CLIK/CLEEK & NATIVE SPEAKER [was "FAG one last time"]

Thu Mar 15 15:54:03 UTC 2001

When I first began to hear the word, I think in high school in
Milwaukee in the late 50s, I heard first it as "cleek".  It wasn't
many years before "click" took over, and I hadn't even thought of
the tense vowel version for a long time until it came up on the


>>> jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM 03/15/01 10:15AM >>>
--- Lynne Murphy <lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK> wrote:

> I haven't noticed anyone saying 'clique', but for
> the record, as an
> American, I would not say 'cleek'.  To me, the
> pronunciation of 'clique' is
> equivalent to 'click'.  I might say the vowel a
> little bit higher/tenser,
> but certainly nothing like 'cleek'.
> > Ultimately, of course, all pronunciations come
> from the mouths of
> > speakers (native and otherwise). I guess the
> "native speakers" would
> > attribute their pronunciations to their mothers,
> if "mother tongue" has
> > any meaning left. So where does all this lead and
> which WORKING (not
> > just theorizing) lexicographer has the time?
> I wouldn't attribute my pronunciations to my
> mother--especially for a word
> like 'clique'-- but to a range of influences,
> including and especially
> peers, educators, and media.
> Lynne

I was introduced to the word 'clique' and taught to
pronounce it as 'clik' by my Canada-born and educated
eighth-grade English teacher.

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
SLC, UT                        |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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