How do you pronounce the word "nephew"?
How do you pronounce the word "often"?
My interest in this was sparked after a conversation with my fellow colleagues. I was shocked to hear that the word "nephew" should supposedly be pronounced as neh-view as opposed to the more frequently used neh-few. Never in my life have I heard this word being pronounced as such. Of course, I was curious to confirm this; with the Internet as my primary learning source, I set off to seek the truth...
And the truth I did not find...
Firstly, my primary pronunciation source - Cambridge Dictionaries Online - lists BOTH pronunciations! So, neh-few is still correct...
Then I consulted Google. The first page of the search results returns some interesting results. howjsay.com pronounces it as neh-few. Hmm...
However, the most detailed source came from Wikipedia (where else?), appearing under the article "List of words of disputed pronunciation". Interesting. Neh-view is the "original... pronunciation... used by a minority of speakers, especially of British English". Neh-few is "a spelling pronunciation, and is much more common nowadays". So, it can't be wrong if it is commonly used, can it? ^,^
This interesting article also describes the situation. Towards the end of the article, the author says that neh-few is the preferred pronunciation (especially by the younger generation) and that neh-view "is due to disappear entirely before very long".
So, can I conclude that neh-few is hip and neh-view is old school? ^_~
What about "often"? According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, of-ten is the British pronunciation and of-fen is American. (This word is also listed in the Wikipedia article). I remember pronouncing it as of-fen when I was young. I have no idea as to when I started using of-ten more often than of-fen (pun intended) ^,^
English. *shakes head*
22 November 07
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