Your Pronunciation

Funny you should mention how many syllables it has. In my everyday sort of pronunciation, I think I only give it 3. Like “ex-” plus the word “spearmint,” like the herb. It’s not quite as long an e as in spearmint, but closer to that than to “pair,” and the vowel between the r and the m is pretty much just swallowed, so that syllable gets lost.

Ah, you prounounce it like they do on The Big Bang Theory, then? I never heard that in the Midwest and have assumed it’s a West Coast thing. In post #125, I noted that it’s US pronunciation but I don’t know if it’s limited to certain parts of the country.

I don’t give it quite the long e in spearmint, but it’s closer to that than to the “pair” version. I don’t watch the Big Bang Theory, so I can’t say if it matches. I have a mixed (mild) southern and western US accent.

Then the teacher should be aware of local pronunciations - they’re not “wrong.”

Kids’ spellings can be really revealing of how local pronunciation works. In Essex (the English one) I had a teacher friend who was mystified by most of the kids writing that they took a “tah” to the beach, till she saw that one of the kids had managed to spell it towel and “tah” is how it’s pronounced there (sort of - it’s not tah like in aah [ɑ:], it’s a long a like in how we say man [mæ:n].

It’s one of those accents that drops a lot of sounds.

Yeah, the cast pronounce it with an “ee” sound. I wonder if there’s a linguistic map that shows the pronunciation of “experiment” by region. Anyone?

I don’t know where posters find those maps and even less about how they’re put together, but they’re usually interesting.

Did they all say it that way? My memory is that only Sheldon said it that way - and I always thought it supposed to be part of a Texas accent.

My memory is that it was only the first syllable vowel that was changed; the 3rd syllable “i” wasn’t dropped.

That’s how I remember it as well. Coincidentally, I watched an episode of TBBT last night where Sheldon said it and I thought of this thread.

On a kinda sorta related note, after years of watching reruns of TBBT, I only just recently noticed that Raj pronounces the " th" sound as “t” (as in “Tor and Dr. Jones”) and only then because the others were mocking him.

Most if not all. I also thought it was just Sheldon and a Texas thing, but even Penny says it that way, and Amy, too, as I recall.

I’m certain that Penny doesn’t say it the same way as Sheldon - perhaps this is one of those things where due to our own accents , you can’t hear a difference but I can.

Raj’s pronunciation of “th” seemed to change quite often (unlike his pronunciation of “MOO-stache”.

I don’t hear it as a long e sound at all, from any of them.

Funny, he (Sheldon) doesn’t use the “expeeriment” pronunciation there, but I know I’ve heard it many times (but never from the others).

Hmmm, well dang it, the video proves me wrong, although it’s something I’ve been noticing for a few years now and I’m sure I’ve heard it pronounced as I say in other (earlier?) episodes. I’ll see if I can find a video that supports my case.

That is absolutely fascinating. I’m really curious why he did that, and if it was conscious.

“Experiment” is an interesting one. It’s one of those words where I may say it either way, but I never noticed until you guys brought it up. Playing aroudn with it, it seems I usually use the “spear” pronunciation, but will sometimes use the other pronunciation for the noun version, generally referring to something more formal, like a science experiment.

I would also add that, for me at least, spearmint is one of those words where I can wind up with an extra very short syllable, between the r and m. I can just wind up having a bit of a gap between moving my tongue out of the way for the R and closing my lips for the M. I also can often make the I in experiment very short. So they can wind up sounding the same, even though I always pronounce the I in experiment.

Holy cow! You just made me recall that growing up I definitely said it “spear a mint”, with the “a” just barely pronounced. I think once I was old enough to see it in print and associate the spelling, I then pronounced it the “correct” way. And while I’m blathering about childhood pronunciations, gingerale was something more like “jinjarale”. I didn’t parse it as an ale with the essence of ginger. It was just a name(if that makes sense).

This is the first time I’ve ever seen it spelled as one word. Did you not see it spelled back then? Was there a local brand that spelled it that way?

Oops. Fat fingered it. Of course it is and has always been two words, but as a kid I guess I never saw it in print. Not being aware of the separate words “ginger” and “ale” must have made me think I was hearing “jinjarale” and it stuck.

For me, at least, I would write it more like jinja-rail. It definitely sounded to me like the last syllable started with an R. That’s why it took me a while to associate it with the word “ginger ale.”

And, even then, it was a while before I noticed it was basically the same sort of word as “root beer,”–i.e. a non-alcoholic drink using the name of an alcoholic one.