Please settle a stupid argument

My boyfriend and I had a ridiculously involved argument about this: If you were to say the title of the book and movie “All Quiet on the Western Front”, how would you place your emphasis? ALL QUIET on the WESTERN Front? ALL QUIET on the Western FRONT? Something else? His argument leads to “when a phrase becomes like a single word there’s a way we pronounce it”, and mine is “this is a stupid argument and there is nothing wrong with the way I say it.” So I am taking a poll which I am well aware is really stupid, but there you go.

ALL QUIet on the WESTern FRONT, obviously.

Actually, I’d say: “All quiet on the WESTERN front,” as the Eastern Front is presumably not.

Sorry. I’m new.

Pretty much. In the way I say it, I honestly cannot hear any difference in stress between “Western” and “Front.” They seem equally emphasized to me. If anything, there might be the slightest more emphasis on the noun “front.”

I put the most emphasis on “quiet”, a little less on “western”, and leave everything else unaccented.

Absent a shared good knowledge of what terms like iambic pentameter and similar terms mean, it might be nice if we could write this out as if this were music. Since we can’t assume the former or do the latter, let me say that to me, this comes out like 5 beats; the first four are a measure in 4/4, and the last beat is a “whole note” in the second measure. Like this (one line per beat):

All (quarter note, first beat in the first measure)
Quiet (two eighth notes)
On the (two eighth notes)
Western (two eight notes)

Front (whole note).

Probably makes hash out of this rather than being helpful, but there you are.

You’re right; it’s stupid.

I believe it’s pronounced “ThroatWARbler MANgrove”


Honestly, I pronounce it with no emphasis on any word or part thereof.

“Western Front” is a phrase like “Eastern Shore” (of the Chesapeake Bay) or “upper limit” - unless one is specifically comparing/contrasting the Western Whatever to the Eastern Whatever (or specifically contrasting the Front to the Back :slight_smile: ), or the upper limit to the lower limit, the phrase merely denotes a location and the two words have equal emphasis.

Actually, I see the BF’s point. You pronounce the phrase “gone with the wind” differently if it’s a title, or if it’s part of a sentence.

The movie title comes out “gone-with-the-WIND”, slurred together.

But “He’s gone with the wind” comes out “he’s gawn - with - the - wind” with infinitesimal pauses in between the words, with the words individually pronounced, because they’re words that are part of a sentence you’re communicating, not an oh-so-familiar movie title that you’ve pronounced a million times, and so you say it real fast to get it over with.

So the title gets pronounced “all-quiet-on-th’-western-FRONT”, but in part of a sentence, “It’s all quiet on the western front…”

No special emphasis on any word.

Seconded. All the words sound equally emphasized when I say it.

As above or alternatively as originally written - Im Westen nichts Neues.

In the West, not a sound?

(go, single semester of German, GO!)

Emphasis on “All Quiet”. The book is set on the Western Front; what may be going on meanwhile on the Eastern Front is irrelevant, even by comparison or contrast. If you were describing the war situation in global terms then you might say “In August 1917 it was all quiet on the Western Front” (example ex ano and probably untrue), conveying by implication that it was busier than a barrel of kittens on the Eastern, but that’s another story.

My mind instantly hearkens back to some movie or cartoon or television show that I saw once and then never again, yet which somehow managed to impress itself upon me enough to lie dormant until this very moment. A patrolling military guy walks out of the mist and yells “ALLLLLLL QUIET on the WEST–ERN FRONT!” The cadence of “western” is very distinctive, because the break in the syllables means our hero puts equal emphasis on both of them. I’ll go with that guy.

I heard that for a while in 1977, poeple in Britain read “Star Wars” and then pronounced it with slightly more emphasis on the 2nd word than on the 1st. Since then everyone’s pronounced it the American way.

I don’t know the story of AQOTWF - who is it that’s saying it? What are they contrasting the situation with? If you’re British and being conscripted then you’re contrasting it with it being All Hellish on the Western Front. If you’re German you might be contrasting it with being All Hellish on the Eastern Front. If you’re Belgian you’re thinking “Western Front my arse - that’s my house that’s just been blown up”.

all quiet ON THE western front
Anyone who disagrees is an uncultured rube.

We have a winner!