I confess that when I say the phrase high school, I pronounce the word high with a reduced vowel /hʌɪ/ instead of /hɑɪ/. It feels wrong to me to pronounce the phrase with high articulated as /hɑɪ/. In isolation, high /hɑɪ/ might rhyme with why /wɑɪ/. In high school /hʌɪskuːl/, the vowels I make sound like ice cool /ʌɪskuːl/.
I hear lots of people say high school with a fully articulated high /hɑɪskuːl/, and it generally sounds fine to me. But I don't do that. I really can't bring myself to do it.
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