Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#203904 - 12/25/11 07:18 PM Often
carmita9 Offline
stranger

Registered: 12/25/11
Posts: 1
For years and years, I haven't been able to find the complete, accurate answer. /often/ or /ofen/. Which is the right way to pronounce it?
Please don't tell me it depends on the area where English is spoken. Are there any specific rules available?
Thank you in advance, and Merry Christmas to all at Wordsmisth.

carmita9 (Spain) confused smile

Top
#203906 - 12/25/11 11:08 PM Re: Often [Re: carmita9]
tsuwm Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
it depends on the area.. no, I won't say it.

Top
#203907 - 12/25/11 11:19 PM Re: Often [Re: carmita9]
Faldage Online   sleepy
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13802
It's not as simple as just where English is spoken. It can vary from speaker to speaker in the same area. You can go either way and someone will be irritated, but that's their problem, not yours.

Top
#203909 - 12/26/11 11:24 PM Re: Often [Re: carmita9]
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Hi, carmita, and welcome. I'm afraid that both pronunciations are considered correct; but you can hear for yourself here. Click on any or all of the dictionaries listed.

Top
#203914 - 12/28/11 09:35 AM Re: Often [Re: carmita9]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
The silent 't' was the prescribed pronunciation back a generation or two, but now many pronounce the 't'. (I have even been corrected by people, when I don't pronounce the 't', which is what I learned in school. As others have said, both pronunciations are considered correct, at least in US English.

There are other words, where English silly spelling system has influenced pronunciation. When Middle English speakers borrowed parfit from the Normans, it was pretty much pronounced as spelled. Then the spelling changed to reflect its Latin etymology, perfect, but still pronounced parfit. Before you knew it, it was being pronounced /'pErfEkt/.

Even Spanish has some differences in pronunciation (that have changed over the years and are partially regional, url=v]link[/url]). (Although its orthography it much better than English.)
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

Top
#203916 - 12/28/11 02:23 PM Re: Often [Re: zmjezhd]
Faldage Online   sleepy
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13802
Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
[url=v]link[/url]).


Oops.

Meanwhile, I'm patiently waiting for someone to pronounce the S in island.

Top
#203952 - 12/31/11 12:53 AM Re: Often [Re: Faldage]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
you'll be waiting forever Faldo
no-ones going to take that on, its too difficult!

Top
#203958 - 12/31/11 07:25 AM Re: Often [Re: carmita9]
Faldage Online   sleepy
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13802
If you leave the S unvoiced it's just like Iceland. Not particularly difficult on this side of the equator. Voicing the S doesn't add to much to the difficulty. I guess the fact that we don't pronounce the S in isle helps us not pronounce it in island. Still, it's a solecism. Five hundred years of misspelling it doesn't make that spelling correct.

Top
#203960 - 12/31/11 07:40 AM Re: Often [Re: Faldage]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
Its not just misspelling...some letters are obsolete like in esophagus or oesophagus..but some of us (me) like the original spelling!

Top
#203966 - 12/31/11 12:01 PM Re: Often [Re: Candy]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
.. and just to add my bit to the confusion, the C19 UK received pronunciation of 'often' was "orfen". W.S.Gilbert used it to comic effect in The Pirates of Penzance
This pronunciation persisted amongst upper-class speakers in the UK right in to the 1960s.
_________________________
I'm immortal until proven otherwise

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8717 Members
16 Forums
13802 Topics
214480 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
Laban, birdie, mepallav, discopig, Byz
8717 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 28 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
Bazr 112
LukeJavan8 88
endymion6 86
wofahulicodoc 84
jenny jenny 62
A C Bowden 33
Tromboniator 8
Faldage 6
olly 3
zmjezhd 2
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13802
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10513
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
AnnaStrophic 6511
LukeJavan8 6308
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith