- For Teachers
This is about the fairly frequent word "every", no matter whether isolated or as a part of one of its compounds, like "everyone", "everywhere", etc.
Is it accepted (or standard) to pronounce it with the second "e" included as a schwa? Unfortunately, either the forum or my browser won't let me paste the phonetic schwa-symbol (I'll always get a question mark instead) but you know what I mean?
Normally, you say /'evri:/. Second "e" drops, is completely silent. This in fact is what nearly all dictionaries give as the only possible pronunciation. Not so with the great OED itself. It gives an alternative, namely with the schwa included: /'everi:/ (Remember, the second 'e' is the schwa-sound.)
I couldn't tell when and where, but I'm quite sure I have heard it in that form, at least a couple of times. My question would be, is it correct? Accepted? Or is it archaic? Or dialect?
Thanks a lot,
Well now, I haven't been here for quite a long time, or, I might say, couldn't be here, unfortunately, but at least this doesn't mean I'm forgetting my threads. Stunning memory, eh?
So, even if late, thank you for the reply!
Random variant means.. I may pronounce it in both forms?!I think it's a random variant. "evri" is much more common.
Meanwhile I'm aware of where I hear it regularly with a schwa included; namely in songs, that is, when sung. Seems to be a mere stylistic matter, then. In cases, where /'evri:/ would sound unsatisfactorily, due to reasons of rhyming or rhythmics, they instead opt for the schwa-variant. I'm not sure, whether I've heard it in spoken language at all.
Two reasons come to mind. Firstly, the fact that in English there are so many words which may be pronounced in more than one way, while none of these options is actually wrong or 'bad pronunciation' at that, is a feature many may despise. Because of perceived "inconsistence" or whatever. Not so with me. It's one of the aspects of English I like most! It allows for sylistic freedom, leaves room for individuality. It only enriches the language, and that is what matters.Why do you ask?
Secondly, and here's the more practical factor I find it personally easier, to speak it with the schwa included. You're right, however, and it is much more common in the other variant. So I should stick with that anyway.
A very kind offer, indeed, but after all this time I've got a new computer and--what is probably more important here--a different browser. With that, there's no problem anymore, since, as you see: /ə/ ..there it is. It's alright.PS: If you want help to set up IPA, PM me. I might be able to help.
Last edited by mara_ce; 01-Aug-2009 at 00:04.
The word "every" is pronounced ev'ry. The second e sound is entirely eliminated. The OED may list that "every" is a possible pronunciaiton, but I recommend using "ev'ry" or evəry: every (ĕv'rē). The technical word for this vowel sound elimination is "syncope". Syncope does not occur with great frequency, but it does occur in some common words. Here's a list of some words in which syncope occurs. The underlined vowel sound is eliminated in the same way the second e is eliminated in "every".
Pronouncing "camera" as "camera" instead of "cam'ra" would be an indication that English is not one's first language. The same thing goes for "chocolate", which is pronounced "choc'lət.
vowel sound elimination.pdf