Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Penny S wrote: »
    And the knife of the gentleman who died at the Alamo and rhymes with an American buoy.

    Good point. When we lived in Texas I never thought twice about Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth being pronounced "Boo-y". That's what it was called.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I'm not sure I've ever heard a numbered route pronounced "root" EXCEPT Route 66. Also it's not pronounced "root" as in the underground part of a plant because that has a different vowel, at least in these parts. Rhymes with foot, not boot.

    Is that limited to Route 66 or does it extend generally to other numbered highways?

    I'll try again. I've never heard a numbered route pronounced "root" EXCEPT Route 66.
  • Penny S wrote: »
    And the knife of the gentleman who died at the Alamo and rhymes with an American buoy.

    Hmm They don't rhyme where I'm from. The nautical aid to navigation starts with "boo" like what ghosts say; the knife starts with "boh" like on a present.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    I'm not sure I've ever heard a numbered route pronounced "root" EXCEPT Route 66. Also it's not pronounced "root" as in the underground part of a plant because that has a different vowel, at least in these parts. Rhymes with foot, not boot.

    Does your house have a roof (boot) or a ruf (foot)? I think I've always heard people who talk about tree ruts also talk about house rufs, but I'm not sure it's 100%.

    My house has a roof that has the same vowel sound as tooth or soup.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    My house has a roof that has the same vowel sound as tooth or soup.

    So not the vowel you use for root. I think you're the first person I've positively identified who does that.

    (Tooth is another one that gets a short vowel in some accents, but clearly not yours. Actually, thinking about it, I have a colleague who pronounces soup with a short vowel.

    I think pool is probably long for everyone, though. )
  • Penny S wrote: »
    And there's "buoy".

    I like to ask my American friends why they don't call the property that buoys have "booeyancy" :naughty:

    For much the same reason Brits write glamour but not glamourous? Languages are inconsistent. It's what they do.
  • According to a quick Google, Chile is pronounced CHEE-lay in Chile.
    Yes, that’s what I’m used to hearing, or CHILL-ay. It ends in an e, so pronouncing it like chilly or chili doesn’t seem to make sense, to me at least.

    Penny S wrote: »
    And there's "buoy".
    I like to ask my American friends why they don't call the property that buoys have "booeyancy" :naughty:
    “Booyancy” is the normal pronunciation in my part of America.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    According to a quick Google, Chile is pronounced CHEE-lay in Chile.
    Yes, that’s what I’m used to hearing, or CHILL-ay. It ends in an e, so pronouncing it like chilly or chili doesn’t seem to make sense, to me at least.

    Penny S wrote: »
    And there's "buoy".
    I like to ask my American friends why they don't call the property that buoys have "booeyancy" :naughty:
    “Booyancy” is the normal pronunciation in my part of America.

    BOY-un-see in these parts
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »

    BOY-un-see in these parts

    Much as it would be here, but the "un" would be closer to just plain "n".
  • Tooth, Soup, Roof, Boot and Foot all have the same vowel sound for me *shrugs*
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    For me foot is different from the others
  • Too me roof, boot and foot all have different vowel sounds.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    For me foot is different from the others
    Same here. Here, foot has the same vowel sound as soot.

  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    Enoch wrote: »
    I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I thought the woodworking tool was spelt 'rowter' until this evening, when I checked and discovered it isn't.

    I'm pretty sure I've heard this called a "rowter."
  • Enoch wrote: »
    A question.

    On the BBC lunchtime news today there was a pronunciation that for a moment threw me. This was a report on Chile, where there is an election going on and where General Pinochet's widow has just died. Two people, not just one, pronounced the country's name as Chi-lay with the emphasis very strongly on the second syllable. It rhymed with delay.

    This is so odd that it wasn't until the newsreader mentioned General Pinochet's widow that I realised where they were talking about. One of the speakers is a BrEnglish speaker but in BrEnglish it's pronounced 'Chilly', a homophone with the word meaning cold and with 'chilli' the pepper. I've never heard it pronounced any other way before.

    Initially I wondered if the BBC has randomly decided to educate us with what it has suddenly decided is the 'worthier/improved' version. However, even with my limited knowledge of Spanish is enough to know that neither Chilly nor Chi-lay have anything much in common with how it would be in Spanish. About half an hour later it occurred to me that perhaps Chi-lay is the US pronunciation, by analogy with the US versions of words like 'ballet' and 'plateau'.

    So, my question - is it?

    Or is there some other explanation, other than that for once, the BBC has actually got it wrong.

    AFAIK it's CHI-lay. So split the difference.
  • On the root/boot/roof thingy, IMHO this is probably where you get into whole-language vowel shifts, not simply individual words being weird. So a person who says root with the "oo" (like a ghost sound is probably going to pronounce roof with the same vowel, and so through an entire class of words. I know my Granddad pronounced these vowels differently (being from Tennessee) than I did (being a native Californian).
  • One of our local TV anchors is obviously from other parts of the US. He was doing a report on the icy condition of the roads tonight. He closed by saying "Drivers should be weary out there." Wife and I looked at each other and said, "Doesn't he mean wary out there?"
  • Enoch wrote: »
    A question.

    On the BBC lunchtime news today there was a pronunciation that for a moment threw me. This was a report on Chile, where there is an election going on and where General Pinochet's widow has just died. Two people, not just one, pronounced the country's name as Chi-lay with the emphasis very strongly on the second syllable. It rhymed with delay.

    This is so odd that it wasn't until the newsreader mentioned General Pinochet's widow that I realised where they were talking about. One of the speakers is a BrEnglish speaker but in BrEnglish it's pronounced 'Chilly', a homophone with the word meaning cold and with 'chilli' the pepper. I've never heard it pronounced any other way before.

    Initially I wondered if the BBC has randomly decided to educate us with what it has suddenly decided is the 'worthier/improved' version. However, even with my limited knowledge of Spanish is enough to know that neither Chilly nor Chi-lay have anything much in common with how it would be in Spanish. About half an hour later it occurred to me that perhaps Chi-lay is the US pronunciation, by analogy with the US versions of words like 'ballet' and 'plateau'.

    So, my question - is it?

    Or is there some other explanation, other than that for once, the BBC has actually got it wrong.

    AFAIK it's CHI-lay. So split the difference.

    That depends on how you're pronouncing the I in CHI.

    It shouldn't be that diphthong commonly called a "long I" by many English speakers.
  • Couldn't parse what that means, as it refers to several vowels in the varying communities to which I belong. I myself mean the "eeeeee" sound when I say "Chile." (for the first vowel, the I, that is.)
  • I assumed he meant the sound of the pronoun I. I was taught in elementary school that that sound is the “long I,” as opposed to the “short I” of it.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I assumed he meant the sound of the pronoun I. I was taught in elementary school that that sound is the “long I,” as opposed to the “short I” of it.

    Yeah. I was hedging because in phonetics, a long vowel is a version of the short vowel with longer duration. Because of the Great Vowel Shift English long vowels are mostly not longer versions of the short ones. To me, long A goes ah, long E goes air (without the r), long I goes 'ee', etc.
  • When I googled it, the pronunciation of Chile was given as CHEE-lay - or you can even listen to it on YouTube (link) should you think it's worth listening through the ads.
  • 'Eye-beetha' and turning Italian (or possibly German) half way through 'Chorizo' always makes me wince.
  • Yes, and in the case of A, I and O (and arguably U), the so-called “long vowel” is actually a diphthong.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Yes, and in the case of A, I and O (and arguably U), the so-called “long vowel” is actually a diphthong.

    Almost always a diphthong in UK English.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    'Eye-beetha' and turning Italian (or possibly German) half way through 'Chorizo' always makes me wince.

    Eye-beetha? What word is that in its usual spelling?
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    mousethief wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    'Eye-beetha' and turning Italian (or possibly German) half way through 'Chorizo' always makes me wince.

    Eye-beetha? What word is that in its usual spelling?

    A Spanish island well-known for the club scene and drunken holidays.
    Ibiza
  • Guess I'm not well, since I don't know it.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Ibiza. Often pronounced by Brits as Eye-beetha
  • “From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads”. Bowie pronounced it that way ao it must be OK…
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Ibiza. Often pronounced by Brits as Eye-beetha

    I think it's the way that this pronunciation seems so proud of knowing that (Castilian*) Spanish Z is a 'th' but then mangles the initial vowel in a way that only an Anglophone could that grates.

    *not the native dialect in Ibiza...
  • Talking about Bowie, the singer not the bloke with the big knife at The Alamo, I hear they've discovered previously unseen footage of concerts from a major Middle Eastern tour.

    Ziggy played Qatar.

    I'll get me coat ...
  • On the vowel thing, coming from South Wales my 'oo' pronunciation is the same as in southern English English - that is without the very long extended 'oo' you get in parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire - 'boook', 'coook' etc.

    The only exception is 'tooth', where the 'oo' sounds rather shorter than would be usual in 'standard' English or RP. It sort of rhymes with the 'u' in 'but' - but it doesn't sound like the 'u' in London or South Eastern English speech. Nor does it sound like the Northern English 'u'.

    It's more like the Welsh 'w' when used as a vowel - KarlLB as a student of the Welsh language - who knows a lot more Welsh than I do - will know what I mean.

    I don't know how to explain this anomaly and not everyone from the South Wales valleys does it. But 'tuth' it is rather than 'tooth' with a long 'oo'.

    No idea why that should be the case nor why we didn't do the same with the vowel sound in 'foot' or 'boot' etc.

    I'm not saying it's entirely a South Walian thing but on a number of occasions people, including Roger McGough the poet, have asked me how I pronounce those things we use to bite with in order to see whether it fits their expectations of how I'd say it.

    I did not disappoint.
  • The only exception is 'tooth', where the 'oo' sounds rather shorter than would be usual in 'standard' English or RP. It sort of rhymes with the 'u' in 'but' - but it doesn't sound like the 'u' in London or South Eastern English speech. Nor does it sound like the Northern English 'u'.
    I know a guy from Cardiff and he is the same. I think he also pronounces "roof" with that same vowel, different from both boot and foot. Can you confirm @Gamma Gamaliel ?

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