"Farmiliar"

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by G. F. Schleebenhorst, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

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    Why do I keep hearing people pronouncing "familiar" like this?

    It's almost as bad as "leaveen" instead of "leaving".
     
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  3. Enmos Staff Member

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    Because they are stupid ?
     
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  5. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    Sounds like a southern US accent when I read it. Or Appalachia rural.

    Pronounciation changes over time and has regional variations.

    To the people of Shakespeare's time we would sound stupid and like destroyers of the language. In fact the English often view Americans and Australians this way. I'm sure they also look down on the Canadian accent, but the quiet way Canadians might be able to carry a grudge keeps them cautious about publicly making fun of them.
     
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  7. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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  8. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    Seems like G. F. Schleebenhorst does.
     
  9. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    What are you talking about eh? Carring a grudge ferfucksake...
     
  10. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, in fact the first places I heard it that spring to mind are in an american computer game and on some american car programme on TV.

    Canadians tend to, as part of the commonwealth, follow us Brits (note: Britain is not the same as england) instead of america in terms of spelling etc.
     
  11. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    True. It's is a terrific pain in the ass to always have to explain Honour, Armour, zeeVSzed etc, to Americans.
     
  12. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    ^^My American friend thought I was really weird for saying "adrenal" with a long E.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It's probably a phenomenon that for the life of me I can't remember the name of. Some sounds are so uncommon that they don't feel right in our mouths. So we change them into something slightly different that is far more common and feels comfortable. The usual mechanism is metathesis, the transposition of two sounds. This is how "ask" becomes "aks." There aren't many English words ending in the SK sound, but every noun or verb ending in K has a grammatical form ending in KS. (I predict that this particular metathesis will fade away now that "disk" and "task" have become everyday words in so many milieus.)

    And of course it's how "nuclear" became "nucular." We've got established words like "circular, secular, perpendicular," but no one outside of a physics lab had heard the word "nuclear" until the 1950s, and I can't come up with another word that has that combination of phonemes. Of all the gaffes that people rag on Bush about, that's the one that I forgive because it's quite common.

    But getting back to the addition of an R to "familiar," that's not metathesis. Still, unaccented fuh- seems like a pretty rare syllable to start an English word. Unaccented for-, on the other hand, is a venerable old prefix that goes all the way back to proto-Germanic (having lost any semblance of a consistent meaning along the way: forbid, forget, forgive, forsake) and it's pronounced fer-. "Fermiliar" just feels more... um, familiar in our mouth.
    I hear that collapse of the -ing gerund ending a lot over here. We don't like the effort of ending an unaccented syllable in NG. In colloquial speech -ing commonly becomes -in. I think people do the same thing in Scotland, assuming "Comin' through the Rye" was a valid rendition of Scots dialect and not just an American mangling in Brigadoon. Almost all Americans say -in in informal speech, but some of us seem to say -een when attempting to be more proper. I think it's an unconscious palatalization effect because of the I vowel. Nobody changes "boomerang" into "boomerain."
    And vice versa. Some time back a theater company researched the pronunciation of Shakespeare's era and staged a couple of his plays in perfect Elizabethan dialect. Audiences in London walked out because to them it sounded like lower-class argot and they couldn't stand to hear kings and queens talk that way. Don't forget that the "Oxford/BBC" accent, "received pronunciation" or RP that we regard as "propah British English" is a fabricated dialect that literally no one learned from their parents 100 years ago. (I think it was Schleeb who told me about that.)
    They do a good job of splitting the difference and with each passing year they sound more like us. They're rhotic (the R at the end of syllables is not silent) and they flap their intervocalic D's and T's, and those two things go a long way toward making them sound American. Walking through Toronto I feel like I'm in Buffalo, and walking through Vancouver I feel like I'm in Seattle. For a reference standard, they sound far more convincing than the average British actor faking an American accent. (Hugh Laurie doesn't count, he obviously got the job because he could do it. Monty Python's exaggerated version is more typical.)
    Hmm. It's hardly a word that comes up in everyday conversation unless you're a doctor. But the six or eight times in my life I've said it aloud, I used a long E. But "adrenaline," a common word, has a short E in America. I suppose over there it has both a long E and a long I. And the second A is silent.

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  14. Looney Whaaaaat? Registered Senior Member

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    Here many people say fermiliar. Sets my teeth on edge.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Languages do not evolve in an erudite manner fashioned by scholars. It's done by the common folk whose motivation is often unconscious and rarely scholarly. "Humongous" is in the dictionary, like "rambunctious" before it, and "dove" is a grudging past tense for "dive."

    Visceral: Speaking of dictionaries... Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com, AFAIK the two principal public online dictionaries of the American language, both list "adrenal" with a long E and no alternative.
     
  16. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    Stupid American question:

    What's the difference between Britain and England? Is Britain considered all of the isles?

    Nice post #10, Fraggle....I done learned me sumthin'

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  17. Kadark Banned Banned

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    Am I the only person here who pronounces "comfortable" as "comftrable"? Most (if not all) people I converse with pronounce it like that.
     
  18. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    @Fraggle: you can count how many times you've said a word? O.O

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    I hate when people say 'fecking' instead of 'fucking.' They should stop trying to be respectable. It's a waste of time, doesn't matter if you wear a suit and don't use bad language, you still defecate.

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  19. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

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    Funny that you mention that because I have always thought of Canadians as British people pretending to be american

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  20. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

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    The UK (United Kingdom) is (Great) Britain and Northern Ireland.
    (Great) Britain is Scotland, England, and Wales. Scotland invented Great Britain.
    Scotland is Scotland. The bit at the top.
    England is the bigger bit below Scotland.
    Wales is the sticky out bit on the middle left.
    Ireland is the blob across the sea to the left.
    Northern Ireland is the top bit.
     
  21. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks G.F....I've never been "across the pond".

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  22. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    Because English has dialects. We've been over this.

    I say cumff-ter-bull, and for some reason I find cum-fer-tuh-bull annoying.
     
  23. Donnal Registered Member

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    fairdinkum blimey
     

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