Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 16 03:01:54 UTC 2009

I was taught in grammar school that the "t" in "often" was silent.  So I've never said the "t" since.  Would that the teachers in our schools be so inclined to correct the "awe-droppers" and keep them from eliminating that phoneme from existence.

The latest awe-drop is "inaugeration" which in is spoken in-naw-gyer-RAY-shin  ~inaugyerraeshin   being said in news media as
in-nog-ger-RAY-shin  ~inaagerraeshin.   If they served egg nog, it would be an egg noggeration.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
Learn truespel in 15 minutes at

> Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 18:25:10 +0000
> From: djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
> Subject: Re: Pronuncations
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Damien Hall
> Subject: Re: Pronuncations
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Received from the Linguistic Anthropology (LINGANTH) list today:
> On Jan 15 2009, Robert Lawless wrote:
>>For all you guys who teach college-age students and (if you're
>>listening) hear them talk: Is the pronunciation of often with "t"
>>becoming more common with the younger generation? (I think most of us
>>old foggies don't pronounce the "t".) I believe linguists refer to this
>>as "spelling pronunciation." I suppose then that pronouncing sophomore
>>as two syllables would be anti-spelling pronunciation. Although I and
>>most of my colleagues pronounce it with three syllables, seemingly all
>>the sophmores here use only two syllables. (My daughter, who's a
>>sophmore in high school corrected me the other day when I called her a
> I don't know about these points, but maybe somebody here on the American
> Dialect Society list has some intuition from their own students, or knows
> about the history of the pronunciations of these two words? For myself:
> - I think I (M, 34, but British, not American) usually pronounce 'often'
> with no /t/
> - I have no native intuition about 'sophomore', since it's not a word that
> most Brits know; myself, I had come across it but had no idea of what it
> meant exactly, apart from knowing that it referred to one or several years
> in education, until I came to the US. FYI, in British Universities the
> years are just referred to by their ordinal numbers, except that in some
> places the people in their last year are called Finalists (because that's
> when their Final Exams are). We split the secondary years differently from
> Americans, so that you enter secondary school at 11 and can leave at 16 or
> 18, but there's no necessary break between those ages; the second year of
> that process, when pupils are 12-13 years old, is, again, just called the
> Second Year.
> Replies, I suppose, to Robert directly, and maybe copied to this list.
> Damien
> --
> Damien Hall
> University of York
> Department of Language and Linguistic Science
> Heslington
> York YO10 5DD
> UK
> Tel. (office) 01904 432665
> (mobile) 0771 853 5634
> Fax 01904 432673
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