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  #1  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:10 PM
snowthx snowthx is offline
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How do you pronounce "Harassment"

Simple question. The news reports about Bill O'Really on the local evening news seem to be inconsistent, depending on the reporter. Is it:

1. HArrisment, or
2. HaRASSment?
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:14 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Yes.

(Most dictionaries list both as being correct pronunciations.)
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:17 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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If you're asking how I pronounce it, the answer is usually HaRASSment. But I have heard and even used both.
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:19 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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My 1920s version of the OED lists only your first pronunciation, so maybe that was the way it was originally pronounced. Maybe in the UK that one still predominates? (I pronounce it the second way, personally.)
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:34 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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I hear the second more than the first. The first sounds more britishy.

(According to this documentary, it is "Harris Meant")
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2017, 02:37 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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This^
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2017, 03:32 PM
Grrr! Grrr! is online now
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Her ass meant
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2017, 03:37 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I'm familiar with both, but, to my knowledge, I always say it with the accent on the second syllable.
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2017, 05:20 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Accent on first syllable.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2017, 05:24 PM
skdo23 skdo23 is offline
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From what I remember about Clarence Thomas's Senate confirmation hearing:

HArrisment=Southern

HaRASSment=Northern
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2017, 05:54 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is online now
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From Chicago here. Definitely HaRASSment. With added nasal tone.
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2017, 05:58 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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I pronounce it HaRASSment, but all news reporters here say HArrisment.

It's the same with finance. Everyone says FIEnance, except news reporters who say fehNANCE.

Kilometers too: everyone says keh-LOM-ehters, yet reporters say KEELO-meeters.

I have no idea why the media thinks they should pronounce words differently than everyone else pronounces them.

Last edited by Leaffan; 04-20-2017 at 05:59 PM..
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  #13  
Old 04-21-2017, 05:58 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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I just discovered that the documentary on "harris meant" in my earlier link was misnamed. Here is the proper link.
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:37 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Usually Hare - ass - mint.

I say Harris - mint when I want to sound snotty.
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:46 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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I pronounce it either way, depending on who I'm talking to.

ETA: I handle "privacy" the same way.

Last edited by kayaker; 04-21-2017 at 06:47 AM..
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:58 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
I hear the second more than the first. The first sounds more britishy.
I’m British: I say “HARR-ǝss-ment” – though I get the impression that some groups who see themselves as often on the receiving end of such treatment, favour “Ha-RASS-ment”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
It's the same with finance. Everyone says FIEnance, except news reporters who say fehNANCE.

Kilometers too: everyone says keh-LOM-ehters, yet reporters say KEELO-meeters.
Again, experience of a Briton in the UK: never, ever herd "finance" as anything but FIEnance (whether from news reporters, or anyone else). Have the impression that in the UK, some say "keh/ki-LOM-e-ter", some "KIL[not 'keel']-o-me-ter". I leaned the latter pronunciation from first encountering the word, and will always stick to it: to me, a "ki-LOM-e-ter" sounds like an instrument for counting and recording kills.
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:12 AM
Mops Mops is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
...

Kilometers too: everyone says keh-LOM-ehters, yet reporters say KEELO-meeters.

...
Everyone? Mashing the last part of the prefix together with the first part of the unit into one syllable does not make sense. Do Americans also say keh-LOF-olts, my-KROG-rams, nuh-NOF-arads?
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  #18  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:10 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is online now
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Just remember ... harass used to be two words ...
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  #19  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:17 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
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I was always brought up to stress the first syllable, as I would with the verb harass in its various forms (is there a connection with the verb "harry", which seems to mean a rather more violent form of the same basic activity?)

On the other hand, English seems to have a natural tendency to prefer stressing second syllables. EXquisite is another word that's gone the same way in the course of the 20th century.
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  #20  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:45 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mops View Post
Everyone? Mashing the last part of the prefix together with the first part of the unit into one syllable does not make sense. Do Americans also say keh-LOF-olts, my-KROG-rams, nuh-NOF-arads?
Leaffan is Canadian. Presumably he's talking aboot Canadian usage vs. Canadian broadcasters.

But I agree with him that most ordinary USA types, on the rare occasions they might say "kilometers" at all, would probably hang the m on the middle syllable "LOM" with the "uhters" as the last and very much unstressed syllable. Whether that's an "uh" or a schwa is a close call.

American engineers, scientists, and such who deal with SI units daily are a different matter. Lots more KILL-oh-Meters among those folks.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-21-2017 at 08:48 AM..
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  #21  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:51 AM
Doug K. Doug K. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mops View Post
Everyone? Mashing the last part of the prefix together with the first part of the unit into one syllable does not make sense. Do Americans also say keh-LOF-olts, my-KROG-rams, nuh-NOF-arads?
No. Nor do we say "keh-LOM-ehters". We say "ki-LAH-muhters", keeping the prefix and unit distinct (barring sloppy pronunciatilon.) And it makes every bit as much sense as pronouncing "Worcester" as "wuster". Or Cholmondley as "Chumley"
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  #22  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:59 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
On the other hand, English seems to have a natural tendency to prefer stressing second syllables. EXquisite is another word that's gone the same way in the course of the 20th century.
English has also -- in my perception, maybe more -- a bent for stressing a word's first syllable. As in the thing about the sweater-type garment called a pullover. In the original English, it's PULL-o-ver; German and French, in borrowing the word (and its spelling), render it respectively pull-OH-ver; and pull-o-VER (last syllable pronounced "vair").
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  #23  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:59 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
American engineers, scientists, and such who deal with SI units daily are a different matter. Lots more KILL-oh-Meters among those folks.
Oddly enough, Merriam-Webster claims otherwise:

Quote:
Most scientists use second syllable stress, although first syllable stress seems to occur with a higher rate of frequency among scientists than among nonscientists.
That seems counterintuitive to me, and they don't cite any source. But who knows. I use both pronunciations. More often, it's stress on the second syllable, but it's probably only like a 60-40 split between the two.
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  #24  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:01 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I think I do it both ways, probably more often accent on the first syllable. I won't even notice how you say it.

It's similar to the plural of house. I grew up in Philly, where houses (actually housez) is standard, but practically everywhere else they use the irregular houzez and I use either and do not even hear the difference any more.
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  #25  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:04 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
I think I do it both ways, probably more often accent on the first syllable. I won't even notice how you say it.

It's similar to the plural of house. I grew up in Philly, where houses (actually housez) is standard, but practically everywhere else they use the irregular houzez and I use either and do not even hear the difference any more.
Huh. I never noticed that. The "s" is always voiced at the end, but the "s" in the middle can go either way. I think I usually say it with an unvoiced "s", but now that I think about it, it seems like in slow or deliberate speech, I say "howsez," but in rapid or spontaneous speech, it comes out more like "howzez."

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-21-2017 at 10:04 AM..
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  #26  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:14 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I probably say 'houZeZ' every time. I kind of think that it's really 'houSeS', and that's with much more S than Z at the end, but it's coming out houZeZ every time. On the other hand, I never thought 'housed' could be pronounced any way but 'houZed'.
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  #27  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:23 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
That seems counterintuitive to me, and they don't cite any source.
Makes sense to me. Scientists also say mag-NOM-eter and spec-TROM-eter and interferi-OM-eter instead of MAGNO-meter and SPECTRO-meter and INTERFERIO-meter.
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  #28  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:35 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Makes sense to me. Scientists also say mag-NOM-eter and spec-TROM-eter and interferi-OM-eter instead of MAGNO-meter and SPECTRO-meter and INTERFERIO-meter.
That's true, too. And what about "multimeter"?
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  #29  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:43 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
That's true, too. And what about "multimeter"?
No, I've never heard anyone say mul-TIM-eter, but there is al-TIM-eter and ba-ROM-eter and hy-GROM-eter.
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  #30  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:47 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
No, I've never heard anyone say mul-TIM-eter, but there is al-TIM-eter and ba-ROM-eter and hy-GROM-eter.
Mul-TIM-eter is the way I hear it usually said around here, and the other ones, too.
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  #31  
Old 04-21-2017, 10:56 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Mul-TIM-eter is the way I hear it usually said around here, and the other ones, too.
I have never in my life heard it pronounced mul-TIM-eter. Why would it be? It's not a device to measure mults, it's a multi-meter, it measures multiple characteristics.

Last edited by TriPolar; 04-21-2017 at 10:56 AM..
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  #32  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:18 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I have never in my life heard it pronounced mul-TIM-eter. Why would it be? It's not a device to measure mults, it's a multi-meter, it measures multiple characteristics.
Because English pronunciation is quirky, but tends to follow the rules of the other words mentioned in Darren Garrison's post? The same argument you're making can be made for the word "speedometer." Do you pronounce it "SPEED-o-MEEter" or "spuh-DOM-eter."? Seriously, I mostly hear "multimeter" that way. I mean, go ahead, click on the pronunciation here on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. (This is not to say I don't hear it the other way, too, but the second syllable accent pronunciation is the one I'm most used to.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-21-2017 at 11:23 AM..
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  #33  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:26 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Because English pronunciation is quirky, but tends to follow the rules of the other words mentioned in Darren Garrison's post? The same argument you're making can be made for the word "speedometer." Do you pronounce it "SPEED-o-MEEter" or "spuh-DOM-eter."? Seriously, I mostly hear it that way. I mean, go ahead, click on the pronunciation here on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary.
A spuh-DOM-iter measures speed. A multimeter doesn't measure mults. A speedometer doesn't measure speedos, the O in the middle relates the meter to the measurement. The I in multi is part of multi, and that describes the quantity of meters, it's not related the same way as the others.
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  #34  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:45 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
A spuh-DOM-iter measures speed. A multimeter doesn't measure mults. A speedometer doesn't measure speedos, the O in the middle relates the meter to the measurement. The I in multi is part of multi, and that describes the quantity of meters, it's not related the same way as the others.
It doesn't really matter. In English, there is a tendency to place the accent on the syllable before "meter." Like, kill-OM-eter, all-TIM-eter, spuh-DOM-eter, ba-ROM-eter; mul-TIM-eter follows this pattern. I'm not saying your logic doesn't have a modicum of merit to it; it's just that, when it comes to language, there is no one "logical" way to do it. My logic says follow the way all the other words work. (And, incidentally, the way you pronounce it is the way I originally pronounced it until being corrected.) Do whatever is most common in your dialect. Logic, in the end, really has little to do with it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-21-2017 at 11:47 AM..
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  #35  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:55 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I have never in my life heard it pronounced mul-TIM-eter. Why would it be? It's not a device to measure mults, it's a multi-meter, it measures multiple characteristics.
As a trained electrician starting 50 years ago, I've never heard it pronounced as anything other than multi-meter, for the above reason.
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  #36  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:58 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
As a trained electrician starting 50 years ago, I've never heard it pronounced as anything other than multi-meter, for the above reason.
Anyhow, here's a whole thread about it on the Dope. Looks like your pronunciation is the most common, but a number of "mul-TIM-eter" responses there, too (and I wasn't involved in that thread.) Maybe I'll go back to my original pronunciation of the word.

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-21-2017 at 12:01 PM..
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  #37  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:07 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
As a trained electrician starting 50 years ago, I've never heard it pronounced as anything other than multi-meter, for the above reason.
As an electronics technologist I agree. It is always pronounced multeh-meter.
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  #38  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:09 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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ETA: ninja'd on mul-TIM-eter.

We had an amazing thread on mul-TIM-eter a couple years ago. IIRC it sorta broke down that Aussies prefer that pronunciation. Don't get us started on "sodder" vs. sold-er".

I also think there's a fundamental difference between words like kilometer and words like barometer. In the former, "meter" is a unit of measure and the "kilo" is a scaling multiplier. In the latter, "meter" means measuring device and "baro" is the property being measured.

I personally favor keeping the former types of words like Legos. IOW millimeter and kilometer should snap apart and back together with the same pronunciation throughout.

Likewise speedometer and barometer ought to snap apart and back together sounding the same.

But I see no reason to make the two cases the same. In fact making them different clarifies which kind of "meter" we're talking about.

Which brings me to my conclusion: We need to rename the SI unit of length to reduce ambiguity.

And while we're at it, eliminate the silliness that was cgs and still is mks. mgs is the only system that respects fundamental units.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-21-2017 at 12:13 PM..
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  #39  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:14 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Ah, that's it though! Everyone here in Canada (as far as I know) pronounces speedometer and kilometer the same way, except news talking heads who say kilometer like millimeter.

No one in real life says this.
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  #40  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:28 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Having read the other thread, there is one glaring error there that must be addressed. Leeloo had orange hair, not red!
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  #41  
Old 04-21-2017, 12:53 PM
Emily Litella Emily Litella is offline
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What about plain old harass? I pronounce it ha - RASS, I would never say HAIR - ass
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  #42  
Old 04-21-2017, 01:21 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Okay, now why do you pronounce a word, but it has a pronunciation? What happened to the frigging "o"?
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  #43  
Old 04-21-2017, 01:35 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
It's similar to the plural of house. I grew up in Philly, where houses (actually housez) is standard, but practically everywhere else they use the irregular houzez and I use either and do not even hear the difference any more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Huh. I never noticed that. The "s" is always voiced at the end, but the "s" in the middle can go either way. I think I usually say it with an unvoiced "s", but now that I think about it, it seems like in slow or deliberate speech, I say "howsez," but in rapid or spontaneous speech, it comes out more like "howzez."
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I probably say 'houZeZ' every time. I kind of think that it's really 'houSeS', and that's with much more S than Z at the end, but it's coming out houZeZ every time. On the other hand, I never thought 'housed' could be pronounced any way but 'houZed'.
Sorry to be a boring Brit: but as regards the plural of "house", I've never heard anything over here, but "houzez" -- would appear to be here not "irregular", but standard. Although in the grand scheme of things, there's no absolute "right / wrong" about pronunciation -- any way other than "houzez", of saying the word for more than one dwelling-unit, feels grotesque to me. (We say "house", singular, with S not Z; and as per TriPolar, we pronounce "housed" as "houZed".)

(And the whole "-meter" thing, is starting to make my head spin !)
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  #44  
Old 04-22-2017, 08:26 AM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is offline
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Em-PHA-sis on second syl-LA-ble.
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  #45  
Old 04-23-2017, 04:15 PM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
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I would no say kl-LOM-eter than I would ki-LOV-olt or ki-LOG-ram -- or, for that matter, cen-TIM-eter or mi-LIM-eter.
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