May 2009 11:14:33 -0500
> From: Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
> Subject: Re: the dissappearing "awe" sound (UNCLASSIFIED)
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Mullins, Bill AMRDEC"
> Subject: Re: the dissappearing "awe" sound (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>> Behalf Of Tom Zurinskas
>> Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 10:13 AM
>> Subject: the dissappearing "awe" sound
>> Can you believe this advice to English learners. Life is simpler: One
>> less phoneme to say. To me this shows the need to stabilize the
>> language. No more awe-dropping.
> If only someone had had the foresight to stabilize the language 600
> years ago, it would have been so much easier to slog through "Canterbury
> Tales".
> Seriously, why does the language need stabilizing? So what if it
> evolves? That's one of the reasons that English has become a global
> language.
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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