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#113380 - 10/10/03 01:20 PM Our survey says...?
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Hi all

Jussy, as we called her, was a giant of a woman (at least to us little minnows in her class in college), and she had, to say the least, her idiosyncrasies. One of them was punctilious, but possibly old-fashioned, pronunciation. Some of her ways in this regard did influence me, and I'm wondering if anybody else uses these pronunciations, or feels guilty for not doing so.

The one in particular I'm interested in is the word trait which Jussy always pronounced 'tray'. I've noticed that in most dictionaries 'tray' and 'trate' are noted. But does anyone today use the silent 't' version any more?

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#113381 - 10/10/03 01:40 PM Re: Our survey says...?
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
AHD4 says it's from Old French into ME.
http://www.bartleby.com/61/4/T0310400.html

I'm no expert on OFr pronunciation (although I have some CDs that may have some singing in that language) but I suspect that a silent t on the end is a modern affectation. But even if it was silent in OFr I see no reason to keep it so in MnE, given its cleansing period in ME.


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#113382 - 10/10/03 04:54 PM Re: Our survey says...?
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Hi, Sweetheart; I have never heard any person who was speaking English pronounce it tray. Though I can see where someone who is a native French speaker might. But I don't think it's correct to drop the T sound in English, because from what I have found, both languages got the word via Latin. Witness: Gurunet-- [Middle English, shot, from Old French, something drawn, shot, from Latin tractus, a drawing out, line. From the Dictionnaire Universel Francophone-- II. 1. Action de tirer, de tracter. Cheval, bÍte de trait. In my own mind, these do not constitute proof, but I still think I'm right. (!)


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#113383 - 10/11/03 04:03 AM Re: Our survey says...?
sjmaxq Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
I always say tray, as that pronunciation was taught me by my late and much-lamented maternal grandmother, of sainted memory. She also taught me the difference between "can I" and "may I", and lectured me on the poor quality of The Stones' later albums when measured against their earlier works. The "tray" thing started as an affectation, and became a totally unaffected habit, that also reminds me of my Nana every time I use it.

_________________________
noho ora mai
http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

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#113384 - 10/11/03 08:36 AM Re: Can I?
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
In my youth I and my mates were lectured aplenty about the difference between may and can by parents and teachers, none of whom practiced what they preached. The only time anyone in my hearing used it properly was in the game Mother, May I.


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#113385 - 10/11/03 08:41 AM Re: Can I?
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
since I teach middle school, I get to play that game all the time. my response to "can I go to the bathroom?" is usually, "I hope so, otherwise you're going to get very large and explode. and that won't be pretty." kids just love this stuff...

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#113386 - 10/11/03 09:24 AM Re: Can I?
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
And do you listen to yourself when you use it your own self?


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#113387 - 10/11/03 09:36 AM Re: Can I?
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
listen to yourself

actually, yes. when I can...

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#113388 - 10/11/03 09:41 AM Re: Can I?
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
There'd never be a situation where you'd say, "May you ...", would there?


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#113389 - 10/11/03 09:56 AM Re: May you?
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10522
Loc: this too shall pass
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
-Robert Heinlein

May you live in interesting times.
-a curse


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#113390 - 10/11/03 10:00 AM Re: Can I?
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
The silent 't' from French is observed when we refer in the States to 'cafe au lait.' I've never heard anyone refer to it as 'cafe au LATE.' There are probably other examples, too--Yoplait yogurt? I've never heard anyone say "YoPLATE" yogurt.

But trait = TRAYT? Never heard that one.


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#113391 - 10/11/03 10:07 AM Re: May you?
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
What's that called, tsuwm, a subjunctive imperative?

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#113392 - 10/11/03 10:08 AM Re: May you?
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
may be.

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#113393 - 10/11/03 11:59 AM Re: May you?
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
a subjunctive imperative?

The term in Latin grammar is hortatory subjunctive.


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#113394 - 10/11/03 04:51 PM Which tray?
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Max says he got that tray from his Nana. Is it embossed, silver, jappaned, hand carved? Is it dainty or can you carry tea service for six on it? Could it be an antique Coca-Cola tray?


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#113395 - 10/12/03 09:04 PM Re: Can I?
doc_comfort Offline
addict

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 618
Loc: Australia
Psychologists and Psychiatrists, at least up here, insist on pronouncing it 'tray'. Unfortunately, this means I now pronounce it as such when referring to (usually DSM criteria for personality) features of a patient, more often in the plural 'trays'.

I'm pretty sure I still use 'trates' the rest of the time.


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