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oo or u?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:48 am Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


I suddenly noticed that some English speakers say 'stoopid' and others say stupid where the u is pronounced as 'you'. Is this American versus British English? Are there other words where the U in the middle is [oo] on one side and [u] on the other?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:26 am Reply with quote
Tonamel
 
Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 38


"Styoupid" sounds distinctly British to my ears, but I can't think of any other examples.

In other news, my spell checker says that "styoupid" should be spelled "Cupidity's." Not what I would have picked.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Dennis
 
Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Bethesda, MD


OK, how 'bout Studio or Student?

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:37 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


I don't think this is a Brit vs. American thing.

However, I don't know exactly where, or under what circumstances, it's /ju/ and when it's /u/.

Perhaps this is another "Appalachian/Appalachian" question?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:31 am Reply with quote
Howard Shepherd
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Asheville, NC


I have to agree with my brother: I don't think the "styoopid/stoopid" distinction is between British and American English. I've always said "styoopid," although I think most non-Southerners in America say "stoopid."

Back in the 1970's, when I was a camp counselor on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire, there was a fellow counselor from England who was frustrated by the campers' pronunciation of their athletic shoes. He insisted that the shoes were "Pyoomas," and not "Poomas" (as the kids called them). I agreed with him, and was surprised that there was even any controversy.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:20 pm Reply with quote
ptillen
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 22


Suit
Duty
Tuesday
Maybe I'm a diction snob, but I understand the really proper pronunciation is
Syute
Dyuty
Tyoozzday

Especially if you're singing Gilbert and Sullivan. Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:01 am Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


Wow!
I had 'suit' pinned as 'soot' all over, whether it is something you wear or have in the courtroom. Shoot!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:14 pm Reply with quote
ptillen
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 22


And I again reiterate, this is really proper diction.
Here are two more:
new
and
tune.
I have choirs I conduct sing "nyoo" and "tyoon", not "noo" and "toone". Sounds nicer.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:05 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


You know, I really am loath to say that one version of this or another is proper or improper. I sing in a choir myself, and understand that a choir director wants a nice, crisp sound with a bit of frontal brightness (which is given by that little /j/ sound before the /u/).

But different speech communities just have different ways of treating these sounds. Vowels and vowel blends are the most malleable sounds in any language.

I've mentioned many times the various ways of pronouncing "Appalachian." I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina, and have attended sporting events and such at Appalachian State University.

In the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region, people actually sometimes laugh when they hear me pronounce the word, as if it is wrong. (I pronounce the middle syllable to rhyme with "hat" and not with "gate.") Sorry, it's not wrong. It's regional, but not wrong.

Last week Barbara and I had a vacation trip to Las Vegas. I listened to locals pronounce the name of the state it's in, and realized that most people I know pronounce it "wrong."

Locals pronounce "Nevada" so that the middle syllable rhymes with "hat." Most people I know pronounce it so that vowel rhymes with the first vowel of "father."

Who's right? The "incorrect" pronunciation would be good Spanish. But the natives of the state most certainly do not pronounce their own name "wrong."

Really, I think it's more of a regional dialect thing than anything else. I don't know where the boundary lines are, but I don't think one or the other can be considered "right."

For what it's worth, the Oxford English Dictionary gives the /j/ sound in "suit" as optional, and the American Heritage Dictionary gives the pronunciation of the word without that sound at all.


Last edited by Dave on Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:31 pm Reply with quote
ptillen
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 22


Sorry, I didn't mean to sound... well, dictionally self-righteous...
I was trying to say proper in the sense of "prim and..."
But I wonder what the rules, if any, are regarding this issue?
One might say syoot, or dyooty, but never tyooba, f'rinstance.
One might pronounce new, noo... but never few, foo.
And, one would never read pure and say poor.
Hm!
Confused
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:05 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Actually, I was talking with Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin of the Reduced Shakespeare Company about this just about three hours ago. They sometimes perform their shows in the UK, and they joked a bit about being "prim and proper."

In fact, I think some version of "pure" versus "poor" came up in our conversation! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:24 pm Reply with quote
ptillen
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 22


The funny part is how long it takes me each year to teach my children's choir kids to not pronounce "poor" as "pour".
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oo or u?
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