Thu Jun 30 01:55:38 MSD 2005
Rick Moen said:
>> Herb starts with H, not E. It isn't "ouse" or "ospital" or "istory".
Except when it is. (Cockney)
> I'd forgotten about this one, having moved back to the USA so many years
> ago, and adopted Yank pronunciation in most matters: In American usage,
> silent-h "herb" denotes a plant leaf used for food or medicine,
> distinguishing it form hard-h "Herb" as a given name. In Commonwealth
> English, the h is always pronounced.
>> Taking of herbs, there is no BAY in basil.
What do Brits say instead?
> Taken either from Greek "basilikon" = royal or Latin "basilisk". Either
> way, the American hard-a departs further from the historic pattern.
> Interesting to note that, again, Yanks use different pronuncation for
> the given name "Basil", to distinguish it from the herb.
We do? I call both BAY-sill. But Basel in Switzerland is bazzle.
I heard the word comes from Greek basileus (king), because it's the "king
of herbs". (Interesting, I would say "herb" there, but "it's an erb" and
"we need a 'erb".)
It's no worse than the usual corruption of a (ah) to short a (cat) or long
>> And please, fillet of fish only has a silent T if you are speaking
Really? And buffet too?
>> Aluminium is al-u-min-ium, not alum-i-num.
> pronounced 'Al-yoo-MIH-nee-um'.
Yanks often don't even recognize the word when it's pronounced that way.
>> Nuclear. Say no more.
> I think English-speakers everywhere, including the USA (and yes, in
> Texas), classify "nukular" as illiterate usage -- sometimes deliberately
> adopted, e.g., if hypothetically a politician emerged from Andover Acadmey
> and Yale University, but wanted to come across as just plain folks.
I don't know how many people would notice the difference. I prob'ly
wouldn't, not unless it was highly exaggerated. It's like when Brits say
cah you hear car even though you "know" they're not pronouncing the r.
(Unless you mistake it for caw, as sometimes happens.)
-- Mike Orr <mso at oz.net>
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