1374: "Urn"

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rmsgrey
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed May 28, 2014 11:01 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Apparently due to Morecambe and Wise


You mean Eric and Urn?

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 29, 2014 7:34 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
orthogon wrote:Apparently due to Morecambe and Wise


You mean Eric and Urn?

:-) Actually while I was trying to find out if it was one of their sketches, I noticed that the Wikipedia entry lists "Tea, Ern?" as one of their running gags. I'm wondering whether people are misremembering that when they attribute the Greek urn joke to M&W.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu May 29, 2014 8:15 am UTC

aerion111 wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:
orthogon wrote: I know that "vayz" is the US pronunciation, but I've always wondered whether anybody says "vorz", or whether he just added that for rhythm and comic effect.

/veɪs/ (rhymes with "space") is the most common American English pronunciation, with /veɪz/ (rhymes with "maze") a distant second, and /vɑːz/ (rhymes with the first syllable of "plaza") only heard occasionally. I have never heard /vɔərs/, but I have heard that vowel treated similarly in "wash" (/wɔərʃ/).

E: Left out /veɪz/ somehow.

That is quite unhelpful to me, since to me a) I'd pronounce Veis and Veiz the same - it'd be different if there was more letters after, but there aren't, and b) 'Maze' and 'Space' rhymes.
EDIT: I did not mean that Veis and Veiz is objectively meant to be pronounced the same. I meant I did. Had to change that to not look like a complete idiot.

Maze and space rhyme? Listen to these two pronunciations, maybe that will help: [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=maze0001&word=maze&text=\%CB%88m%C4%81z\]maze[/url], [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=space001&word=space&text=\%CB%88sp%C4%81s\]space[/url].

E: Why don't the links work?

Maybe a better example: For you do "sue" and "zoo" sound exactly the same?

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby aerion111 » Thu May 29, 2014 10:26 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Maze and space rhyme? Listen to these two pronunciations, maybe that will help: [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=maze0001&word=maze&text=\%CB%88m%C4%81z\]maze[/url], [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=space001&word=space&text=\%CB%88sp%C4%81s\]space[/url].

E: Why don't the links work?

Maybe a better example: For you do "sue" and "zoo" sound exactly the same?

That's a very strong A in the 'Maze' - I don't think I've ever heard someone put that much emphasis on it in a casual situation.

And yes, to me Sue and Zoo sound the same, but given those links I assume Webster will tell me Zoo is meant to be pronounced as in Kazoo, and not (like I do) as in Zoom. Assuming I am not also pronouncing Zoom wrong, of course, but that's a word I hear frequently, and I feel like I have a rough idea of how to say it.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 29, 2014 11:13 am UTC

@aerion111: You're not, by any chance, from Zomerzet are you?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu May 29, 2014 11:25 am UTC

aerion111 wrote:And yes, to me Sue and Zoo sound the same, but given those links I assume Webster will tell me Zoo is meant to be pronounced as in Kazoo, and not (like I do) as in Zoom. Assuming I am not also pronouncing Zoom wrong, of course, but that's a word I hear frequently, and I feel like I have a rough idea of how to say it.

Yeah, I'm really confused here. For me there are two sounds here, the "es" sound used in "say," "pass," "face," etc., and the "zee" sound used in "zoo," "Brazil," "days," etc. I have no idea which sound you are using where. For me, the letter z virtually always represents the z sound, with some very rare exceptions containing a zh or something like that. The letter s can represent either the s or z sound, or can be silent, depending on its location in a word. So "zoo," "kazoo," and "zoom" all have the same consonant sound, and frankly I have never heard any other sound in its place.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Jackpot777 » Thu May 29, 2014 12:47 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:@aerion111: You're not, by any chance, from Zomerzet are you?


If the answer turn out to be "yarp" or "narp", my day has been made.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby armandoalvarez » Thu May 29, 2014 2:01 pm UTC

aerion111 wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:Maze and space rhyme? Listen to these two pronunciations, maybe that will help: [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=maze0001&word=maze&text=\%CB%88m%C4%81z\]maze[/url], [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=space001&word=space&text=\%CB%88sp%C4%81s\]space[/url].

E: Why don't the links work?

Maybe a better example: For you do "sue" and "zoo" sound exactly the same?

That's a very strong A in the 'Maze' - I don't think I've ever heard someone put that much emphasis on it in a casual situation.

And yes, to me Sue and Zoo sound the same, but given those links I assume Webster will tell me Zoo is meant to be pronounced as in Kazoo, and not (like I do) as in Zoom. Assuming I am not also pronouncing Zoom wrong, of course, but that's a word I hear frequently, and I feel like I have a rough idea of how to say it.


If you're a native English speaker, you should be able to distinguish unvoiced "s" from voiced "z". Hold your throat and say the S sound, all by itself. There should be no vibrations in your throat, just air passing through to your mouth-you're hissing. Now say the Z sound, again holding your throat. There should be vibrations. This is called the "voiced/unvoiced distinction." It's the same distinction between B and P, V and F, D and T.

And if you're not a native English speaker, you might not be able to distinguish S from Z, depending on the sounds of your native language.
EDIT:
Of course, the complication is that S isn't always unvoiced. The S in "Rose" is voiced and so could have been written with a Z. The S in "see" is unvoiced.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Sprocklem » Thu May 29, 2014 2:46 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:If you're a native English speaker, you should be able to distinguish unvoiced "s" from voiced "z". Hold your throat and say the S sound, all by itself. There should be no vibrations in your throat, just air passing through to your mouth-you're hissing. Now say the Z sound, again holding your throat. There should be vibrations.

As I am also thoroughly confused, I figured I'd try to help clarify. The unvoiced [s] is found in the /veɪs/ prounouciation of vase, as well as space (twice, the <s> and the <c>), Sue and most <s>s at the start of a word (sack, still, stream, silly). The voiced [z] is found in the /veɪz/ pronounciation of vase, zoo, kazoo, and zoom. <c>s are also sometimes pronounced [s] as in space, mace, lace, race, accept, balance, etc., but also as [k] as in clean, cape, call, etc., and occationally as [ʃ] (the sh sound in sheep) as in ocean. <c>s are never pronounced [z].

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu May 29, 2014 3:45 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:
aerion111 wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:Maze and space rhyme? Listen to these two pronunciations, maybe that will help: [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=maze0001&word=maze&text=\%CB%88m%C4%81z\]maze[/url], [url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/audio.php?file=space001&word=space&text=\%CB%88sp%C4%81s\]space[/url].

E: Why don't the links work?

Maybe a better example: For you do "sue" and "zoo" sound exactly the same?

That's a very strong A in the 'Maze' - I don't think I've ever heard someone put that much emphasis on it in a casual situation.

And yes, to me Sue and Zoo sound the same, but given those links I assume Webster will tell me Zoo is meant to be pronounced as in Kazoo, and not (like I do) as in Zoom. Assuming I am not also pronouncing Zoom wrong, of course, but that's a word I hear frequently, and I feel like I have a rough idea of how to say it.


If you're a native English speaker, you should be able to distinguish unvoiced "s" from voiced "z". Hold your throat and say the S sound, all by itself. There should be no vibrations in your throat, just air passing through to your mouth-you're hissing. Now say the Z sound, again holding your throat. There should be vibrations. This is called the "voiced/unvoiced distinction." It's the same distinction between B and P, V and F, D and T.

And if you're not a native English speaker, you might not be able to distinguish S from Z, depending on the sounds of your native language.
EDIT:
Of course, the complication is that S isn't always unvoiced. The S in "Rose" is voiced and so could have been written with a Z. The S in "see" is unvoiced.

Is this independent of dialect/national variety of the language (for each word)? Is that "rose" you mention a noun or the past participle of to rise? Is there a distinction in pronunciation between those two? Are the pronunciations two absolutes or is it a continuous scale from no voice to a lot of voice?

I rarely actually speak English nowadays (let alone to native speakers) so my pronunciation has deteriorated a lot.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby HES » Thu May 29, 2014 4:04 pm UTC

Rose, rose, rows and rows are all pronounced the same.
Flower, went up, things in a line, propelling a boat

Except I forgot about rows, which isn't.
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 29, 2014 4:15 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Is this independent of dialect/national variety of the language (for each word)? Is that "rose" you mention a noun or the past participle of to rise? Is there a distinction in pronunciation between those two? Are the pronunciations two absolutes or is it a continuous scale from no voice to a lot of voice?

I rarely actually speak English nowadays (let alone to native speakers) so my pronunciation has deteriorated a lot.


The noun rose and past tense rose (the pp is risen) have the same pronunciation.

I doubt there are any absolutes in English pronunciation; my "Zomerzet" link above is an example of a dialect in which normally unvoiced s's are voiced, and there are definitely accents which play down the voicing of the [z]s, if not going the whole way to unvoiced. I'm thinking certain Scottish accents might do this, but maybe someone can think of a clearer example.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby mathmannix » Thu May 29, 2014 4:35 pm UTC

HES wrote:Rose, rose, rows and rows are all pronounced the same.
Flower, went up, things in a line, propelling a boat

Except I forgot about rows, which isn't.
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Huh. I always pronounced (in my head at least) that last one the same as the others. "row" (rhymes with bow... heh, that is, bough) doesn't sound like a word. (Except that it sounds like Krypton's sun, Rao.) I guess that's the problem with only learning words by reading them. TIL...
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Whizbang » Thu May 29, 2014 4:51 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
HES wrote:Rose, rose, rows and rows are all pronounced the same.
Flower, went up, things in a line, propelling a boat

Except I forgot about rows, which isn't.
multiple quarrels


Huh. I always pronounced (in my head at least) that last one the same as the others. "row" (rhymes with bow... heh, that is, bough) doesn't sound like a word. (Except that it sounds like Krypton's sun, Rao.) I guess that's the problem with only learning words by reading them. TIL...


Me too. Always pronounced it row as in grow, no matter what meaning it had. I also have only seen it in writing (though perhaps I have heard it and never made the connection or forgot or something). It might be regional. "Getting into a row" just isn't a common expression where I am. Most people just use the word "fight".

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby freezeblade » Thu May 29, 2014 6:01 pm UTC

at least it's less all over the map as the "Mary, Merry, Marry" merger. In my area all three of these words are pronounced the same, but some areas of my own country they are not.
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Samik » Thu May 29, 2014 7:15 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
snowyowl wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:
snowyowl wrote:Imagine that you're drawing at random from an urn containing fifteen balls - six red and nine black. You're drawing without replacement. At any time, you may guess what colour the next ball you draw will be. If you guess correctly, you win. If you guess incorrectly, you lose.

What strategy maximises your chances of winning?

If by "maximize your chances of winning" you mean have the highest winning percentage, then of course you wait until the last ball to guess. If you mean "maximize the number of times you win," then of course you guess every time that you will pick whichever color there are more of left. I'm not sure what else you could mean.

Ah, my mistake: I'd forgotten part of the problem. What I meant to say was that you can only choose to guess that the ball is red, or choose not to guess at all. So, if there are only black balls left, then you have zero chance of winning.

In that case I'm not sure you can beat the strategy of guessing before your first pick.



Welp, I just argued myself in circles. I think you're right. I don't think there's any strategy you can decide on in advance to improve your odds over 40%.

Original attempts at coherent thought preserved below for integrity.
Spoiler:
I'm not sure about that. As long as there are more black balls than red balls (as there are at the start), every draw has a greater chance of yeilding a black ball, thus increasing the proportion of red to black balls, thus increasing your chance of having a winning guess whenever you decide to take it.

Ultimately, the number of black and red balls should converge (in this case to zero, obviously). (EDIT: Wait, that's probably not true. If you had 6 million red and 9 million black, you would not be surprised to wind up with about 60 red and 90 black remaining, after 14,999,850 draws.)

I'm not sure exactly what this means your best strategy should be, but it seems obvious to me that as long as there are meaningfully more black balls than red, you should continue drawing and try to even the odds...


EDIT: I would say, keep drawing until you a.) have an even number of black and red balls remaining, then guess, or b.), if a never happens and you find yourself with one red ball and multiple black balls remaining... hm, this is where it requires a think...


If you have four black balls and one red remaining, your odds of guessing correctly are 20%. If you choose to draw again, you run a 20% risk of losing outright, and an 80% chance of upping your guessing odds to 25%, should you guess before the next draw. Let's see:

With one red and four black, a guess is a 20% chance of winning.
A draw means an 80% chance of still being in the game, at which point a guess is a 25% proposition. .8*.25 = .2
Another draw means a .8*.75 chance of being alive, at which point a guess is a 1/3 proposition. .8*.75*1/3 = .2
Another draw means a .8 * .75 * 2/3 chance of being alive, at which point a guess is a 50% proposition. .8 * .75 * 2/3 * .5 = .2
Another draw means a .8 * .75 * 2/3 * .5 chance of being alive, at which point a guess is a 100% proposition. .8 * .75 * 2/3 *.5 * 1 = .2

So once you find yourself facing a one-red-ball-and-many-black-balls-remaining scenario, it doesn't matter when you guess, your odds are the same.


So, it seems to me, the appropriate strategy would be to contiue drawing as long as you have more black balls than red balls (and multiple of each). If the number ever equalizes, you guess then. If not, you keep trying until you only have one red ball left, at which point you just take your guess, doesn't matter when.



Ok, one more try. You have 6 red balls and 9 black balls at the start.

if you guess, you have a 40% chance of being right.
If you draw, you have a 60% chance of increasing your guessing odds to 6/14, and a 40% chance of reducing them to 5/14.

(.6 * (6/14)) + (.4 * (5/14)) = .4

Yup, a lot of effort to show I should have gone the easiest route.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby da Doctah » Thu May 29, 2014 8:34 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:at least it's less all over the map as the "Mary, Merry, Marry" merger. In my area all three of these words are pronounced the same, but some areas of my own country they are not.

In my part of the same country, the first two are pronounced the same and the third is different.

I see that your area is represented by "Oakland". You know the story about the couple with funny accents who tried to go there, only to find themselves on a plane bound for Auckland instead? (When they got back, they had such laughs with the couple who ended up in Beirut instead of Bayreuth.)

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 29, 2014 11:10 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:at least it's less all over the map as the "Mary, Merry, Marry" merger. In my area all three of these words are pronounced the same, but some areas of my own country they are not.

There was a sketch based on this. They were shooting a costume drama set in Victorian England, but starring a horribly miscast American female lead. She was perhaps based loosely on Sigourney Weaver1 in her uncompromising, alien-ass-kicking era; she chewed gum constantly during rehearsal (and probably the actual shoot), and was making no attempt whatsoever at the accent. The line she was supposed to deliver was "Is it your intention to marry Mary?". At one point the director suggests they "break it up by calling her Merry Mary". I'm thinking a Fry and Laurie sketch, though I seem to remember Angus Deayton playing the director. Again, Google has let me down.

1 The character's manner was similar, I mean. No criticism of Ms Weaver's own acting ability, were she cast in such a drama, is implied.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby xtifr » Fri May 30, 2014 11:45 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Flumble wrote:... a vase, pot or bag ...

By happenstance, this is rather close to something that British magician Paul Daniels used to say. For some reason his tricks would often involve a vase, and he would say "vase, vase or vase", pronouncing the word three different ways: "vahz, vayz or vorz". I know that "vayz" is the US pronunciation, but I've always wondered whether anybody says "vorz", or whether he just added that for rhythm and comic effect.

I can't answer that without knowing whether the "r" was pronounced (as per Scotland, Canada, or the US) or silent (as England or Oz).

If the former, then I think the answer is no. If the latter, then possibly yes, but you're also helping to demonstrate why the English can't be trusted with the care and feeding their own freakin' language! I mean, forgetting how to pronounce a common consonant over the course of just a couple of hundred years? Inexcusable! :D
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat May 31, 2014 2:17 am UTC

I don't think the 'r' in England and Australia is "silent," just not nearly as strong as in America.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby xtifr » Sat May 31, 2014 5:42 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I don't think the 'r' in England and Australia is "silent," just not nearly as strong as in America.

It's not silent before a vowel, of course, but otherwise, yeah, basically silent. See Rhotic and non-rhotic accents.

The worst part is that they will often write a silent 'r' in ways that totally confuse everyone else in the world. Like the Led Zeppelin song, "D'yer Maker" (Jamaica). Or the Winnie-the-Pooh character Eeyore, which was supposed to be onomatopoeia (ee-yaw, or hee-haw).

Not that I'm bragging about my accent. I've got the Mary-marry-merry merger and the caught-cot merger, and a few other warts. But at least I pronounce my 'r's the way god and Shakespeare intended. (Yes, Shakespeare was rhotic, like Americans, and unlike modern Englishmen.) :)
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby da Doctah » Sat May 31, 2014 6:00 am UTC

Americans pronounce three of the letters in the word "myrrh". Brits pronounce only one, if that.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby orthogon » Sat May 31, 2014 9:09 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:Americans pronounce three of the letters in the word "myrrh". Brits pronounce only one, if that.

Meh...

My accent is completely non-rhotic and I meant the 'r' to be silent in "vorz". Sorry for the confusion - I really need to learn IPA.

Note that not only are there are some rhotic accents in the UK, but there are also accents that add an "r" or "l" after a vowel in words like "area". See my "Zomerzet" link above.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat May 31, 2014 6:50 pm UTC

"Supanover".
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat May 31, 2014 11:16 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Americans pronounce three of the letters in the word "myrrh". Brits pronounce only one, if that.

Well, they surely pronounce at least the m. And some sort of vowel, which given the letter's versatility, you could call pronouncing the y. So it's got to be two letters.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:06 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Americans pronounce three of the letters in the word "myrrh". Brits pronounce only one, if that.

Well, they surely pronounce at least the m. And some sort of vowel, which given the letter's versatility, you could call pronouncing the y. So it's got to be two letters.


... m'

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:29 am UTC

As I understand it, "myrrh" would be pronounced something more like /mə/ or /mʉ/. There is definitely some sort of (possibly reduced) vowel. It is not pronounced the same as "Mmm," as in the interjection meaning food tastes good.

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby HES » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:As I understand it, "myrrh" would be pronounced something more like /mə/ or /mʉ/. There is definitely some sort of (possibly reduced) vowel. It is not pronounced the same as "Mmm," as in the interjection meaning food tastes good.

Indeed. I don't know phonetics, but the latter part of the word is pronounced similarly to the "err" when you don't know the answer to a question.
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby armandoalvarez » Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:21 pm UTC

HES wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:As I understand it, "myrrh" would be pronounced something more like /mə/ or /mʉ/. There is definitely some sort of (possibly reduced) vowel. It is not pronounced the same as "Mmm," as in the interjection meaning food tastes good.

Indeed. I don't know phonetics, but the latter part of the word is pronounced similarly to the "err" when you don't know the answer to a question.

I read many British books for years before I had any idea that "err" was being pronounced "uh." Why don't they just write it "uh" if the "r" is silent? Seems very strange to include a silent letter in an onomatopoeia when the silent letter isn't included for historical reasons.
My accent is completely non-rhotic and I meant the 'r' to be silent in "vorz". Sorry for the confusion - I really need to learn IPA

So orthogon, do you think you could find another way of describing how "vorz" is being pronounced there? With a silent "r," I'm having trouble seeing how that's not "vahz".

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:25 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:
HES wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:As I understand it, "myrrh" would be pronounced something more like /mə/ or /mʉ/. There is definitely some sort of (possibly reduced) vowel. It is not pronounced the same as "Mmm," as in the interjection meaning food tastes good.

Indeed. I don't know phonetics, but the latter part of the word is pronounced similarly to the "err" when you don't know the answer to a question.

I read many British books for years before I had any idea that "err" was being pronounced "uh." Why don't they just write it "uh" if the "r" is silent? Seems very strange to include a silent letter in an onomatopoeia when the silent letter isn't included for historical reasons.
My accent is completely non-rhotic and I meant the 'r' to be silent in "vorz". Sorry for the confusion - I really need to learn IPA

So orthogon, do you think you could find another way of describing how "vorz" is being pronounced there? With a silent "r," I'm having trouble seeing how that's not "vahz".


try "vawz" (mostly-rhymes with "paws")

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby willpellmn » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:35 pm UTC

I wouldn't mind a replacement for this drawing.....

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby HES » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:31 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:I read many British books for years before I had any idea that "err" was being pronounced "uh." Why don't they just write it "uh" if the "r" is silent?

"Uh" and "err" are not the same. The latter is longer.
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:23 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:So orthogon, do you think you could find another way of describing how "vorz" is being pronounced there? With a silent "r," I'm having trouble seeing how that's not "vahz".


try "vawz" (mostly-rhymes with "paws")

To my ear "paws" rhymes with the "vahz" pronunciation of "vase". (The upper-class pronunciation that doesn't rhyme with "face").

HES wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:I read many British books for years before I had any idea that "err" was being pronounced "uh." Why don't they just write it "uh" if the "r" is silent?

"Uh" and "err" are not the same. The latter is longer.

So is the difference between "bird" and "bud" (in RP) just the length of the vowel?

Regarding the interjections (if that's what they are) "err" and "uh", I would use both of them distinctly in my accent. "Err" expresses more, err, doubt and uncertainty, maybe? While "uh" is just sort of a, uh, you know, kinda of, uh, drawing a blank, not sure what word to say next, you know?
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby armandoalvarez » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:42 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:So orthogon, do you think you could find another way of describing how "vorz" is being pronounced there? With a silent "r," I'm having trouble seeing how that's not "vahz".


try "vawz" (mostly-rhymes with "paws")

To my ear "paws" rhymes with the "vahz" pronunciation of "vase". (The upper-class pronunciation that doesn't rhyme with "face").

HES wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:I read many British books for years before I had any idea that "err" was being pronounced "uh." Why don't they just write it "uh" if the "r" is silent?

"Uh" and "err" are not the same. The latter is longer.

So is the difference between "bird" and "bud" (in RP) just the length of the vowel?

Regarding the interjections (if that's what they are) "err" and "uh", I would use both of them distinctly in my accent. "Err" expresses more, err, doubt and uncertainty, maybe? While "uh" is just sort of a, uh, you know, kinda of, uh, drawing a blank, not sure what word to say next, you know?

Thanks for the clarification everyone. PFhorrest: If you have the cot-caught merger, paws and vase will rhyme. If you don't they won't. But most areas with the caught-cot merger are rhotic, so I don't think you would use err for uhhh (or however you spell that extended uh).

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby eviloatmeal » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:17 am UTC

HES wrote:Rose, rose, rows and rows are all pronounced the same.
Flower, went up, things in a line, propelling a boat

Nice poem!

I'll add one:

Rose, rose, rows and rows and roes.
These words are all pronounced with /oʊz/. (US English IPA)
Flower, went up,
things in lines,
Sorry, rmsgrey.
propels a boat,
multiple deer.


I can still think of a couple of other homophones, depending on if you would accept "roes" as a word, and then there's "rhos", which would be multiple of the Greek letter ρ.
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby HES » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:06 am UTC

"I'm a civil engineer, but I hate fluid mechanics because of all the rhos"

Totally a word.
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby orthogon » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:04 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:So orthogon, do you think you could find another way of describing how "vorz" is being pronounced there? With a silent "r," I'm having trouble seeing how that's not "vahz".


try "vawz" (mostly-rhymes with "paws")

To my ear "paws" rhymes with the "vahz" pronunciation of "vase". (The upper-class pronunciation that doesn't rhyme with "face").

HES wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:I read many British books for years before I had any idea that "err" was being pronounced "uh." Why don't they just write it "uh" if the "r" is silent?

"Uh" and "err" are not the same. The latter is longer.

So is the difference between "bird" and "bud" (in RP) just the length of the vowel?

Regakbrding the interjections (if that's what they are) "err" and "uh", I would use both of them distinctly in my accent. "Err" expresses more, err, doubt and uncertainty, maybe? While "uh" is just sort of a, uh, you know, kinda of, uh, drawing a blank, not sure what word to say next, you know?

Thanks for the clarification everyone. PFhorrest: If you have the cot-caught merger, paws and vase will rhyme. If you don't they won't. But most areas with the caught-cot merger are rhotic, so I don't think you would use err for uhhh (or however you spell that extended uh).

I was going to suggest "vauze" but I realized I was onto a loser. The vowels are so varied in different accents that there's no word that will rhyme with my pronunciation in all accents.

Regarding "err", that's just the most natural way to write that sound. You have to understand that we don't generally realize that we have rhotic accents. We just think of the r as being sort of optional, and don't really hear the difference. It was astonishing and incredible to me when a barman in the US refused to understand my request for a "beah". The idea that not pronouncing this letter would render the word incomprehensible to somebody despite its being the main product he sold was ludicrous.

Similarly, even words with final vowels without r's conceptually have them, and we pronounce them when followed by another vowel. So you'll hear the "r" in both "beer and skittles" and before the "of" in. "area of interest"
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
HES wrote:Rose, rose, rows and rows are all pronounced the same.
Flower, went up, things in a line, propelling a boat

Nice poem!

I'll add one:

Rose, rose, rows and rows and roes.
These words are all pronounced with /oʊz/. (US English IPA)
Flower, went up,
things in a line,
propels a boat,
multiple deer.


I can still think of a couple of other homophones, depending on if you would accept "roes" as a word, and then there's "rhos", which would be multiple of the Greek letter ρ.


It bugged me the first time; now you're just nerd-sniping...

"rows" would be multiple lines, not just a line.

There's also "roes" - "eggs of multiple types of fish"

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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby mathmannix » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

Also, Ros - multiple places, things, or people named Ro. Such as the combination of the city, the Pharaoh, and the Ensign.

(Which sounds like an intriguing title for a suspense novel, no?)
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Re: 1374: "Urn"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:30 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Similarly, even words with final vowels without r's conceptually have them, and we pronounce them when followed by another vowel. So you'll hear the "r" in both "beer and skittles" and before the "of" in. "area of interest"

So would you only say "supanover" if it was in a phrase like "supernova or other astronomical phenomenon", but not "supernova that illuminated the night sky"? I.e. the former would be "soo-puh-noh-verr", but the latter would just be "soo-puh-noh-vuh"?
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