Probably too late, now

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 29 20:41:58 UTC 2007

Well, until someone comes up with a phonological analysis of English
that can account for the occurrence of [-rkt-], its occurrence is a
spelling pronunciation that I choose to ignore. [artIk]: that's my
pronunciation and I'm sticking with it. Of course, f I were under
seventeen instead of over seventy, I'd probably be more flexible.
Indeed, I probably wouldn't even care. I'd just go with the spelling
that would get me the highest GPA and use my spare cognitive energy
for fantasizing about girls.


On 9/29/07, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Probably too late, now
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Merely as a point of interest: the Century Dictionary of 1889 already recognized only the
>   "c-ful"  pronunciation.
>   But Arnold's info persuades me to revert.
>   JL
> "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
> Subject: Re: Probably too late, now
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Sep 28, 2007, at 4:07 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > ... As children in Saint Louis, we were specifically taught, in
> > fourth-grade "georgaphy" - another pronunciation that the nuns labored
> > to eliminate - that "Arctic" was to be pronounced as though spelled
> > "Artic" [artIk] and *not* as [arktIk].. As a consequence, for the past
> > sixty years or so, I've been incredibly annoyed by the
> > seemingly-universal use of the spelling-pronunciation, [ar_k_tIk].
> like jon lighter, and no doubt many others here, i had exactly the
> reverse experience. the facts are more complex than either of these
> teachings would suggest. from the American Heritage Book of English
> Usage (1996):
> _Arctic_ was originally spelled in English without the first _c_,
> which was later reintroduced after the original spelling in Greek.
> Both [pronunciations] are equally acceptable...
> the Wikipedia page on "words of disputed pronunciation" shows a very
> complex pattern of advice (in this summary, (1) is the [k]-less
> pronunciation, (2) the pronunciation with [k]):
> The debate is whether or not the cluster is pronounced [kt] or
> just [t]. M-W lists both, with (1) first, but OED only lists (2)
> while noting that the oldest spelling (dating from the 14th century)
> is _Artik_, implying that (1) is the older pronunciation. EEPD lists
> only (2). LPD lists both for both British and American English, but
> marks (1) as "considered incorrect" for British. K&K list both but
> mark (2) as "now rare". Generally, the same pronunciation for the
> cluster is used for both _arctic_ and _antarctic_. However, M-W
> lists (2) first for _antarctic_.
> M-W: the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
> EEPD: Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary (Gimson rev., 1977)
> LPD: Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (1990)
> K&K: Kenyon & Knott, A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> ---------------------------------
> Catch up on fall's hot new shows on Yahoo! TV.  Watch previews, get listings, and more!
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list