[Ads-l] Pronunciation

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Mon Feb 27 19:29:41 EST 2017

And I, also NYC parents.

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Wayne State University
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mewinters at wayne.edu<mailto:mewinters at wayne.edu>

On Feb 27, 2017, at 3:08 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET<mailto:berson at ATT.NET>> wrote:

Me too (excluding the grandparents part), same  place.


     From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM<mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>>
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:18 PM
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Pronunciation

LIke my NYC grandparents, I say "fahrid."


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 1:29 PM, Salikoko S. Mufwene <s-mufwene at uchicago.edu<mailto:s-mufwene at uchicago.edu>

Merriam Webster, 11th Collegiate edition, gives both pronunciations,
although, like you, I have always heard that with "four." May this be
related to the fact that in colonial English words such as /gone,
going/,/oil, daughter/, and /lord/ were apparently (also) pronounced with
the "far" vowel. Atlantic English creoles have been conservative in this


On 2/27/2017 11:41 AM, Shawnee Moon wrote:

I love both the nuances and the profound differences in pronunciation of
words, and I try to guess where people are from. I can tell bad faked
southern accents by actors, etc.

There's a couple dialect pinpointing pages on the web that ask how you
pronounce words, and they have gotten my region and dialect influences
quite accurately, which was impressive to me.

However, there's one word that I pronounce differently than anyone I know
other than immediate family:

My family always pronounced it "far head" instead of "four head."
Recently I read that the pronunciation is Irish but very old.

  From Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue:"
"Often, however, the process has worked the other way around, with
pronunciation following spelling. We will see how the changes of spelling
in words like descrive/describe and parfet/perfect resulted in changes in
pronunciation, but many other words have been similarly influenced. Atone
was once pronounced “at one” (the term from which it sprang), while
atonement was “at one-ment.” Many people today pronounce the t in often
because it’s there (even though they would never think to do it with
soften, fasten, or hasten) and I suspect that a majority of people would be
surprised to learn that the correct (or at least historic) pronunciation of
waistcoat is “wess-kit,” of victuals is “vittles,” of forehead is “forrid,”
and of comptroller is “controller” (the one is simply a fancified spelling
of the other). In all of these the sway of spelling is gradually proving

Has anyone ever heard anyone else pronounce forehead another way? I'm 55
and never have, and I've lived or been to nearly every state in the country.


Mailed from the Moon 🌜

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Salikoko S. Mufwene                    s-mufwene at uchicago.edu<mailto:s-mufwene at uchicago.edu>
The Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and
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Professor, Committee on the Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science
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