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  1. matilda

    Talking 173-symmetry

    Hello all

    I want to know how the word (symmetry) is pronounced. I checked this word's pronunciation, and I saw both (y) sounds are heard like (y) in CITY.
    But I want to know how I should pronounce it when reading poems, like the following. I ask this because I think we should save the melody and rhyme of reading.

    "Tyger, tyger, burning bright in the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful SYMETRY?

    Shall I pronounce it like (y) in CITY or like (Y) in EYE???
    Which form?

    Thanks all


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
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      • England
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      • England

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    Re: 173-symmetry

    Hello Matilda

    Some rhymes in English verse are

    a) rhymes to the eye only, e.g. find/wind (the latter in the sense of "moving air");

    b) rhymes by convention, e.g. eye/symmetry.

    Type B rhymes often date from earlier forms of English, when the terminal sounds did indeed rhyme. (In Middle English, for instance, many words that now end in "-y" ended in "-ye".)

    In 19th and early 20th century recitation, such rhymes were often deliberately mispronounced, to allow the full rhyme. You rarely hear such deliberate mispronunciations nowadays, however: the tendency is to pronounce the words naturally.

    Since the last syllable of "symmetry" and "eye" are diphthongs, a faint rhyme may in any case still be detected.

    (I should say that to my ears, this kind of rhyme has its own peculiar charm.)


  2. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    Re: 173-symmetry

    A follow up question on the subject:
    In 1795 when Blake wrote the poem, how was the word "symmetry" pronounced. [i] or [eye].?

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