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Thread: To the Editor

  1. #1
    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    To the Editor

    The phrase "to the editor" appears to form one intonation group and so the interval between "to" and "the" remains a question to be addressed. Is there no pause between the two words (that is, the sounds naturally slip from one to another)? Is it pronounced as /tu điː/?

    ===========
    TO THE EDITOR:
    Rapid and accurate diagnostic tests are essential for controlling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

    Source: New England Journal of Medicine
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.105...=featured_home
    Last edited by GoodTaste; 10-Sep-2020 at 09:40.

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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: To the Editor

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    The phrase "to the editor" appears to form one intonation group and so the interval between "to" and "the" remains a question to be addressed. Is there no pause between the two words (that is, the sounds naturally slip from one to another)? Is it pronounced as /tu điː/?
    Yes, in most cases. Learners will do well to follow the rule about pronouncing "to" in stressed and unstressed situations, but you shouldn't be surprised if you sometimes hear native speakers break it.

    The same goes for "the" before a vowel. Many people in my region and speakers of African-American Vernacular English nearly always pronounce it with a schwa. Learners should not do this.
    I am not a teacher.

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    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    Re: To the Editor

    Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?

    To (0.5s pause) the editor

    It seems to be an emphasis to show a manner that is a bit more serious. I am not sure.

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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: To the Editor

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?

    To (0.5s pause) the editor

    It seems to be an emphasis to show a manner that is a bit more serious. I am not sure.
    Read it fluidly, without a pause.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    Piscean is online now VIP Member
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    Re: To the Editor

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?
    Yes.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: To the Editor

    And my wife likes to remind me that a the before a vowel sound (like the e in editor) is pronounced thee, while a the before a consonant (like the l in letter) is pronounced thuh.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: To the Editor

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    Would it sound odd if there is a pause between "to" and "the editor" when reading?

    To (0.5s pause) the editor
    I wouldn't pause- I see no need for emphasis as I am arrogant enough to think the editor wants to hear what I have to say.

  8. #8
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: To the Editor

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    And my wife likes to remind me that a the before a vowel sound (like the e in editor) is pronounced thee, while a the before a consonant (like the l in letter) is pronounced thuh.
    That's certainly true for me, and I wish it was true for everybody, but it's not. Somebody I know very well, an associate professor at a major university, always says thuh regardless of the next word. As I've remarked in the past, this seems to be a trend among younger speakers.
    Last edited by probus; 11-Sep-2020 at 14:46. Reason: Typo

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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: To the Editor

    It's been common in my region since I was a boy in the 1960s.
    I am not a teacher.

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