Can anybody help settle a family dispute.
How many syllables in the word "twelve"? The older members of the family are of the opinion its is two but the younger members, who are used to text speak etc, are of the opinion it has one.
Grateful for any responses.
One and a half.
Arguments for one:
1. In poetry it usually scans as one:
Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray,
And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day;
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:
Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground,
And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound.
-- Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock, Canto 1, ll. 13-18.
2. Can "twelve" by hyphenated at the end of the line? "Twe-lve" and "twel-ve" both look dubious. None of the dictionaries I've checked give a hyphenation point for "twelve".
Arguments for two:
1. If you can hear it, it's there.