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TomLaney1 June 10th, 2014 8:27am

PRONUNCIATION PTUESDAY: Let's go for a drive. What is the correct pronunciation of vehicle? (And wasn't the song "Vehicle" by the Ides of March just great?)

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RossDMands Miami Township, OH
06/12/14 4:29 pm

I just spent the last 10 minutes saying this word over and over again, to the point where the word sounds funny, all for the purpose of answering this question.

lightsabr2 The Big Sky
06/11/14 6:22 pm

Omg. In my dialect the H is pronounced. Neither is "right" or "wrong".

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Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/11/14 10:55 pm

Are you in Western Montana? If so, I would imagine our dialects are similar. I, too, am used to hearing the H.

lightsabr2 The Big Sky
06/11/14 11:00 pm

Stationed at Malmstrom in Great Falls. I'm from North Carolina.

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/11/14 11:02 pm

Curioso... So we should definitely NOT have similar dialects. Lol

lightsabr2 The Big Sky
06/11/14 11:05 pm

Well, MT is about the most southern state you can find outside of the south. I give them a pass.

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/11/14 11:19 pm

To us PNWers, "southern" can mean LOTS of things.

RumpleForeskin Western NY
06/11/14 5:55 am

I cant differentiate between the two, when I say them both they sound the same. Lol.

RumpleForeskin Western NY
06/11/14 5:56 am

Nvm I figured it out. Lol. Never heard it pronounced the first way. Lol

SFLiberal
06/10/14 9:17 am

The blue answer.

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DuckAndCower
06/10/14 6:58 am

A similar question with increased difficulty would be "often."

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 12:31 pm

I've asked that one, before I formalized this series, in a straight "preference" poll. I say OFFen - which do you say?

DuckAndCower
06/10/14 6:45 pm

Same as you. If I recall correctly, it was originally pronounced with the /t/ sound (the word was originally just "oft," but mutated to "often" to more closely match its antonym, "selden," which became "seldom").

DuckAndCower
06/10/14 6:47 pm

However, the /t/ was dropped during Early Modern English. It only started reappearing with the advent of widespread literacy, and has only become "acceptable" recently, since it's caught on with those attempting to sound educated.

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/11/14 11:00 pm

I love Tom's polls because I'm a language geek, even when I'm wrong. I have clearly memories of learning the word "often" and being taught the silent T. I'm sticking to that pronunciation, but I feel like I'm the only person I know who is. My

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/11/14 11:01 pm

queston for those who have developed a pronunciation with the T sound is why they don't do the same with "soften?"

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/11/14 11:22 pm

BB - I've actually heard soften with a /t/ here in TX. But not offen! :-D

Pretty sure there's a regional component to the "ofTen" thing. Just the way it spread around.

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/11/14 11:28 pm

"sofTen??!!"

Ugh.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/11/14 11:42 pm

Usually it's the same kind of people who ask you to "louden" the music.

I D I O T S !!!

usernamehere Raise a little hell
06/10/14 4:58 am

I got it right! I never say veehickul. Sounds weird.

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TierasPet
06/10/14 5:40 am

Nice. I got it right too.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 6:22 am

Well, gold stars for both of you! ✯✯
Thought this one would be tougher!

TierasPet
06/10/14 6:24 am

It is nice to get an easy one once in a while. :)

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 6:20 am

Gold star indeed! ✯
Gotta meet that dog!

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/10/14 1:38 am

You're up early/late! So I apparently got this one wrong. Given your explanation, shouldn't the adjective form be pronounced vee-IC-(y)u-ler? It seems universally pronounced vee-HIC-yu-ler.

Blunderbuss Dont blink.
06/10/14 1:49 am

Ok. I've done my research and accept that the pronounced h may be a local erroneous dialect. However, the sources are in agreement that the silent h belongs to the second, not first, syllable. So can I make up part of my failed grade with some

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 6:09 am

Your extra effort earns you a gold star! ✯

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 1:33 am

Another Gotcha Question! Although there's a big ol' H in this word, it's silent and belongs to the FIRST syllable, not the second. "Veh" is thus pronounced "vee" here. "VEE-ih-kul" is correct. Gotcha again, didn't I? :o)

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chickencookie Jihad Joe
06/10/14 4:18 am

I used to love that song. Still do. Got it right

musiman28 Cotton country
06/10/14 4:30 am

Yeah, you got me again. But I gotta say, I don't recall ever hearing it pronounced that way.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 6:11 am

Gold star, Grace! ✯ ❤️

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 6:13 am

MM - I guess we West Texans jist gotta learn t' tawlk raht. :-D

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 6:14 am

Bob - Gold star for you! ✯

jhug63 Arandelle
06/10/14 11:29 am

that's how I pronounce it (gold star yay) but what about vehicular manslaughter. is the h silent there too?

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 12:44 pm

I generally consuld three unabridged dictionary apps that I have on my iPod: Merriam-Webster's Third New International (the spelling bee standard), Oxford Dictionary of English (not the 17-volume OED, but a big, one-volume British unabridged), and

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 12:50 pm

my favorite, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition. I like it best because, like me and unlike Webster's, it's prescriptivist. The AHD says vee-HIC-you-ler. Uncharacteristically, the other two list NO pronunciation!

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
06/10/14 12:51 pm

So I'm happy with the AHD's version! :o)

musiman28 Cotton country
06/10/14 5:36 pm

Yeah, my wife always says I talk like a hick.