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Often #203904
12/26/11 12:18 AM
12/26/11 12:18 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 1
C
carmita9 Offline OP
stranger
carmita9  Offline OP
stranger
C
Joined: Dec 2011
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

Re: Often [Re: carmita9] #203906
12/26/11 04:08 AM
12/26/11 04:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
tsuwm Offline
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tsuwm  Offline
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this too shall pass
it depends on the area.. no, I won't say it.

Re: Often [Re: carmita9] #203907
12/26/11 04:19 AM
12/26/11 04:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
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Faldage  Offline
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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.

Re: Often [Re: carmita9] #203909
12/27/11 04:24 AM
12/27/11 04:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie Offline
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Jackie  Offline
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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.

Re: Often [Re: carmita9] #203914
12/28/11 02:35 PM
12/28/11 02:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
R'lyeh
zmjezhd Offline
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zmjezhd  Offline
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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.
Re: Often [Re: zmjezhd] #203916
12/28/11 07:23 PM
12/28/11 07:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
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Faldage  Offline
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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
[url=v]link[/url]).


Oops.

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

Re: Often [Re: Faldage] #203952
12/31/11 05:53 AM
12/31/11 05:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,706
down under
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah
Candy  Offline
Pooh-Bah
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,706
down under
you'll be waiting forever Faldo
no-ones going to take that on, its too difficult!

Re: Often [Re: carmita9] #203958
12/31/11 12:25 PM
12/31/11 12:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
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Faldage  Offline
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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.

Re: Often [Re: Faldage] #203960
12/31/11 12:40 PM
12/31/11 12:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,706
down under
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah
Candy  Offline
Pooh-Bah
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,706
down under
Its not just misspelling...some letters are obsolete like in esophagus or oesophagus..but some of us (me) like the original spelling!

Re: Often [Re: Candy] #203966
12/31/11 05:01 PM
12/31/11 05:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,075
Lancaster, UK
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand
Rhubarb Commando  Offline
old hand
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,075
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
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