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(Primer Magazine)   Common words that when you say them make people think you're from Alabama   (primermagazine.com) divider line 44
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26773 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Apr 2013 at 1:00 PM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-04-18 01:11:13 PM
8 votes:
Someone fails at linguistic history. There's a reason why so many folks put an r at the end of sherbet. It's the same reason if you're out in the sticks you'll hear someone say "warsh." It's called an "intrusive r" and is common in most rhotic dialects of English. It's a peculiarity of r-pronunciation, and not unique to English, but all languages that feature an analog of the English R.

I'd also like to note that awry comes from "a wrien," comparable to "aglee" in Scottish brogue. I might mention that aglee is indeed pronounced the "wrong" way. It's called a vowel shift, something that some folks out there didn't really get to participate in. They're not so much "wrong" as somewhere they fell off the linguistic bus.

And, finally, fark you for being a prescriptivist. English changes faster than you can write down your silly rules. Write and speak to your audience, don't write and speak to a handful of mostly dead men's grammatical peeves. English is the most mutable language in recorded history, and some of us would like to keep it that way.
2013-04-18 12:43:00 PM
7 votes:
OFTEN
Incorrect pronunciation: off - ten

Correct pronunciation: off - en

 Oh, I'm not going along with this one. I see a "T" so I'm pronouncing it.
If you say it "Off-en" THEN you sound like you are from Alabama.
"Hey ya'll, I offen go huntin with my ma and Pa"
2013-04-18 01:45:23 PM
6 votes:
My old linguistics professor, Jay Hoar, had a lecture, "Ain't is a Beautiful Word" and it was one of those classes that folks who had taken classes with him, would come by and hear over and over again. He was a fierce proponent of colloquial and regional dialects, enriching the tongue, and connecting us to our history. In this case, as far back as the 1600s.

Regional dialects are indicative of play with the language, strengthening ties amongst a regional population, and identification with time and place. The scrubbed down versions of broadcast English, both here and across the ocean, are attempts to codify the language away from those tendencies. Even while writing slowed linguistic drift, we now have television and movies to take snapshots of the language, with audio as well as visual cues to emulate social class and standing. English is enormously elastic in its ability to morph and change, with speakers often switching between dialects to fit their social circles.

To be able to switch those dialects, isn't a sign of smartness nor idiocy, but in the ability to suit language and speaking styles to the audience. Colloquialisms aren't formal, but they have their place, and in many cases are exactly the tone that one needs. There are folks who don't switch their speaking styles to suit their audiences, and then there are those who lean upon it heavily to give the impression of being more "folksy" and in the end, one has to realize the content of the speech, as opposed to method of its delivery is more important.

The one thing that regional dialects tend to do, is preserve language. Each is a sort of mixing pot, and often they wind up being natural reserves for forms that have faded from the "formal" dialect, which is itself merely a dialect that has popularity, and is often associated with a particular class or area that power is projected from. Early grammars in the US made ruthless use of this, to demonize many regional dialects, while promoting the rules of their own. This is no less the case in England, and even Malayasia has switched its teaching programs to favor American Standard English, to phase out British Standard English to teach their youth. Language is linked to class, and it is linked to popularity of forms, and the one hard and rigid rule within the language is mutual intelligibility. Dialects can shift and morph to the point where that mutual intelligibility can be blurred, and even lost with some accents and dialects moving away from one another, often because of relative isolation. Even in England, small towns that insular, develop and keep their own dialects strong, to reinforce their own heritage and identity, while giving some measure of deference to the "official" dialect.

There is no "proper" English. Only mutually intelligible English, and given that more folks speak English in Asia right now, than in the US or England combined, it is going to be very interesting century to see how the language shifts and morphs with that impact, especially given the number of non-native speakers, and folks who are coming into second and even third generation speakers, who have never been to a nation where English is the official language. "Proper" English is about politics and projection of power, to regulate societies to conforming to a particular cultural model. We pick up cues from folks' accent and dialect, and we're good at placing that which is different than our own, and ordering it within a framework of social and cultural hierarchy. Which, in fairness, is what humans do within ANY language framework--even sign language.
2013-04-18 12:50:14 PM
5 votes:
Alabama has plenty of people intelligent enough to pronounce words correctly. They just don't get elected to public office.
2013-04-18 01:51:17 PM
3 votes:

pute kisses like a man: in middle english it was aks.  thus, the historically accurate pronunciation is aks.


Well, not really. Up until 1600 "ax" was considered an acceptable word for "ask", and it derives from "acsian" in Old English. But also dating back to Old English is "ascian", which is the root of the modern "ask".

Arguably, "ask" is more historically "accurate" because it's closer to the roots across many closely related languages: Proto-Germanic's "aiskojan", Saxon's "escon", Old High German's "eiscon",. The "ais-" prefix itself ties back to Sanskrit and Armenian.

All that is to say, "aks" was an acceptable historical anomaly, but was never "the" accurate pronunciation of "ask".
2013-04-18 01:37:12 PM
2 votes:

Walker: OFTEN
Incorrect pronunciation: off - ten
Correct pronunciation: off - en

 Oh, I'm not going along with this one. I see a "T" so I'm pronouncing it.
If you say it "Off-en" THEN you sound like you are from Alabama.
"Hey ya'll, I offen go huntin with my ma and Pa"



Ahem.  The contracted form of  you all is spelt y'all.  It would not surprise me to find that most Alabamans know how to spell that.
2013-04-18 01:30:04 PM
2 votes:
I live in St. Clair County AL about 35 min. drive from Talladega ('Dega).  The drawl & language on the factory floor at my last job would probably make most of ya'll internet folks' ears fall off.   "I gotta git down to tha doller stoar 'fore Misty gits off her shift at tha cracker Barrel. We gon git some coors lite & go to tha races"  Also, Row Tide ya'll.
2013-04-18 12:47:01 PM
2 votes:
11. Discrete (meaning, two of more individual things or events) vs. discreet (meaning let's not let our spouses find out about this...)
2013-04-18 12:46:54 PM
2 votes:
Subby, most of the incorrect pronunciations listed on that page would mark a significant improvement in pronunciation for Alabamans.
2013-04-18 05:26:05 PM
1 votes:

threedingers: What always sound weird to my Canadian ear is the "zed" vs "zee" in car names. Camaro "zee"28, Datsun 240"zee" sound distinctly odd to me.


Why? For Americans every consonant's name is the sound it makes elongated with a vowel sound. But for Canadians and Brits it's every consonant save for Z. [All but W in both cases as its name is a functional description rather than its sound] Why end the name of only that one consonant with another consonant? How does that makes any sense?

Dee
Gee
Pee
Tee
Zed

One of these things is not like the other.
2013-04-18 04:49:00 PM
1 votes:

NkThrasher: FizixJunkee: [i.chzbgr.com image 456x570]

Barrow?

It's a bloody half of a barrel with wheels.  It's a farking wheel-barrel.

/First time I've ever noticed it as being 'barrow', right there.
//Had to google to figure out which angle of the image was funny.


I always knew it was barrow, because I grew up pronouncing it with the w very faint, almost not there. Not quite barroh, but something in between. I never knew people thought it was wheel barrel.
2013-04-18 03:19:59 PM
1 votes:
"Onvelope" - because you're not The Queen, but you dress like her on the weekends.
2013-04-18 03:14:21 PM
1 votes:

xanadian: timujin: I'm with him on all of them but "often", I don't think I know anyone who pronounces it "offen", nor do I have any recollection of hearing that it is supposed to be a "silent t" prior to this article.

Kind of like how "receipt" has a silent 'p'.

....

Unlike me first thing in the morning.

HEY-OH


Sure, but I'd always been told that was how to correctly pronounce receipt.  (not to detract from your amusing play on words)

As I posted just above, the writer is apparently being recalcitrant, digging in his heels and ignoring the evolution the language continually goes through.

I actually have a similar issue with "nauseous" and "begs the question", but I've learned to let it go.
2013-04-18 03:10:07 PM
1 votes:

timujin: I'm with him on all of them but "often", I don't think I know anyone who pronounces it "offen", nor do I have any recollection of hearing that it is supposed to be a "silent t" prior to this article.


that being said, I don't pronounce it "off TEN" as much as "off tn"

And according to Random House:
Often' was pronounced with a t-sound until the 17th century, when a pronunciation without the [t] came to predominate in the speech of the educated, in both North America and Great Britain, and the earlier pronunciation fell into disfavor. Common use of a spelling pronunciation has since restored the [t] for many speakers, and today /ˈɔfən/[aw-fuh and /ˈɔf[awf-tuhn] or /ˈɒfən/[of-uhn] and [of-tuhn] exist side by side. Although it is still sometimes criticized, 'often' with a /t/[t] is now so widely heard from educated speakers that it has become fully standard once again.
2013-04-18 03:06:36 PM
1 votes:
I'm with him on all of them but "often", I don't think I know anyone who pronounces it "offen", nor do I have any recollection of hearing that it is supposed to be a "silent t" prior to this article.
2013-04-18 03:05:33 PM
1 votes:
I grew up in Alabama and I don't mispronounce any of those words. I don't know anyone who does. The joke about Alabama is tired and pathetic. I have heard people mispronounce realtor and nuclear in every state I've been too and on many television programs. It irritates me to no end. Ignorance and laziness are human traits not southern traits.
2013-04-18 02:52:57 PM
1 votes:
This is stupid. The way people speak is in no way a reflection of intelligence. If you think so then you are probably some idiot northern liberal. Dialect is something that is engrained in a person since child birth. Often this includes so called mispronunciation.

It isn't something thats easy to change.

Grammar in writing is something to judge people on. Judging somebody on different (incorrect or not) ways of pronunciation is just stupid. And I think most linguists would agree.

Slutter McGee
2013-04-18 02:49:43 PM
1 votes:
I like the part where the article doesn't know how to properly pronounce et cetera. It's a hard C, not a soft C, you idiots! et KET-er-ah!
2013-04-18 02:46:30 PM
1 votes:

CygnusDarius: Help me make some decent grits?.


Lots of cheese and butter.  Little bit of pepper and Texas Pete.  Nothin' to it.
2013-04-18 02:42:21 PM
1 votes:

Ringshadow: Strik3r: NUCLEAR
Incorrect pronunciation: nuke - you - lerr

Correct pronunciation: new - clee - err

I'm going to try to get through this one without a President Bush joke. All right, so, despite the fact that it's 2008, this is a word with which we're somehow still struggling. Like most of the words on this list, "nuclear" is spelled EXACTLY AS IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE PRONOUNCED and yet, people continue to screw it up worse than the War in Iraq... oh, dammit.

^^^^  THIS

I work in the god damn nuclear industry and HALF MY GOD DAMN COWORKERS SAY NOOKYOULAR.

I've heard reactor operators say nookyoular! Christ, can we just drop this one! It's regional, deal with it!

On this topic, turbine. "Turban" or "tur-byne"?

/turban


I say NO.

If you want to create a new word for each ("nucular" and/or "turban"), fine. Just leave "nuclear" and "turbine" alone. Back away and pronounce them properly.
2013-04-18 02:36:08 PM
1 votes:

hubiestubert: "Proper" English is no more than the dialect that is used by those in current power, and taught as being the "correct" version, as a method of cultural control. It is a device of politics, not linguistics


There are thousands of dialects of English.   "Official" forms of English are just those dialects which have an army and navy behind them.

/always loved that definition.
2013-04-18 02:10:58 PM
1 votes:

hubiestubert: t3knomanser: pute kisses like a man: in middle english it was aks.  thus, the historically accurate pronunciation is aks.

Well, not really. Up until 1600 "ax" was considered an acceptable word for "ask", and it derives from "acsian" in Old English. But also dating back to Old English is "ascian", which is the root of the modern "ask".

Arguably, "ask" is more historically "accurate" because it's closer to the roots across many closely related languages: Proto-Germanic's "aiskojan", Saxon's "escon", Old High German's "eiscon",. The "ais-" prefix itself ties back to Sanskrit and Armenian.

All that is to say, "aks" was an acceptable historical anomaly, but was never "the" accurate pronunciation of "ask".

What a lot of dialects do is preserve older forms. And it boils down to mutual intelligibility.

English is a riotous profusion of forms, with formal and informal often blurring over the years. Long years at that, as a trade tongue, it borrowed heavily from Latinate forms, as well as the Germanic forebears, and the odd bits of Gaelic and other languages it butts up against. It is a sponge for new words, from languages that are no where near those roots.

"Proper" English is no more than the dialect that is used by those in current power, and taught as being the "correct" version, as a method of cultural control. It is a device of politics, not linguistics. Populations that are isolated by region spin dialects out of use. "Proper" English is only "proper" because folks in power would like their version be the formal one, and it is reinforced again and again, to keep those populations slightly isolated, by marginalizing the usage from their region. It's not about proper, it's merely a tool of politics.


i3.ytimg.com

"Yes, well that's not exactly what I've got written on the card,
but I knew your father, so Footlights lead by 25 points."


2013-04-18 02:04:08 PM
1 votes:
This one I've noticed in the northeast. It's subtle, but "dr" at the beginning of words turns into "jr". Drop becomes jrop.
2013-04-18 01:57:39 PM
1 votes:

t3knomanser: pute kisses like a man: in middle english it was aks.  thus, the historically accurate pronunciation is aks.

Well, not really. Up until 1600 "ax" was considered an acceptable word for "ask", and it derives from "acsian" in Old English. But also dating back to Old English is "ascian", which is the root of the modern "ask".

Arguably, "ask" is more historically "accurate" because it's closer to the roots across many closely related languages: Proto-Germanic's "aiskojan", Saxon's "escon", Old High German's "eiscon",. The "ais-" prefix itself ties back to Sanskrit and Armenian.

All that is to say, "aks" was an acceptable historical anomaly, but was never "the" accurate pronunciation of "ask".


What a lot of dialects do is preserve older forms. And it boils down to mutual intelligibility.

English is a riotous profusion of forms, with formal and informal often blurring over the years. Long years at that, as a trade tongue, it borrowed heavily from Latinate forms, as well as the Germanic forebears, and the odd bits of Gaelic and other languages it butts up against. It is a sponge for new words, from languages that are no where near those roots.

"Proper" English is no more than the dialect that is used by those in current power, and taught as being the "correct" version, as a method of cultural control. It is a device of politics, not linguistics. Populations that are isolated by region spin dialects out of use. "Proper" English is only "proper" because folks in power would like their version be the formal one, and it is reinforced again and again, to keep those populations slightly isolated, by marginalizing the usage from their region. It's not about proper, it's merely a tool of politics.
2013-04-18 01:54:04 PM
1 votes:
My philosophy on English is that it is a living language, so feel free to come up with new words as needed or desired.  Verbify nouns, make composite words, come up with new onomonopias, etc. I have no qualms with any of this.  But, once we have come up with a word I think we should all agree on one spelling for it. Misspellings just cause confusion, and they cannot be excused as "living language".

To an extent grammar fall into this need for agreement as well.  While grammatical structures may change over time, and we do need to adapt to that, we still need consistency for how we put the current grammar in writing.  Having grammar all over the place causes confusion, so we really should strive to use the presently accepted grammar.


/I am sure there is a misspelling and several grammatical errors in this post
2013-04-18 01:49:04 PM
1 votes:

vudukungfu: OK OK OK
PRIMER Magazine.

Is it pronounced
PRIM-MER
or
PRIME-ER?



vowel-consonant-vowel = first vowel is long (typically).

To pronounce it "primmer" you would have to have -- you guessed it -- two letter Ms in there (or bad teeth).
2013-04-18 01:42:44 PM
1 votes:

Incredulous: Ahem. The contracted form of you all is spelt y'all. It would not surprise me to find that most Alabamians know how to spell that.


FTFY

And yes, they would, as do Alabamian immigrants.
2013-04-18 01:36:31 PM
1 votes:
Bless your hearts.
2013-04-18 01:27:40 PM
1 votes:

limeyferg: aluminum... somehow becomes Al- u-min-i-um

The -ium is how us Brits say it.  I think Bill Bryson researched it and said the original element was named as -"aluminum: and that's how the US says it and spells it.  For some reason the brits decided that it sounded better if you add the -ium and made it aluminium.    I guess they look at other "um" elements such as "calcium" and decided to keep to that format.  potato - potato, tomato - tomato.


Sir Humphry named it Aluminium after it's discovery in 1812.  Wasn't until later when American publications dropped the "ium" in favor of "um."
2013-04-18 01:27:18 PM
1 votes:
"Sheriff" instead of "shire reeve."
"Only" instead of "onely."
"Diverse" instead of "divers."
2013-04-18 01:24:04 PM
1 votes:
I want to pronounce forte (strong point) properly ("fort"), but then people don't know what the hell I'm saying so I end up just pronouncing it incorrectly (like the musical term - "fort-ay").
2013-04-18 01:21:54 PM
1 votes:

FirstNationalBastard: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Excape has always driven me crazy

/expecially when it's some TV news talking head doing it

Someone needs to ax them what their problem is.


you know what's funny about ask? in middle english it was aks.  thus, the historically accurate pronunciation is aks.  you just have some group of people who decided to bastardize the language because they wanted it to sound less germanic.
2013-04-18 01:19:40 PM
1 votes:

HortusMatris: puckrock2000: netcentric: "If you're using words like "snuck," "brang," or "irregardless," (no, none of those are real words)...  "

Wtf ?   That's unpossible.

H'aint ?

Well, according to the Random House Dictionary, "First recorded in writing toward the end of the 19th century in the United States, snuck has become in recent decades a standard variant past tense and past participle of the verb sneak".
So if people have been using it that way for over a century, then yes, it's a real word.

^This^

Snuck is so a real word!


I'll give you snuck, but goddammitsomuch I will never surrender to "irregardless!"
2013-04-18 01:19:09 PM
1 votes:
Site is farked for me, but did they get "li-berry?"  As a librarian that one always pisses me off, especially when said by other "li-berrians."

And do we have official word on the pronunciation of "important?"  When I was living in Alabama, it was often pronounced "im-POR-tin," without the final "t".  I, on the other hand, pronounce it "im-POR-nt," pronouncing the final "t" but with a glottal stop in place of the first "t".
2013-04-18 01:12:13 PM
1 votes:

netcentric: "If you're using words like "snuck," "brang," or "irregardless," (no, none of those are real words)...  "

Wtf ?   That's unpossible.

H'aint ?


Well, according to the Random House Dictionary, "First recorded in writing toward the end of the 19th century in the United States, snuck has become in recent decades a standard variant past tense and past participle of the verb sneak".
So if people have been using it that way for over a century, then yes, it's a real word.
2013-04-18 01:08:23 PM
1 votes:

you have pee hands: If you use "ignorant" as if it's a synonym for "rude", I'll think you're from western Pennsylvania, which is like Alabama with more snow.


I'll wait until I hear "yinz goin' dahntahn to da Jine Iggle?"
2013-04-18 01:06:14 PM
1 votes:

SultanofSchwing: Aluminium


Yes, people do sound stupid adding an extra "I" into Aluminum.
2013-04-18 01:05:49 PM
1 votes:
 "If you're using words like "snuck," "brang," or "irregardless," (no, none of those are real words)...  "

Wtf ?   That's unpossible.

H'aint ?
2013-04-18 01:05:23 PM
1 votes:

JerkyMeat: Typical.

TFA conveniently skipped the possum or opossum conundrum.


Crayfish, crawfish, crawdads, craydads, craydiddies, little tiny fresh water lobsters...
2013-04-18 01:04:54 PM
1 votes:
Forgot a couple. "Exasperate" used in lieu of "Exacerbate", "The point is mute" instead of "The point is moot". "Hookers and blow" instead of "Ladies of ill repute and cocaine". The list goes on.
2013-04-18 01:04:39 PM
1 votes:
NUCLEAR
Incorrect pronunciation: nuke - you - lerr

Correct pronunciation: new - clee - err

I'm going to try to get through this one without a President Bush joke. All right, so, despite the fact that it's 2008, this is a word with which we're somehow still struggling. Like most of the words on this list, "nuclear" is spelled EXACTLY AS IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE PRONOUNCED and yet, people continue to screw it up worse than the War in Iraq... oh, dammit.

^^^^  THIS
2013-04-18 12:57:43 PM
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: FirstNationalBastard: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Excape has always driven me crazy

/expecially when it's some TV news talking head doing it

Someone needs to ax them what their problem is.

It's even worse when they're talking about an ask muderer


What an Ask murderer may look like

newsimg.bbc.co.uk
2013-04-18 12:48:49 PM
1 votes:
The article said "Idiot" not "Inbred hillbilly"
2013-04-18 12:47:04 PM
1 votes:
Excape has always driven me crazy

/expecially when it's some TV news talking head doing it
 
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