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Thread: "pyramid"

  1. #1
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default "pyramid"

    I once heard the word "pyramid" pronounced [pɜːrmɪd]. It was some time ago so I don't remember who said that. It must have been an American. Is this pronunciation (and its non-rhotic equivalent) common?

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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    I have never heard either. They are not noted in either the LPD or the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary.

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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    Thanks. I should have posted when I heard that. I don't remember why I didn't. I remember that I didn't even understand the word at first and was quite proud of myself when I worked it out.

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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    IN Br Eng/ as you no doubt know BC, it's /'pɪrǝmɪd/ - whereas most other words that start 'pyr-' have the first syllable /paɪ/. The only other /ɪ/ word is the not very common 'Pyrrhic' (in which, annoyingly, the 'yrrh' doesn't represent /ɜ:/, as in the also rare [except at Christmas time] 'myrrh'). That's the only one that comes to mind, anyway - though I'm sure some readers will see that 'only' as a challenge!

    b

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    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    Could it have been a pronunciation for effect?

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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Could it have been a pronunciation for effect?
    Unfortunately, I can't remember anything about it, except for the very pronunciation. I think it was said rather fast because I seem to remember that there was another word I had trouble understanding there.

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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    The person you heard may be one of those who considers himself a good Merkin, speaking perfect Merkin English. See definitions 2 and 6b here.
    Last edited by 5jj; 04-Jul-2012 at 17:03.

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    Default Re: "pyramid"



    Maybe its a Southern drawl. George W Bush's 'terrorist' sounded pretty close to 'tourist'. Not the same vowel, but pronunciation does strange things before an /r/.

    b

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "pyramid"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post


    Maybe its a Southern drawl. George W Bush's 'terrorist' sounded pretty close to 'tourist'. Not the same vowel, but pronunciation does strange things before an /r/.

    b
    I think that is a common potential mispronunciation/mishearing/misunderstanding. I have heard several examples of an American deep South accent where it sounds like "tourist". It's also a common issue with non-natives. When I taught in Spain, I heard several students give presentations about terrorism and in almost every one, it was very difficult to work out whether they were saying "terrorist/terrorism" or "tourist/tourism".

    It's hard not to give a slight smile when you hear what sounds like "Here in Madrid we are very afraid of tourists. Tourists can be very dangerous and they all want to kill us. I do not like tourists. I teach my children to avoid them and we do not want tourists in our country."
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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