British Pronunciation of iPod
Posted: 19 July 2008 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was just watching the first episode of the new series of Top Gear on BBC America (not sure when it aired in the UK, but the new season just started airing this past week here in Leftpondia).

On the show, presenter James May pronounced it / ə-pod /, with a schwa as the initial vowel sound. Later in the program (or should I say programme), Richard Hammond pronounced it as / I-pod / or / eye-pod /, which is the common pronunciation here in America.

Are both of these pronunciations standard in the UK? Or is this a peculiarity of James May?

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Posted: 19 July 2008 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve always heard eye-pod in this corner of the UK, but it may be a metropolitan thing.
Edit: Sorry “it” refers to the schwa pronounciation - too early on a Sunday morning.

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Posted: 19 July 2008 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Always eye-pod in my experience, I’ve never encountered the bizarre May pronunciation.

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Posted: 19 July 2008 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve always heard eye-pod here, too.  Probably just a May affectation.

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Posted: 20 July 2008 02:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Just one more reason for hating that programme. I know British television’s going through a flat patch, but surely they can find something better to export?

I did see the listings for BBC America at some point and thought that their choice of programming was bizarre. It’s possibly a conspiracy against excessive anglophilism.

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Posted: 20 July 2008 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I don’t know Mr. May --- perhaps the “schwa” sound is the effect of occasional flatulence?

Ed.: the urPod might simply be a burPod......

[ Edited: 20 July 2008 09:38 AM by lionello ]
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Posted: 20 July 2008 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Dave Wilton - 19 July 2008 03:39 PM

I was just watching the first episode of the new series of Top Gear on BBC America (not sure when it aired in the UK, but the new season just started airing this past week here in Leftpondia).

On the show, presenter James May pronounced it / ə-pod /, with a schwa as the initial vowel sound. Later in the program (or should I say programme), Richard Hammond pronounced it as / I-pod / or / eye-pod /, which is the common pronunciation here in America.

Are both of these pronunciations standard in the UK? Or is this a peculiarity of James May?

I find it bizarrely comforting someone else watched that and noticed the same thing.

--Jaylemurph

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Posted: 21 July 2008 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Jaylemurph, there’s no need to sign your posts and include a signoff quote; it’s not something we do in this forum, and it’s a little annoying.

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Posted: 22 July 2008 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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May’s Top Gear persona revels in being uncool and not down with the kids so it was a joke I think. Even his frantic co-presenters call him Captain Slow for his driving style. With petrol at 1pound 20 a litre his time has come.
It reminds me of the two old rockers in a bar in the movie Flashback looking at the jukebox and asking who the hell INKS (INXS) are.

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Posted: 22 July 2008 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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May’s Top Gear persona revels in being uncool and not down with the kids so it was a joke I think.

That makes sense. I think that may indeed be the real explanation.

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Posted: 22 July 2008 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I was going to say “especially since a schwa sound isn’t a very plausible error.” I can imagine someone who had never encountered the word before pronouncing it with a short i, but a schwa?

But OTOH, by the same reasoning, “uh-Pod” (əpod) doesn’t work as well as “ih-Pod” (ĭpod) as a deliberate mispronunciation for humorous effect, either.

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Posted: 22 July 2008 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Actually, / ih-Pod / or / ĭpod / is closer to the May’s pronunciation than the schwa. (Phonology isn’t my thing.)

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Posted: 22 July 2008 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I also noticed the bizarre pronunciation during that episode and figured it was purely for comedic effect.  I laughed at the time, so it worked on at least one person.

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Posted: 28 July 2008 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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NotThatGuy - 22 July 2008 09:32 AM

I also noticed the bizarre pronunciation during that episode and figured it was purely for comedic effect.  I laughed at the time, so it worked on at least one person.

I’m sure it was for comedy - I haven’t seen that particular show though I do like Top Gear and watch most of them, all the i- things (iphone, imac, ipod, iphoto, itunes etc.) are pronounced ‘eye’ in the UK

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