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Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

(OP)
One of my coworkers complained about someone who uses the word "aks" for ask.  This is among the common examples of phonetically switching sounds.  In linguistic phonetics, the natural morphing or switching of sounds is called metathesis.  An example is "Feb-you-wary" instead of February.

Some people pronounce the word "ask" as "aks".  This is "expecially" common in the black community.  Let's call it Ebonics.  Sure, I meant to say "especially".  I have read that "aks" is regarded as grammatically acceptable in speech; and unacceptable in spelling. I also read that "aks" is how the British and old Americans with British roots said it during the slave trading era.

Different people pronounce the heated sugar product as "carmel" or caramel.  Other Wiki examples include "calvary" instead of cavalry, "nucular" instead of nuclear, "purty" instead of pretty, etc.  It is amusing when a Texan complains about these metathetical utterances.  In Pasadena a street named Tatar is often pronounced "Tartar".   In Northern Houston the street Kuykendall is pronounced "Kirkendall".  In Texas many people pronounce pedernales and other words with an extra "R" such as "perdenales".   How should you pronounce Refugio?  This could lead us to other Texas examples, perhaps metathesis in Spanish  - or just going back to work.

http://metathesisinlanguage.osu.edu/resources/theoretical.cfm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metathesis_(linguistics)

and expecially http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Archibald_Spooner if interested in Spoonerisms.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Your third paragraph focuses more on epenthesis.

I have a tendency to toss the word "epenthetic" into casual conversation, and it does not result in successful communication with most audiences.

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

What about those that say nucular for nuclear?

I once know the MAYOR of the town of Manlius that always pronounced it as Manulis.   

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

No wonder nobody could understand our previous president

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

hehe...  my neighbors pronounce Longenbaugh as "loganbow."
 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I hate the epenthetic stop consonant.

Related, what is the term for prouncing words (normally place names) completely at odds with their spelling?  For example:

Loughborough
Magdalene College Cambridge
Edinburgh

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

In my experience the Japanese puzzle called "Sudoku" is pronouced as "Suduko" more often than not.

At school there was a teacher who always said "pacific" instead of "specific".

  

--
Dr Michael F Platten

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

ah yes, loogabarooga... or is that low-brow?  (couldn't be luffbra)
 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

"Maudlin" for those who aren't in the know.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I don't think anyone would accuse you of that, Steve

--
Dr Michael F Platten

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I used to sink into my chair when hearing septics try to squeeze all the (redundant) syllables of Worcestershire Sauce into polite conversation.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

My sister is an alumnus of Oxford University. She and her partner were mortified when I first visited Oxford and erroneously pronounced Magdalene College as it is spelt. I got my own back by persistently referring to the River Thames as it is spelt ("Thaymes") - even though I knew better, of course!

Some other personal favourite place names and family names to be found in Britain and Ireland:

Cholmondeley - "Chumley"
Featherstonehaugh = "Fanshaw"
Mousehole = "Mowzell"
Youghal = "Yawl"
Islay = "Eeluh" (Home of the best single malt scotches!)

And they wonder why speakers of foreign languages (including Americans!) have trouble learning English!

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Hmmm, I'd never even thought of Mousehole as having a non-obvious pronunciation, but then I am from Cornwall.  What about Liskeard ("Lisgard")?

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Mousehole is pronounced as it's spelt, just with the local accent which completely changes the pronunciation.

One must remember that many of the English place names have their origins in other languages, be they Celtic dialects, Saxon, Norse or even Norman French.

If you want silly names when pronounced phonetically as they are spelt in English, just look at some of the Spanish place names in California.

When my wife goes on about Worcestershire I retaliate with Anglicized pronunciation of Mojave, La Jolla etc.
 

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I did a noise survey of one of our factories in Ystradgynlais back in the 80's.  A can of super-T goes to anyone who can pronounce that.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Close, but I think the "d" was silent.  So no Super-T for you!  Can you even buy that stuff in the US (legally) these days?

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Magdalene College is in Cambridge, Magdalen College is in Oxford.  Cambridge has an e at the end to distinguish it from Oxford.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Calais, Maine, vs. Calais, France.

Even some Americans can't get it right.

 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

You want an example of Americans getting it wrong?

"Notre Dame"

Spelled correctly, pronounced wrongly.  And then for some odd reason called "The Irish".

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Berkeley

-which I believe to be pronounced:

"Berk'-lee" if you live in America,

but

"Bark-lee" if you live in England (that would be "Ing'-gland", by the way)

...unless your family has lived in southern Gloucestershire for the last dozen or so generations, in which case it's probably "Berk'-lee" there too.

A.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Dun Laoghaire the ferry port just south of Dublin pronounced Dun Leary completely baffled me until I asked someone.

Even hearing someone say Dun Leary did not click with the spelling.

Stephen Argles
Land & Marine
www.landandmarine.com

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Oh no, it's time to bring out the oldest joke in the book..

Silent P.  As in bath.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Is it the English or maybe old English that use the spelling centre?  So then do they pronounce it as spelled as in Notre or center?  

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

You are right metman.  We are wrong with that one (centre).  Guilty as charged.  Not defensible.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

What do you mean Brits are wrong with that one, they invented the word they can say it how they darn well please winky smile.  Centre has been in the English language long enough I would think to be considered an English Word, no matter its etymology.  Notre, is I'm pretty sure French, so one would expect it to be pronounced such.

A pint in the pub for someone finding any of the many obvious exceptions/flaws to my argument.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Hey, if centre is good enough for Newton, it's good enough for me except how do you suppose he pronounced it?  I am reading a book written by the famous Sir Isaac.  The introduction which is all about the author is better than the book.  What an incredibly brilliant and humble man!

  His book makes difficult reading because of some of the old English spellings and in particular where a hyrogliphic that resembles and f is used for the letter s.  Also the letter s is used to to represent s and then an integral sign is used to represent s's in other places.  Sometimes if two s's are together in the middle of a word it becomes a double integral.  Surely there must be some mathematical logic to all this if we go deep into Newton's mind.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Here's one I will never understand:

The "french" word "lingerie", which is pronounced by all of North America (except Quebec) "lonjeray".

Another misuse of the french language.

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

So, how do the french pronounce "lingerie"?

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Yes, I would like to know how the people in "Q-Beck" pronounce "Lingerie"

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Lyn-geary?

I'm assuming it's a mis-pronounciation rather than misuse of the french.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

The problem is the last syllable.  "-ie" isn't pronounced "ay" in French.

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I would say the problem is the whole word, and I agree it is a mis-pronunciation.

The closest (english)phonetic spelling is, without those fancy dictionary pronunciation symbols:

In France:  Lanjree.

In Quebec, you're likely to hear:

Lainjree, tabarnak,

with all due respect to my fellow Quebecers

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Guys,

I forgot the smiley face after "tabarnak".

Apologies.

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I love it when I go to an Italian restaurant and after dinner, the waitress asks if I want an "expresso".

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I love it when I'm asked if I want Eye-talian dressing on my salad in America.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Tough in my family here in the US.  My first name is Donal pronounced with a long "o".  I am tickled at this stage in my life from people asking me if I am sure there isn't a "D" at the end.

My wife Fatima, pronounced Fateema by the majority of people here calls herself Lisa when ordering food....still sees Rita written on the slip at times.

We decided to name our son...Jack.  And his Abuela can't say it...because she is Salvadoran (not Elsalvadorian)

drawn to design, designed to draw

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Three sons: Yak, Jack and Jacques.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

People who say "Maaaazda" when they mean Mazda (or more properly "Mazuda" if we are being picky) just because they think it sounds more foreign. AARRRRRGGGHHHH

--
Dr Michael F Platten

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Ditto Paaaaazta.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Kenat,
Yak is doing great.  We have redecorated the Christmas tree every day this week.  Now it's pretty bare below 37 inches...

drawn to design, designed to draw

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Another personal favorite:

People who pronounce the letter after G in the alphabet:

Haitch?

What the &%^*?

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I think we should do our best to eradicate Haitch and Haitch-mongering...and of course Haitch-crimes.

I Haitch when that happens.

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

It largely originated lower class folks, especially Londoners, trying to sound better educated than they were.

Of course, historically they were poorly educated due to the opression of the upper classes so clearly demeaning them is fair and appropriate.

winky smile

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I always get mocked at work for saying Hey-tch

drawn to design, designed to draw

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms



""When my wife goes on about Worcestershire I retaliate with Anglicized pronunciation of Mojave, La Jolla etc.""

Ahh, that always grates my nerves being raised in New Mexico, when an anchor on the national news pronounces Padilla or Perez or Jimenez.

Hey why don't you just say Johan Smythe (John Smith)

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

wait, back to the mazda pasta.  I'm not following the pronunciations...  Is "maaaaaazda" meant to represent the pronunciation as "Moz-duh" or "Ma's-duh", and if so, how else is it said?  Mazz-da?
 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

It's pronounced just like pasta.  If that helps smile

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Both the A's are short in "Mazda" same sound as in "cat" not as in "far".

--
Dr Michael F Platten

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Mazda & Pasta have two short A's in their countries of origin and elsewhere in the world ... except for USA, where the A's are both long.  For some reason I've never been able to fathom.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

==> except for USA, where the A's are both long
Not in this part of the USA; both a's are short in both words.
 

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Not in my part of the USA, either, and I'm not from a Cajun area.  I think the long a's are an upper-Midwest thing.
 
What I find funnier is Californians' sometimes-horrific mangling of Spanish words and place names.  Ever been to San "Peedro"?

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Peedro is how I used to prounce it because everyone else did the same in S. California until my sister moved to that area.  Then I follwed her example of Paydro.

In S. Illinois ("Illinoise" for many who don't live there)there is a city named after the city Cairo in Egypt.  When we lived in Illinois, We learned to pronounce Cairo as Kayrow.  Another city in Illinois named El Dorado is pronounced El Draydo.

There is a street in Atlanta, Georgia named Ponce de Leon.  Locals pronounce it "Ponss de Lee-on" instead of Ponsay de Leeown.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

February.  Is it:

"February", "Febuary" or "Febry"

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

you forgot febrawary.
 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

okay, so type "pasta" into this thing (in italian mode) and see if it sounds the way you expect it to:
http://tts.imtranslator.net/7ZoR
 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

here's about what the US version sounds like: http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?pasta002=pasta

here's about what the UK version sounds like (if I understand what you're suggesting):
http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/audio-medlineplus.pl?pasta001=pasta

Is the second one really what you had in mind, and does it sound to you like the italian version (above)?  It doesn't sound like the italian version to me... not even close.

 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

hmmm... that translator thingy says Mazda like "matidda."  The english female has a particularly odd-sounding "ozz" in her version (perhaps would sound very american to your ear) - Not the difference I was expecting.   

Mazda is supposed to sound like Matilda without the L?
 

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Hmmm, an on-line American dictionary offering English pronunciations??

 

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

And another personal favourite (sorry, favorite for some),

I often hear people say "off-tn" instead of "offen".

Which is it?

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

[quote metman]
There is a street in Atlanta, Georgia named Ponce de Leon.  Locals pronounce it "Ponss de Lee-on" instead of Ponsay de Leeown.
[quote]

A suburb of Augusta, GA near where I grew up is called Martinez.  That's pronounced Martin (as in Steve Martin) with an "ez" on the end.  The hispanic type pronounciation of "marTEEnes" never even crossed my mind until some guy from California asked me if I lived near "MarTEEnes", GA.

-handleman, CSWP (The new, easy test)

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Valdez Alaska is pronounced Val deez.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

"Often" is the spelling, but I was writing phonetically, referring to pronunciation.

tg

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms



 

Quote (trainguy):

I often hear people say "off-tn" instead of "offen".
Which is it?



Quote (Dictionary.com):

[aw-fuhn, of-uhn; awf-tuhn, of-]

It is apparently either way.  I used to say offen until an associate pointed out that most people "mispronounce" it that way and said, "it should be off-ten."  Sounded reasonable to me so off-ten is how I pronounced since then until now.  Now I don't know what to do.  Maybe I won't use often very offen any more instead use frequently or...?

Ok back to spoonies for a bit.  Had a boss, Jack, who used to order 40,000lb truckloads of plastic from Phillips 66 or Union Carbide, etc.  When he referred to UC, it was Onion Crabide.  He also liked giving us nicknames.  My favorite was the nickname for a gent named Dick Gustin.  Jack called him Disgustin.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

Well, in that case I miss British Waste of Space though I'm not sure it quite falls under the OP.

QINETIQ, our tech writer at my old place refused to pronounce it 'KINETIC' as they'd intended. kwint-ee-que or something like that was his preference.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I had a colleague once called Alan Haselgrove.  He was really, seriously into "gentlemen's videos".  I'll never forget seeing something I shouldn't have seen on a monitor in a vehicle test cell.  His name kind of spoonerised into "Anal Gravelhose".  Quite appropriate really.

- Steve

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

that's an awesome anagram.   

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

For name-spoonerisms you have to go a long way to beat Brad Pitt's offspring Shyloh.

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

"Ax" or "aks", as you spelled it, is not acceptable in speech or spelling.  It is very unprofessional.  That aside, English is constantly changing.  It is spoken by a wide variety of people who use it differently, even within the same geography.   

Matt Lorono
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion

&

RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

I once had a Japanese foreign exchange student living with us for a summer. While driving around one day, she looked at a Mazda RX7 and asked "What kind of car that is please?"

I said "It's a Maz'-da" (as in pahsta).

She said "We don't have that car in Japan."

I was puzzled and told her it was a Japanese brand, how could it be that she has never heard of it? She was very puzzled. We got closer to where she could read the emblem, and she exclaimed "Oh! Maz-u-dah!"

Similar thing happened with our dog, we had an Akita (a Japanese breed) which we pronounce A-kee'-ta. She had that same puzzled look when we told her and then spelled it out on a piece of paper. She proclaimed it as "Ah'-kit-a". Apparently in Japanese, even the slightest inflection makes a world of difference and she was unable to readily extrapolate. Learning English in school and then coming to the US must be VERY difficult for them...


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RE: Metathesis, Bloopers and Spoonerisms

jraef,
A slight inflection like that throws me also when it is the other way around.  When someone with a first language other than Enlgish is speaking.

Actually in the case you stated would it be more correct to say a difference in vowel sound rather than inflection?

My great niece recently moved to Japan to teach English.  Shinju has a distinct advantage over her Dad who previously taught English in Japan where he met and married the Japanese mother of Shinju.  Shinju's Dad, my nephew, is caucasion but they speak Japenese at home and English outside the home.

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