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Preview: Comments on: Slurring and Elision (68)

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A podcast about words, language, and why we say the things we do

Last Build Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:35:41 +0000


By: Marti

Sat, 30 Sep 2006 23:22:50 +0000

Just discovered your podcast, so here are some delayed observations... Is "wens-day" an elision, or is "wed-nes-day" an overcorrection? Then there's the place name "Worcester." Since the "cester" is a morpheme (a fortified place), you'd think it would stand apart phonetically. My pet peeve "ta" is "preventative" (used when "preventive" would do). But it seems to have worked its way into most dictionaries as an accepted variation. After 16 years of checking on my daughter every morning to see if she had gotten out of bed, I noticed our exchange had deteriorated to this: "Yup?" "Mup!"

By: IHateToast

Tue, 26 Sep 2006 09:20:33 +0000

orientated. said a lot here in australia. i've read it and heard it from people of all echelons*-o-society. if you do differences between uk and brit isles english to american, do not leave out the aussies or south africans (like their "just now" meaning eventually, but don't hang about waiting for it, girlie). like- oh this is fun to say publicly- fanny, root, and pull off. never tell your taxi driver to pull off here. if you tell him to "pull off by the rest stop, because my fanny itches" he'll wreck the car. *yes, all. i made a point of asking about their rank in society, kept a file and yes. all echelons. every single one. it was a busy week.

By: Dave

Mon, 10 Jul 2006 20:22:50 +0000

I don't know how we skipped over "y'all." It is, of course, ubiquitous in the South, which may be why it skipped our attention. But I do want to insist once again, as I have several times before on the show: I don't know a single native speaker of Southern American English who would use "y'all" as a singular pronoun. it is a plural form, comparable to "ye," "ihr," "vosotros," and many other informal singular forms of the second-person pronoun in a number of languages. I have only ever heard non-Southerners use it as a plural form. (Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves!)

By: Craig

Mon, 10 Jul 2006 20:18:03 +0000

Great show! Living in Austin, Texas we've got a nice shibboleth in the following street name. Manchaca = man SHACK Also, wanted to remind you of a signature elision here in the deep south: y'all and its plural all y'all

By: PaulJ

Thu, 06 Jul 2006 18:24:43 +0000

Not sure how the 'silent L' derives from elision, but I do know that there are significant (and directly opposing) differences between American and British pronunciations. 'Solder' and 'Folks' for instance, where Brits pronounce the 'L' in the first but not in the second, and Americans vice versa. BTW, have you ever done an episode covering the differences between British and American English?

By: stringd

Wed, 05 Jul 2006 20:49:10 +0000

A classic example of elision is "tempercent," as in: "That's about tempercent (ten percent) of the total amount." Utah residents have become somewhat well known (or is that derided? you choose...) about their tendency to elide several words (much to the delight of local FM radio DJs) such as: juh - "You" djuh - "Did you?" djew - "Did you?", (Panguitch version) djeet - "Did you eat?" lawnmore - "lawn mower" leafblore - "leaf blower" squeet - "Let's go eat" And I'm not sure if this one fits in hypercorrection or just general mispronunciation, but if I have to hear: "Well, that's just a mute point." one more time, I think I'm going to have to revoke said speaker's diploma and/or intigate their deportation paperwork. Love the show.

By: Will

Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:13:21 +0000

The slurring issue made me think of something politicians and media people often say -- instead of "social security," they say "sosscurity." And sometimes you'll hear a slur of "President of the United States" that sounds more like "Pressaunitedstates." It's like they speak these terms so often that they aren't patient enough to get the whole phrase out. When saying the alphabet, kids typically do not say "L-M-N-O-P." Instead, it's "Ellamenno P." Just a couple I thought of. Will

By: Larry

Tue, 04 Jul 2006 03:39:19 +0000

The identification of the Shenandoah Valley’s Staunton as a shibboleth brought to mind a few of Vermont’s weirder examples: Corinth = co RINTH Calais is pronounced exactly like callous Charlotte = shar LOT And those are just the c’s. Emach’s comment brings up another oddity of Vermont speech. We have trouble with t’s. An “almost shibboleth” is the name of the state, pronounced Vermon with a sort of nasal fade away. I have a terrible time with plurals of some words that end in t. The letter that precedes the t matters, and s is the worst. Lists! Tests! Help me.

By: Dave

Sun, 02 Jul 2006 01:10:12 +0000

Wow! I almost feel prudish giving this edition an “R” rating. I do note that the American-Statesman, while quoting Urban Dictionary, did not actually even hint at the word for which “mofo” is an elision. Rude is rude, after all.

By: Doran Gaston

Sat, 01 Jul 2006 19:09:21 +0000

Texas governor Rick Perry's phrase "Adios, Mofo" seems to have become something of a catchphrase:

By: Kevin

Fri, 30 Jun 2006 21:56:15 +0000

MoFo is also the nickname of a respected law firm, Morrison & Foerster LLP. See

By: Dave

Fri, 30 Jun 2006 02:00:50 +0000

We actually did not change the feed. That is, the feed URL we published from the very beginning ( still works. It re-directs to the actual feed, which resides at We do have the same feed address as always. We never published the LibSyn address since we started doing the 'cast.

By: Chris from the Amateur Traveler podcast

Fri, 30 Jun 2006 00:04:55 +0000

I was lost in the move. I just realized I had not heard your show in weeks and found out you had changed the feed. You might try using feedburner so that you can have the same feed even if you move you podcast.

By: Rainer Kürvers

Tue, 27 Jun 2006 15:22:09 +0000

There are some standard German elisions: am = an dem beim = bei dem im = in dem If you choose not to use the contracted form you emphasise the article. Non-standard elision is e.g. the clipping of the word "es", as in "wie geht's" (how is it). You can use, but it is always spoken language (as don't). Confusing elision for non-natives in English: the pronounciation of the reputed four-syllable words "vegetables" and "comfortable".

By: Dave

Mon, 26 Jun 2006 21:08:54 +0000

Thanks for that comment, emach. When Howard and I prepared for this show, we considered exactly that type of hypercorrection, and we just didn't get around to mentioning it. The version of it that I remember from school was uttered when a kid had maybe two or three quizzes or exams on the same day, and he would say he had two "testes." Not realizing what he actually was saying, of course...

By: emach

Mon, 26 Jun 2006 20:40:52 +0000

This episode brought to mind something I remembered from a week I spent in Charlotte, NC for work quite a while ago (I'm from New England). I noticed several people had the habit of hypercorrecting plurals so that, for example, the word "lists" became "listses".

By: deb

Mon, 26 Jun 2006 17:09:22 +0000

I think pronouncing the word "ask" like "axe" counts as an would an elision. Oh! Gotta admit, but sometimes during casual conversation I'm guilty of slurring. btw, I've listened to plenty of editions but, can't recall any discussions of "word whiskers." Like, have you guys ever, like, discussed them?