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Mary =/= merry =/= marry

Discussion in 'Big Brother 3: The Mods Strike Back' started by Terr_Mys, Oct 9, 2004.

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  1. Terr_Mys

    Terr_Mys Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    It has come to my attention that many people, especially Americans, do not know how to speak properly. These three words are NOT pronounced the same.

    Many Americans (especially those bloody Midwesterners) have a tendency to pronounce all three words closest to the received pronunciation of 'Mary'. However, each word contains a distinct vowel (or diphtong, in the case of 'Mary'). Spelling the words phonetically (I use this in a liberal sense here), the pronunciations are as follows:

    Mary - mare-ee
    merry - meh-ree
    marry - ma-ree (the 'a' as in 'at')

    For the sake of accuracy, I've also transcribed each word using true phonetics, to the best of my knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet:

    Mary = [image=http://ninnet.homestead.com/files/Mary.jpg]
    merry = [image=http://ninnet.homestead.com/files/merry.jpg]
    marry = [image=http://ninnet.homestead.com/files/marry.jpg]

    Assuming that most people are unfamiliar with the IPA, however, perhaps the American Heritage Dictionary's online pronunciation audio files will help you distinguish 'merry' and 'marry' from 'Mary' and from each other:

    [link=http://www.bartleby.com/61/wavs/36/M0233600.wav]merry[/link]
    [link=http://www.bartleby.com/61/wavs/12/M0121200.wav]marry[/link]

    The vowels contained therein, as demonstrated by the IPA pronunciation, can be heard [link=http://hctv.humnet.ucla.edu/departments/linguistics/VowelsandConsonants/course/chapter1/ipaSOUNDS/Vow-16a.AIFF] here[/link] (merry) and [link=http://hctv.humnet.ucla.edu/departments/linguistics/VowelsandConsonants/course/chapter1/ipaSOUNDS/Vow-22a.AIFF]here[/link] (marry).

    For the most part, New Englanders are the only Americans who consistently distinguish between the three words, although some people in Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island pronounce 'Mary' like 'Meer-ee'...
     
  2. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa

    Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2002
    You could make a lot of threads like this to correct hicks, or you could line them up against a wall and shoot them all. I, personally, would prefer scenario #2.
     
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