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#113380 - 10/10/03 05:20 PM Our survey says...?  
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shanks Offline
old hand
shanks  Offline
old hand

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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


#113381 - 10/10/03 05:40 PM Re: Our survey says...?  
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Faldage Offline
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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.


#113382 - 10/10/03 08:54 PM Re: Our survey says...?  
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Jackie Offline
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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. (!)


#113383 - 10/11/03 08:03 AM Re: Our survey says...?  
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sjmaxq Offline
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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.


#113384 - 10/11/03 12:36 PM Re: Can I?  
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Faldage Offline
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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.


#113385 - 10/11/03 12:41 PM Re: Can I?  
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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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...
#113386 - 10/11/03 01:24 PM Re: Can I?  
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Faldage Offline
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Faldage  Offline
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And do you listen to yourself when you use it your own self?


#113387 - 10/11/03 01:36 PM Re: Can I?  
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
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listen to yourself

actually, yes. when I can...



formerly known as etaoin...
#113388 - 10/11/03 01:41 PM Re: Can I?  
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Jackie Offline
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There'd never be a situation where you'd say, "May you ...", would there?


#113389 - 10/11/03 01:56 PM Re: May you?  
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tsuwm Offline
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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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