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1. CONtroversy or 2. conTROversy ?
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:27
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Dec 31, 2002

Am I right in assuming (like Merriam-Webster) that No 1 is American English and No 2 is British English.



My Swedish Norstedts stays neutral like Oxford-Duden, Concise Oxford doesn\'t say.

[ This Message was edited by:on2002-12-31 22:09]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:27
German to English
Absolutely Mats Dec 31, 2002

I can tell you that CON troversy is definitely the preferred US English pronunciation and it would sound highly peculiar any other way on this side of the pond. I have heard many British brothers and sisters stress the second syllable, but I wouldn\'t be able to confirm that this is a universal rule for BE.

It\'s dangerous to make flat generalizations about pronunciation. Why, just last night I was watching a James Bond movie and was shocked, shocked I tell you to hear Sean Connery say he didn\'t have the missing acuator \"eether.\" And I had thought no Brit ever pronounced it other than \"ayther.\"

But my Concise Oxford Dictionary actually lists CONtroversy first and conTROversy second.



Happy New Year, Mats

Kim

[ This Message was edited by:on2002-12-31 23:02]


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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:27
English to French
+ ...
Happy new year! Dec 31, 2002

This is a much too controversial subject for me!

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Brits often get it wrong Dec 31, 2002

It should be CONtroversy in both forms of English, but is is so often pronounced conTROversy on this side of the pond these days that most people accept it.



This is the second STRESSful subject today, the other was about APPlicable vs. apPLICable.



Another matter which diSTRESSes me is the way Russian names are nearly always stressed on the first syllable in English, regardless of the real stress. The BBC has a pronunciation unit which is supposed to make sure they get these things right, but they also speak of GORBachev instead of GorbaCHOV, for example.



Oh well, that\'s enough stress for one night, especially for New Year\'s Eve. I intend to relax from now on.


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A Hayes
Australia
Local time: 03:27
Received Pronunciation Jan 1, 2003

The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary says:



CONTrovery--Among RP speakers the CONTR- form probably still predominates; but in BrE in general the -TROV- form is now clearly more widespread. BrE poll panel preference: 44% the former, 56% the latter. In AmE CONTR-is the only possibility.



In England and Wales, RP is widely regarded as a model for correct pronunciation, particularly for educated formal speech. It is what is used by BBC news readers (hence the alternative BBC pronunciation). It is the usual standard in teaching English as a foreign language, in all countries where the model is BrE rather than AmE.



LDP. J C Wells 1996



this is my first posting of the year. it\'s midday here. the fireworks at the harbour bridge last night were spectacular. at the end of the display, a huge peace dove was lit up on the bridge; very significant.


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Noel Castelino
Local time: 19:27
French to English
For what it's worth... Jan 1, 2003

...they always say conTROVersy on the BBC.

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Noel Castelino
Local time: 19:27
French to English
I feel most diSTRESSED Jan 1, 2003

when people say REsearch instead of reSEARCH and REsearchers instead of reSEARCH workers.)

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:27
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to you all + RP Jan 1, 2003

For us who did not know:




RP = abbr. for \'received pronunciation\' (Concise Oxford)




received pronunciation = (abbr. RP) accepted/established/recognized pronunciation of British English (Norstedts Skribent)



Sorry for causing all this stress

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-01 14:21]


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:27
German to English
+ ...
RP Jan 1, 2003

Just a note on RP, Matts. This may be the accepted pronunciation of English, but I\'d like to point out that it is officially spoken by less than 3% of the population, including the Queen, so is not as widespread as you might think.

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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 03:27
German to English
+ ...
Change in language is natural Jan 1, 2003

I remember being told in an English Language class at uni that you could either take the prescriptive approach or accept that words (in terms of meaning and pronunciation) have always undergone change and continue to do so. Remember also that most of us owe our existence to the fact that languages have changed as a result of population movement etc.; think of the change in the languages originating in North Germany /Denmark and the one originally spoken in Italy!



Rushing to dictionaries to find out the correct stress as armour for telling someone they are \"wrong\" is pointless. I think we all go through life picking on each other enough without criticising how we speak. I myself get iritated at the incorrect pronunciation of foreign words here in Australia but if I weren\'t a linguist I would not know the difference and would be a less stressed person!



I recommend that we all bear in mind the lyrics of the old song , \"Let\'s call the whole thing off!\"


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:27
Member (2004)
Italian to English
The linguistically illiterate English Dec 15, 2009

There is a natural tendency for the British not to stress the first syllable.
In a 1970s television situation comedy entitled Some Mothers Do Hav'em, the actor Michael Crawford used the words haRASS and haRASSment to make fun of his character's stupidity. Unfortunately, the joke was not generally understood and this has become almost the standard pronunciation.

It gets worse. The respected political TV journalist Andrew Marr has just presented a series called The Making of Modern Britain. His English is usually impeccable but he continually used the words aRISTocrat and aRISTocratic, which to my ear made the whole thing sound like a comedy.


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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:27
English to German
tongue twister Dec 16, 2009

Russell Jones wrote:

It gets worse. The respected political TV journalist Andrew Marr has just presented a series called The Making of Modern Britain. His English is usually impeccable but he continually used the words aRISTocrat and aRISTocratic, which to my ear made the whole thing sound like a comedy.


I don't see a problem with aRISTocrat but am totally unable to reproduce aRISTocratic even though I've said it loud a few times now. I just can't manage to fit all the other syllables. aristoCRAtic is so much easier on the vocal cords/lips/tongue, not to forget the ears.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:27
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Depends Dec 16, 2009

Rebekka Groß wrote:

aristoCRAtic is so much easier on the vocal cords/lips/tongue, not to forget the ears.


Hi Rebekka

My versions are ARistocrat and ARistocrAtic.


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nevipaul
Local time: 20:27
Greek to English
Andrew Marr Dec 18, 2009

"His English is usually impeccable"

Though I almost choked on my morning coffee the other day when I heard him pronounce biopic to rhyme with myopic...


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david young  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:27
Member (2009)
French to English
there was a sketch Dec 18, 2009

some years ago on a British TV comedy show (might have been Monty Python) where the guests on a program called Controversy came to blows over the pronunciation of the program's name.

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