Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Filet is said filet here, I hear fill-ay on TV.
  • Respectfully to all concerned, I've never understood why British English keeps so many French spellings and trappings. It seems like there's still a certain amount of bad feeling between the countries.

    {Sweetly.}

    You could, of course, catch up with us Americans. We've been whittling on our own form of English for a long time...

    {Backstage chatter: "But will they still keep 'aluminium'?"}
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Anglophone spelling is not phonetic. Contrary to widespread belief, English is not unique in this. Letters, though, don't consistently represent sounds. What seems to cause some of the confusion is that because of dialect differences, the same letter may sound differently in different places.

    I'm interested in this awkward intersection of pronunciation and orthography, which necessitated the development of a separate set of symbols to replicate the pronunciations of different dialects. I think it's cool that sometimes spelling reflects rhotic pronunciations (arse for ass, Burma for Bama) and sometimes doesn't (examples in this thread).

  • Golden Key, the whittling goes on over in this side of the Pond too. Many US forms, expressions and pronunciations are closer to 17th and 18th century English than ours. It's also true that the way we say things over here has been strongly influenced by US patterns - and there are also influences from Australia, India and other places too.

    I accept, of course, that language is constantly changing and that we can't use the way we ourselves speak as a rod to poke or rap others. I've riffed with that idea and overstepped the mark and been called to Hell for it. Deservedly so.

    I will attempt to correct my snarks and avoid posting critical or ad hominem comments on this or similar threads about the way Shipmates in other parts of the world pronounce things.

  • As for the retention of French spellings and forms ...

    Well, yes, Norman French made a big contribution to Middle English. We'd still be speaking forms of Scandinavian influenced Anglo Saxon otherwise. There was also a self-conscious attempt to adopt more Latinised forms in order to 'improve' the language as we get into Early Modern English. It isn't only an issue of trying to establish or maintain some form of cachet. I can think of some Norman French influences on dialect forms within Welsh and I wouldn't be surprised if there was some French influence on Lowland Scots too.

    I'm not sure how or why cross-Channel rivalry should diminish the French influence on contemporary British English. I'm off to France soon. I love it. We have Francophiles and Europhiles here of course. I don't think anyone would consciously set about trying to eradicate French influences on contemporary British English because they don't like 'Johnny Foreigner.'

    Although Webster and others sought to whittle away or cut back the undergrowth around English spelling (inconsistently?) I suspect that most divergence between US and North American English generally - as well as Australian, South African, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Ugandan, Kenyan, Caribbean, Indian, Polynesian and other forms of English - has been less self-conscious and simply a process of evolution.

    One may as well as how or why contemporary US English appears to have lost or modified the French influence on earlier forms of the language. There may well be no particular reason for that, it's just happened as speech patterns diverge and evolve.

    There. I don't think that contains value judgements - I hope not.
  • admin mode/
    There. I don't think that contains value judgements - I hope not.
    Perhaps not.

    But you are playing with fire by coming back and posting on this thread so soon after your ritual apologies offered in Hell and Styx. You should know by now how your posts tend to deteriorate in such circumstances.

    The decent, and sensible, thing for you to do now would be to back off. No apologies, no excuses, no jokey acknowledgements. Just back off, for your own good.

    You and, in particular, threads on language, the US, and contemporary music don't mix. Leave them alone or expect consequences.

    /admin mode

  • Do Americans pronounce the final t in valet or not?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Leaf wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    Anglophone spelling is not phonetic. Contrary to widespread belief, English is not unique in this. Letters, though, don't consistently represent sounds. What seems to cause some of the confusion is that because of dialect differences, the same letter may sound differently in different places.

    I'm interested in this awkward intersection of pronunciation and orthography, which necessitated the development of a separate set of symbols to replicate the pronunciations of different dialects. I think it's cool that sometimes spelling reflects rhotic pronunciations (arse for ass, Burma for Bama) and sometimes doesn't (examples in this thread).

    Burma is pronounced with a schwa in the first syllable, not an a; arse is neither rhotic (for most Brits) nor pronounced like ass. It's ah-ss
  • Do Americans pronounce the final t in valet or not?

    No. Nor in filet, except as a joke. Contrariwise, it is a joke to francify the name of the department store "Target" and call it tarzhay. Not a very funny joke, but widespread in these parts at least.
  • I was responding to the Hell challenge about correcting my snark. In attempting to do so I can see I'm playing with fire or skating on thin ice, to mix metaphors. I will take your wise advice Eutychus and lie low, avoiding threads that bring out the worst in me through no fault of their own.
  • I hail from both sides of the pond but was educated in the UK from late primary school onward.
    To this day there are several words (squirrel, oregano, yoghurt to name a few) which I say using American pronunciation or with American stress but with a southern English accent. I think spell all words the UK way.

    It is source of amusement to my friends and family

    MrsBeaky, the butt of many a joke.........
  • We proof yeast. The Great British Bakeoff seems to prove it.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Prove is a verb, proof a noun.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    Prove is a verb, proof a noun.

    From Dictionary.com
    "verb (used with object)
    to test; examine for flaws, errors, etc.; check against a standard or standards." Or in the case of yeast to see if it meets the standard of being alive.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Prove is a verb, proof a noun.

    Haven't we learned not to make this kind of a pronouncement on this thread yet?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Do Americans pronounce the final t in valet or not?
    Not in my experience.

  • I asked because it seems to vary in England. I've heard professional actors reading Wodehouse (who ought to know) and some include the t while others exclude it.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    mousethief wrote: »
    Firenze wrote: »
    Prove is a verb, proof a noun.

    Haven't we learned not to make this kind of a pronouncement on this thread yet?

    They're not a verb and noun respectively? They are hereabouts.

    YMMV. Which is the point of the thread, is it not?

  • Firenze wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Firenze wrote: »
    Prove is a verb, proof a noun.

    Haven't we learned not to make this kind of a pronouncement on this thread yet?

    They're not a verb and noun respectively? They are hereabouts.

    YMMV. Which is the point of the thread, is it not?

    You didn't say hereabouts. You made a universal claim.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Context, dear boy, context.

    We're on a thread about national-specific usage.
  • Indeed. Taking and making decisions. I hear both.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Firenze wrote: »
    Context, dear boy, context.

    We're on a thread about national-specific usage.

    We've had a big blow-up about somebody who made absolute statements the context couldn't salvage. I'd think it would behoove everyone to avoid that sort of thing. And FFS how had is it to type "here"?
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I've been reading this thread on the assumption that it was implicit in every post.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    Prove is a verb, proof a noun.
    I'd class that as correct. It is also following a regular rule that most of us are unaware of but do instinctively. I only came across it recently.

    Frequently, though there are plenty of exceptions, two syllable words that are used both as a noun and a verb change the stress when changing part of speech. If it's a verb, the weight shifts forward onto the second syllable. If a noun it shifts back onto the first. So, 'project', 'record', 'object', etc. There's a similar tendency in some single syllable words, except that this often seems to be marked in the spelling as well, as in 'calf/calve', 'half/halve'. It seems particularly frequent where there is an 'f' sound that can change to a 'v'. So 'proof/prove'.

    How is 'filet' pronounced in the US? It's usually pronounced as written here, with a 't' and with the stress on the first syllable. 'Valet' is an odd one as one hears both. I think I'd pronounce the 't'. I certainly would when it's used as a verb, but that's a fairly recent innovation anyway. Oddly, as a verb, it seems to be much more likely to turn up in its participle form than as a simple verb.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    ‘Valet’ as a noun, according to Oxford Dictionaries can be pronounced with or without a ‘t’ in British and North American English. In verb forms, however, in British English, the ‘t’ is normally sounded.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    How is 'filet' pronounced in the US? It's usually pronounced as written here, with a 't' and with the stress on the first syllable.

    That's not as written. If the stress were meant to be on the first syllable there would be two L's.

    In these parts it's fih-LAY. Where the "i" in the first syllable is the same I as in lid, kid, mix.

    Oddly I've never seen valet in the participial form. I assume if the accent is on the "let" variable it would have to double the T.
  • Proof as a verb is fairly new, it dates to 1834.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I don't have access to the Oxford English Dictionary data base. Is "proof" ever a verb in that?

    I accept that even if it does, "proof" as a verb may not be in usage in the UK. Here in the US you can proof yeast and proof read to edit something written.
  • If there is any place in the US that mutilates French place names, it is St Louis. https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/pard-my-french-st-louis-peculiar-way-saying-local-street-names#stream/0
  • OED: Proof, "to test, prove", 1834. To take a proof impression of (an engraved plate, or the like) 1884. To aerate dough by the action of yeast before baking 1875. Proof-read 1960*. To render proof against or impervious to something, 1885.

    _________________
    *Times (of London)
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    If there is any place in the US that mutilates French place names, it is St Louis. ...
    Few places beat Chicago, though, for mutilating names of every language. There's a suburb called "Des Plaines," pronounced "Dez Plainz," and a street called "Goethe," pronounced "Go-thee," and more.


  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    If there is any place in the US that mutilates French place names, it is St Louis. ...
    Few places beat Chicago, though, for mutilating names of every language. There's a suburb called "Des Plaines," pronounced "Dez Plainz," and a street called "Goethe," pronounced "Go-thee," and more.

    My favorite was byoo-EN-na vista
  • America is boffo for mispronouncing old world place names. From KAY-ro (Cairo) Georgia, LEB-nen (Lebanon) New Hampshire, LYE_ma (Lima) Ohio, New MAD-rid Missouri, MY-lin (Milan) New York, and so on and so forth. Worst is probably ver-SALES (Versailles) Kentucky.

    Web page with more.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    There's a KAY-ro, Illinois, too.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    We have a BOLLyver in Missouri. Spelt Bolivar. You can imagine the looks this fresh-from-Calif girl got when she pronounced it as in "Simon"...
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Proof as a verb is fairly new, it dates to 1834.

    You proof a witness before a hearing - that is you take a statement from a witness you'e thinking of calling and then testing with the witness what you've just been told.
  • The idea of 'proofing' bread sounds odd because it definitely 'proves' here. That's clearly a difference of usage, right in one place by usage, but wrong in another.

    I don't think 'proof read' originally counts as using 'proof' as a verb. The verb is 'read' and 'proof' is qualifying it. Using 'proof' as a verb in the sense of 'proof-reading' it then becomes a shortening of the full form.

    I think one can use 'proof' as a verb here in the sense of 'proofing' textiles to make them waterproof.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Ah, place names. In England, they ambush the stranger with elisions - Towcester, Worcester, Godmanchester (Toaster, Wooster, Gumstur).

    In Scotland it's either unguessable from the spelling - Milngavie = Mullguy - or, once you get them into the highlands, names like screes of letters - Tighnabruaich, Braeriach, Benin Mheadhoin - on which the tongue slips and flounders.

    In Ireland, the Gaelic is mostly buried - with just enough poking up to trip the unwary, in different stresses - not Clones but ClonESS, not Maghera but MacherAH. And of course, the great, guttural, throat-clearing ch/gh - Achill, Ahoghill, Augher, Clogher and Aughnacloy.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It took me quite a while to get used to the fact that Armagh is "Ar-MAA", but Omagh is "OH-muh", and Maghera is, as you say, "Macher-AH" but Magheralin is "Mara-LYNN".

    It'd be a right bore if everything was pronounced as writ, wouldn't it?

    [tangent]
    My old boss in Belfast used to introduce himself as "the Lord Mayor of Ahoghill". :mrgreen:
    [/tangent]
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, place names. In England, they ambush the stranger with elisions - Towcester, Worcester, Godmanchester (Toaster, Wooster, Gumstur).

    In Scotland it's either unguessable from the spelling - Milngavie = Mullguy - or, once you get them into the highlands, names like screes of letters - Tighnabruaich, Braeriach, Benin Mheadhoin - on which the tongue slips and flounders.

    In Ireland, the Gaelic is mostly buried - with just enough poking up to trip the unwary, in different stresses - not Clones but ClonESS, not Maghera but MacherAH. And of course, the great, guttural, throat-clearing ch/gh - Achill, Ahoghill, Augher, Clogher and Aughnacloy.

    I'm Welsh. We know all about place names and the difficulties some people have with them - Machynlleth anyone? - or, in the case of English invaders/ settlers, not even trying to say the local name but inventing something they fancied or which described the place - how else to explain Swansea for Abertawe.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    (Many) years ago, a highlight of going to the (one) cinema in Aberystwyth was the car dealership ad. Voiceover was chap who'd obviously read this script dozens of times - and hadn't bothered to check what the local placename was this time. The momentary pause and the hastily gabbled 'Mackerlinith' always got a laugh.
  • There's many mangled place names in North America: misheard and written down indigenous names. Canada allegedly meaning a few huts over there or something like that. Quite a few are English translations or decisions not to translate Wascana (Pile of Bones), Medicine Hat (Saamus).
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Chicago supposedly means "Place where the skunks gather" in a Native American tongue. True or not, it is certainly apt in terms of its politics.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, place names. In England, they ambush the stranger with elisions - Towcester, Worcester, Godmanchester (Toaster, Wooster, Gumstur).

    In Scotland it's either unguessable from the spelling - Milngavie = Mullguy - or, once you get them into the highlands, names like screes of letters - Tighnabruaich, Braeriach, Benin Mheadhoin - on which the tongue slips and flounders.

    In Ireland, the Gaelic is mostly buried - with just enough poking up to trip the unwary, in different stresses - not Clones but ClonESS, not Maghera but MacherAH. And of course, the great, guttural, throat-clearing ch/gh - Achill, Ahoghill, Augher, Clogher and Aughnacloy.

    I'm Welsh. We know all about place names and the difficulties some people have with them - Machynlleth anyone? - or, in the case of English invaders/ settlers, not even trying to say the local name but inventing something they fancied or which described the place - how else to explain Swansea for Abertawe.

    I think Swansea was the Vikings. And, chwarae teg, at least your names generally follow the phonetic rules for the language.

    Even Machynlleth.

    My parents used to visit somewhere called "Landwdnow". I could never find it on a map but from their descriptions I think it was somewhere in the vicinity of Llandudno.
  • Speaking as a proofreader, a proof is an object—a set of final pages.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    America is boffo for mispronouncing old world place names. From KAY-ro (Cairo) Georgia, LEB-nen (Lebanon) New Hampshire, LYE_ma (Lima) Ohio, New MAD-rid Missouri, MY-lin (Milan) New York, and so on and so forth. Worst is probably ver-SALES (Versailles) Kentucky.

    Web page with more.
    There’s also Bahama, North Carolina. It’s pronounced buh–HAY–muh.


    Golden Key wrote: »
    Hmmm..."buoy" can be either "boy" or "BOO-ee". I think the second is the official pronunciation. However, Lifebuoy soap is "LIFE-boy".

    "Buoyant" is "BOY-ant".
    Around here, one often hears BOO–yant.
  • Yes, KarlLB, if my repentance is sufficient to allow me to comment, Swansea does derive from Norse - 'Sweyn's Sea' or words to that effect.

    On Llandudno the old joke my Gran told concerned a miner who was in the pithead baths one day and noticed one of his fellow workers had 'Ludo' tattooed on his todge.

    He asked the man why this was the case. 'We went to Llandudno for our honeymoon,' his friend explained.

    I'll get me coat ...
  • Sweyn's Island. Same element in Anglesey.
  • Yes, KarlLB, if my repentance is sufficient to allow me to comment, Swansea does derive from Norse - 'Sweyn's Sea' or words to that effect.

    On Llandudno the old joke my Gran told concerned a miner who was in the pithead baths one day and noticed one of his fellow workers had 'Ludo' tattooed on his todge.

    He asked the man why this was the case. 'We went to Llandudno for our honeymoon,' his friend explained.

    I'll get me coat ...

    Took me all of a minute to get that .... though I am female!


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