the dissappearing "awe" sound (UNCLASSIFIED)

Matthew Gordon gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue May 26 20:07:48 UTC 2009


As was pointed out to you the last time you raised this example, "off" and
"on" have the same vowel in many (probably most) dialects of English
including modern RP (=Standard British English), Australian, and everywhere
in the US except for the North (i.e. north of I-80, roughly, through the
Great Lakes region). You, Tom, speak a minority dialect in which 'on' has an
unrounded vowel as in 'Don.' For many others who preserve a distinction
between 'Don' and 'dawn,' 'on' rhymes with the latter, and of course for
those of us with the merger 'on' rhymes with both.


On 5/26/09 2:24 PM, "Tom Zurinskas" <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:


> 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+
> see truespel.com
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> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Tue, 26 May 2009 11:14:33 -0500
>> From: Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
>> Subject: Re: the dissappearing "awe" sound (UNCLASSIFIED)
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>
>> ---------------------- 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
>>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>> 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
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> _________________________________________________________________
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> http://windowslive.com/explore?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_BR_life_in_synch_052009
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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