May 29, 2020

How do You Pronounce That, Part Two

English is a delicious language.
Mayonnaise - Americans find it necessary to argue over the correct pronunciation of sandwich condiments, too. Though there are some slight variations within regions, the general consensus is that in the West and Midwest, you will put may-uh-naze on your sandwich, and in the North and South, you will use man-aze.
Coyote - Unless you live on the West Coast, you probably don't even realize that there are two ways to pronounce "coyote." "Ki-ote is a Colorado-Wyoming kind of pronunciation," Andrew Cowell, director of linguistics at CU Bolder, told 9 News. "If you come from the East, you are much more likely to say ki-o-tee."
Mischievous - The word "mischievous" is spelled so that it should be pronounced like mis-che-vous, but somehow the Harvard Dialect Survey found that over 26 percent of Americans pronounce the word with four syllables.  According to Merriam-Webster, a variant spelling of the word with an -ious ending existed as far back as the 16th century, though today both this spelling and pronunciation are considered "nonstandard."
Creek - The majority of Americans can agree on the fact that the "ee" in "creek" is pronounced like "seek." However, in the Harvard Dialect Survey, approximately 4 percent of people noted that they pronounced the "ee" in creek so that it sounded like "crick." Most of these people were from Midwestern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Adult - If you choose to pronounce it like add-ult or uh-dult, you are correct.

Asterisk - It might not come up often in conversation, but when it does, it is pronounced differently depending on the region. In parts of the Northeast, it is pronounced asteri[ks]; up and down the Northern coast, it is pronounced asteri[k]; and in the rest of the country, it is asteri[sk].

Realtor - How many syllables are there in "realtor"? In the Northeast they will tell you that there are two. Ask someone from the Midwest or the South and they are more likely to use three syllables, pronouncing it either reel-uh-ter or ree-l-ter.

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