forte (was: Re: Accents in Am. English)

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Tue Jun 13 22:14:36 UTC 2000

"Steve K." wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Jun 2000, Lynne Murphy wrote:
> > New Oxford has the pronuncation 'fort-ay' first, and AHD has it last, so
> > perhaps the American shift toward 'forte' is built on the assumption that the
> > British know best.
> A sneak preview of things to com: this order of pronunciations has
> been switched for the 4th edition of the AHD, with 'for-tay' coming first
> now.
> A strong majority of our Usage Panel (74%) preferred the two-syllable
> pronunciation, for what it's worth.
> (We switched the 'status' prons, too, for the 4th, with STAT-us first and
> STAY-tus second.)

Funny, Rob Kyff just had it in his column, and insisted that monosyllabic
"forte" was the human strength and bisyllabic "forte" the musical term.

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