real zeal
Posted: 11 December 2011 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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You’ve probably seen this little poem highlighting the irregularities of English pronunciation.

http://www.docflash.com/say_this.txt

It includes the “real zeal” pair. Its presence suggests that the two are not a perfect rhyme. They are perfect rhyme in my dialect.

How about yours? In what places are these words pronounced not to rhyme?

EDIT: on a side note, I didn’t realise that victual was pronounced vittle before, though the dictionaries confirm it. I though victual was pronounced VIK tyoo uhl, and I assumed there was some separate word vittle that was a corruption of it.

[ Edited: 11 December 2011 08:22 PM by OP Tipping ]
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Posted: 12 December 2011 04:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Real and zeal are perfect rhymes for me too. My accent and pronunciation is the sort of Scots accent that other Scots tend to think sounds English (if that makes any sense).

The spelling in the poem (mould, plough) suggests a Rightpondian origin.

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Posted: 12 December 2011 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Maybe it’s good to know that the author, Charivarius (Gerard Nolst Trenité), was a Dutchman who lived from 1870-1947. He was a linguist and a school teacher. This poem, The Chaos, he wrote in 1922. It was written to illustrate the inconsistencies (from a Dutch point of view) in English spelling to his Dutch pupils.

I dare assume that he started from the early 20th century version of “the King’s English” as a basis.

We discussed this a few times before. There are other unexpected (non)rhyming pairs in there as well.

[ Edited: 12 December 2011 05:01 AM by Dutchtoo ]
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Posted: 12 December 2011 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gerard’s mention of billet and ballet reminds me that from watching cooking shows Americans give fillet the French pronunciation but British rhyme it with billet.
I assumed St Louis and Joe Louis were said a la French until I heard them, though Louis Armstrong is. This may be due to his Louisiana (not lewisiana) roots and French being spoken there in some part. Baton Rouge is given the French. Brits often anglicise the pronunciation of French words - Renee as reeny, the town Bealieu bewly. The footballer Thierry Henry is nowadays accorded proper pronunciation.

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Posted: 12 December 2011 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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In the matter of the Anglicisation and Scotticisation of the spelling and pronunciation of French words: I had a Scottish flatmate once who would speak of cooking a jigget (that’s phonetic; I don’t know how she would have written it) of lamb and serving it up on an ashet.

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Posted: 13 December 2011 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Gigot is spelled in the French manner but pronounced as SL indicates. A gigot chop is a slice through a leg of lamb, approximately circular with a small round slice of bone in the middle. I’ve seen these labelled as ‘leg steaks’ in supermarkets, which tend to use standard labelling throughout the UK. (English and Scottish butchers cut up animals in slightly different ways and use different terminology for otherwise identical cuts.)

Ashet is spelled as you would expect. It’s not just any old assiette though - it refers specifically to the large oval plates used for serving meat, probably a ‘meat platter’ south of the border. It’s also used as the name for the enamelled steel dish used for making meat pies (the kind that only have pastry on top), the pie itself being called an ‘ashet pie’, but I think this may be a specifically Glasgow usage.

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