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Intrusive R
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2013/06/03
11:58pm
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Ron Draney
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I got over inserting an extra R into sherbet years ago, but I can’t seem to shake the tendency to add one to frustum. (That’s the name for what’s left when you remove the pointy end from a cone or pyramid.) I keep wanting to say and write frustrum. The fact that it’s related to the word frustrate doesn’t help me fight the impulse at all.

2013/06/04
7:23am
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Glenn
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I have those same two. Although I still say sherbet as “sherbert”, but sorbet as “sorbay.” It’s not a frequent problem because it’s too sweet for me, and I never request it. Frustum still is a struggle, but a rare one, since it almost never comes up in conversation except on the subway.

Speaking of topics mathematical, there is a commonly doubled one in integral as “intergral.”

Not to mention its displaced articulation in comfortable “comfterble” — which is the only pronunciation I’m comfortable with.

I figure the intrusive r makes up for the elusive r of library, forming an erudite fruit or cheese (liberry or librie). I tend toward the cheesy pronunciation, personally, in rapid conversation, but either pairs well with a nice Chardonnay.

And don’t get me started on why yarmulke never ever has the r pronounced!

2013/06/04
3:42pm
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Robert
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I have problem with frothy, like frustum.
But frosty does not present similar problem at all- It seems the problem is in the mind, not the physiodynamics of the mouth: your brain keeps thinking frustrum is a better word than frustum. Maybe more scientific, like spectrum ?
2013/06/05
12:04am
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tromboniator
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Hm. I’ve never had a problem (if it is a problem) with any of those words except “comfterble,” which was how my mother pronounced it. In junior high I trained myself to pronounce it more “correctly” and (usually) I adhere to that.  Sorbet  is not a major presence in these parts, but having studied French for many years I would automatically give the word a French-ish pronunciation.

 

How do you folks deal with “February”?

2013/06/05
2:09am
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Glenn
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“Febyuary” and “comfterble”

Remember: Women iron on Wednesdays.

2013/06/05
7:44am
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Dick
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Glenn said
“Febyuary” and “comfterble”

Remember: Women iron on Wednesdays.

“Febyuary” and “comfterble” both come out of me but I say “Wensday.”

As far as “sherbet” goes, I usually make a comment that includes the words “sure, Bert.”

You all make me feel not so odd.   I usually say all of these and others wrong, knowingly, but I just don’t care. Thankfully, I don’t usually interact with people who are judgemental about it. I think, if I did, I could straighten up my speech.

2013/06/05
11:17am
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Glenn
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You have nothing to straighten. The point of “Women iron on Wednesdays” is that we should not let anyone tell us we are pronouncing something incorrectly based on the spelling of a word.

We ALL say “wensday.” I don’t feel the slightest guilt or shame about it. Likewise with “wimin” and “ayern” “febyuwery”. Now sherbert (an alternate spelling) and library and others may be less universal, but what matter is that?

2013/06/07
2:15am
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tromboniator
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Well, Glenn, I hate to puncture your generalization, but I actually sneak in just a hint of a d before the n in Wednesday: We(d)n’sday or even occasionally We(d)n’sdee. I’m not sure where I learned it, but I think it’s from my pre-spelling days. I have a vague recollection of emulating an exceedingly odd professor friend of my parents who entertained me greatly in those days.

2013/06/07
6:24am
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Glenn
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I apologize for my overly enthusiastic universal. But, in my defense, you likely realize that many dictionaries do not list that pronunciation with the -d- before the -n-. Most have both different vowel sounds at the end -ā and -Ä“ (wenz′dā; occas., -dÄ“), but Webster’s is in the small minority (perhaps unique) listing the pronunciation with the -d- as an aside:
Wednesday

And by your own admission, it is likely an emulation of someone with odd speech.

I have also heard women pronounced as indistinguishable from woman, but it is far, far from mainstream.

Please, please don’t tell me you’ve heard a native speaker say /ɑɪrÉ‘n/ or /ɑɪrÉ™n/ for iron in any seriousness.

2013/06/07
8:03am
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Robert
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Even then you’re not done yet. Which of these is standard, which odd ?
 

on / ön, ôn ,  ËˆÈ¯n, ˈän /

 

(Rhetorical question only)

2013/06/07
8:57am
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Glenn
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Oddness depends on a lot. Most dictionaries provide one or two standard pronunciations. But there are British and American dictionaries, and there are many common regional pronunciations that might not find their way into a standard dictionary. Vowel sounds are particularly sensitive to regional pronunciation.

Having said that, there still endures the loose concept of Standard American English. But that doesn’t make regional dialects odd.

Still, any pronunciation that is not shared by members of the speech community in which the speaker finds him- or herself, would likely be considered odd — e.g. Boston in New Orleans and vice versa. If the pronunciation is not part of any known speech community it can safely be considered idiosyncratic, part of an idiolect. Informally, I would expect that pronunciation to be considered odd. Speech pathologies are, by definition, examples.

I know folks who speak perfectly normally with some notable speech idiosyncrasies: one said gold for the word goal (“You must set realistic golds.”);. another said brefixt for breakfast.

[edit: added the following] Since the rhetorical annotation was added later, consider this posting as a rhetorical response.

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