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

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Mar 15 17:15:12 UTC 2001

The heavy majority for "click" so far has surprised me.  I learned the word
as "cleek" and still pronounce it that way on the rare occasions when I use
it at all.  I've heard "click," of course, and it bothered me because 1) we
already have a word pronounced that way and it means something else, and 2)
I figured that most people know the French sequence -ique is pronounced
[ik] (not [Ik]) in other words, whether they actually speak French or not,
so why wouldn't they follow the same pattern in this case?

My reaction may stem from a false assumption that since it's a
comparatively infrequent word, most people would have first encountered it
in writing, or at least learned it in some context that was closely
associated with the spelling.  Two other factors may be that 1) my mother,
from whom I first heard the word, knew French, and 2) this list has taught
me that some of my actual, native-speaker pronunciations are spelling
pronunciations for other people.

So on second thought, maybe I should disqualify myself as a reliable

Peter Mc.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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