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Whooping Cranes
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2014/02/08
7:45am
sthomas450
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I have noticed lately that the terms "Whooping Cough" and "Whooping Crane" are being pronounced like "Whoopie Goldberg" (the "W" being emphasized).  I have always pronounced them "Hooping Cough" and "Hooping Crane".  I understand they are related; the sound of the crane resembles the sound of the cough.  A couple websites seemed to agree with me.  What are your thoughts?
 
 
 
2014/02/09
5:33am
Glenn
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Most dictionaries document three versions of the initial sound for whoop: h, w, hw. All three sound fine to me.

2014/02/09
7:45am
polistra
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I suspect /hup/ is unavoidable if you're going to aspirate the initial consonant.  In other contexts (what, why, wheel) /hw/ is distinct, but /hwu/ is nearly impossible to say or hear distinctly.  It's bound to drop back to /hu/ no matter how hard you try to make it clear.

 

(Edit: I really shouldn't say aspirate here; it's not the same thing.  But you probably know what I mean.)

2014/02/09
1:49pm
tromboniator
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According to M-W there are at least six pronunciations of whoop, with three consonant sounds, each with two vowel sounds: wh pronounced as w, h, or hw, and oo pronounced as the u in true or the u in put. At least that's the way I read it.

Peter

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