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Things that sound wrong when pronounced right.

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 10:50 pm
I hate it when people say that this or that is their "for-tay." I'm not so peevish as to say anything to them--but i'd like to. In French, fort means strong, and is pronounced (more or less) as "for." The feminine of that is forte, and is pronounced "fort." "For-tay" is not a word in French.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 10:53 pm
@Setanta,
oops, I hereby revise my rendition of forte
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 10:57 pm
@wayne,
You'll be subjected to ridicule as a rube, though. When i pronounce it correctly, i am either obliged to silently endure the contempt of linguistic idiots, or take the time to explain to them why they're the idiots and not me. I usually just ignore them.
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 11:05 pm
@Setanta,
I think i'll try and stick with saying it's not my strong suit and avoid the whole conundrum.
0 Replies
 
ragnel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 12:10 am
@boomerang,
Don't all jump on me at once, but I just cannot take to the accepted pronunciation of 'harass'. To my mind, the double 's' makes the most natural way to pronounce the word as h'rass. I know the accepted way is as if there were two 'r's, but this just does not sound right to me. Whenever I hear of someone being subjected to harassment, I automatically think 'Oh dear, Harrisment Ford strikes again!'
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 12:20 am
@ragnel,
When you add to that the fact that harry means the same thing, it get's really tricky.
I may tarry here, scraping at my tarry shoe
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 04:18 am
@wayne,
oeuvre
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:11 am
Don't jump to conclusiions, set. My dictionary (Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 10th edit.) has a rather extensive usage note on "forte", actually I've never noticed a "usage" note on any other word in it, which says, in part:

"In 'forte" we have a word derived from French thatr in its 'strong point' sense has no entirely satifactory pronunciation. Usage writers haved denigrated [the two versions of 'fortay'] because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived 'forte'Their recommended pronunciation ['fort'], however, does not exactly reflect French either" the French would write the word 'le fort' and would rhy it with English 'for'. SO YOU CAN TAKE YOUR CHOICE, KNOWING THAT SOMEONE SOMEWHERE WILL DISLIKE WHICHEVER VARIANT YOU CHOOSE. All are standard, however...."

(emphasis added)
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:22 am
Place names and people names sometimes get Anglicized, sometimes not, and are often localized in pronunciation haphazardly.

It's Kai-Roe Egypt but Kay-Roe, Illinois. The rest of the country seems to think the American Revolution began with the Battle of Lexington and Con-CORD. We in Massachusetts know it began with the Battle of Lexington and KAHNGcurd (like the word "conquered").
Worcester is not Warchester, it's Wuhster.

Similar thing happened with "Cesar Chavez". The pronunciation got Anglicized . We often do terrible things to words from other languages we adopt.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:22 am
Your usage mavens ignore that the feminine adjective is forte, and that that is pronounced "fort." I am unimpressed by the usage mavens in this case.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  4  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:25 am
I suspect they're not impressed with you, either. There is also an Italian "forte", and I'm not sure of their meaning here--whether the French derives from the Italian or the Italian pronunciation has influenced the English-speaker pronunciation.They say "fortay" and "for" predominate in the UK, and "fortay" predominates in the USA, so you seem to be in the irritable minority here.
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:35 am
See discussion of "forte" at www.dictionary.com --"for-tay" apparently dates from the 18th century--it's not something new.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:38 am
I didn't say it's something new, so that's an irrelevance. And who cares withwhom the goofy usage panel is impressed. They write about "le fort?" Fort is an adjective, and le is a definite article (in both cases, masculine singular)--their french sucks. You think your way, Bubba, and i'll think mine.
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:51 am
The usage panel is the compilers of Merriam Webster dictionaries--they're pretty even-handed, and I suspect their French and their etymology re better than the carpers'. As they say, no matter how you pronounce it. someone is going to get pissed (well, that's not EXACTLY what they say, but we can read between the lines) Welcome to the club, set.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:56 am
I'm not a "carper," clown. And anyone who writes a definite article before an adjective, while claiming that the adjective is a noun, doesn't know a goddamned thing about the language they're writing about. So you just keep pissing and moaning about your usage panel, and i'll continue to point out that their French sucks. If you weren't so eager to tout your expert panel, you might have taken the time to note that i stated clearly that i don't ever comment to people who pronounce it "for-tay." So you needn't welcome me to any of your goofy clubs, Bubba.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 05:59 am
while you keep pissing and moaning about the standard pronunciation for the last two plus centuries? ok,

"fort" is a noun as well as an adjective in French, check an online dictionary.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 06:07 am
I wasn't pissing and moaning about anything, Bubba. As i have already pointed out, i don't comment to people who pronounce it "for-tay." Let me back you up a little futher, Bubba. The title of the thread is "things that sound wrong when pronounced right." You can take either pronunciation, and it is likely going to strike someone as wrong. So the comment is appropriate to the topic, whether you and your usage panjandrums think so or not.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 06:12 am
set says
Quote:
I wasn't pissing and moaning about anything, Bubba. As i have already pointed out, i don't comment to people who pronounce it "for-tay."

Right. You piss and moan here, not to them.

And it sounds wrong to you when it's pronounced right, so it certainly fits.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 06:20 am
@MontereyJack,
So, in the depths of your never to be challenged expertise, you, Monterery Jack, pronunciation maven and clown, are asserting how it is to be pronounced when it is pronounced "right?"

No, i'm not pissing and moaning, i'm just responding to the thread. You seem to have a cob up your ass about this, though, and it's very entertaining to watch.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  5  
Reply Wed 26 Jan, 2011 06:24 am
Notice they say "someone" is bound to get upset. You're clearly the "someone"They don't say "everyone", or even "most people". I don't care how people say it--both major pronunciations have long-standing precedent, and neither one bothers me, and I know what they mean. You, on the other hand, are the one getting steamed. As you so often do.
 

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