[porsh] and other British English (was: Coup de grace)

Page Stephens hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Jun 11 16:08:23 UTC 2004

It is difficult to generalize about all of the different pronunciations in
British English dialects but one which intrigues me is the way that an
English friend and I differ in the consonants we do or do not pronounce.

He always pronounces the h in herbs and once told me that he needed some
solder and had the damndest time trying to tell a US hardware store
employee what he wanted since he pronounced it the way it is written
complete with the letter l.

I will not guess what the word pronounced in the US as sodder might mean in
the UK, but I would guess that it is impolite on the grounds that "the old
sod" as he would use it does not refer to Ireland. I will have to ask him
of these days.

Page Stephens

----- Original Message -----
From: "Beverly Flanigan" <flanigan at OHIOU.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 3:53 PM
Subject: Re: [porsh] and other British English (was: Coup de grace)

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIOU.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: [porsh] and other British English (was: Coup de grace)
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I suspect the source of the problem is that we hear these terms more than
> we read them.  So, if  the prevailing pronunciation has no 's', and if one
> might have heard or seen "foie gras," the 'gras' is carried over to "coup
> de gras."  I wonder what people do with "coup d'etat"?  I also suspect
> of these French words have individual meaning for most English speakers
> (gras, etat, grace, mardi, even coup); the phrases are just picked up
> At 02:08 PM 6/10/2004 -0400, you wrote:
> >At 12:25 PM -0500 6/10/04, Sally Donlon wrote:
> >>
> >>P.S. I also have always thought "coup de gras" had no pronounced "s"
> >>on the end.
> >
> >"coup de gras" wouldn't.  "coup de grace", on the other hand...
> >
> >>We're so used to pronouncing "Mardi Gras" without that "s" that I
> >>guess it just
> >>carries over for us.
> >
> >But we (sometimes) call the latter "Fat Tuesday".  Do people really
> >think of the "coup de grace" blow as having some connection with fat?
> >I'm not trying to be prescriptive, just wondering what the intuitive
> >connections are.
> >
> >L

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