Do you pronounce scone to rhyme with Joan or John? In Canada, about 40 percent of English speakers go for the soft o sound, as in John, compared to two third of those in the U.K. But in the United States, 90 percent rhyme it with Joan. This is part of a complete episode.

  1. Rich Homa says:

    Your use of “John” as one of the words “scone” can rhyme with is confusing. The soft (or short) ‘o’ is pronounced very differently in the U.S., where most people rhyme “John” with “Khan”, and in the UK, most people rhyme it with (to my Upper Midwest American ear) something like “brawn” only with the vowel not drawn out as much…basically the ‘o’ as a Spaniard, among others, would pronounce it. Remember the controversy over whether General Powell’s first name should be pronounced ‘Coe-lin’ or ‘Cah-lin’? The first is the typical American’s hearing of the British (and West Indian) soft/short ‘o’, the second is the General American soft/short ‘o’.

  2. camelsamba says:

    Maybe “con” is a better example than “John”? Or does that also have lots of variation?

    I used to say it as rhyming with “cone” but after hearing others use the English pronunciation, I changed my own – so now I say it to rhyme with “con”.

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