For some strange reason, the past few weeks, the topic seems to be a constant source of commentary both from myself as well as my colleagues, friends, and hubby..so, I thought it worth comment on my blog. I know we're all aware of tomato/tomahto, but there are a few that keep cropping up that I don't remember hearing until I moved to London...
- Ate....as in the past tense of 'eat'. Americans pronounce it like the number 'eight.' Simon pronounces it 'et'...until quite literally a few hours ago, I thought this was the spelling of the word-and a new ***'British verb tense', but just learned that he is indeed saying the word 'ate.'
- Rioja...Americans pronounce this 'Ree-o-ha.' I presume this is due to the Mexican/Spanish pronunciation influence on us-ie 'j' is pronounced like 'h'. Brits pronounce it 'Ree-ock-uh', which I think is a more Catalan/Spanish influence, as there's slightly more back of the throat sound on the letter 'j' from the Catalans. Regardless, it's like nails on a chalkboard to me.
- Tortoise...as in a turtle-like animal. We pronounce this as 'tor-tuss'. Brits say, 'tor-toy-ss'...which, given the spelling, makes perfect sense. Plus, it just sounds really lovely to the ears.
- Herbs..This one is probably a commonly known difference. Americans say 'erbs'. Brits pronounce the 'h'...sounds a bit funny, but let me ask you this: how do you say 'Herb' or 'Herbie' if in the context of a person's name?....I think the Brits get a point on this one.
- Urinal...Ok. It's not like I utter this word daily, but I still remember the first time I heard Simon say this word-I actually had to stop and figure out what he was saying! We pronounce this word, 'your-uh-nal'. Brits say, 'your-I-nal.' Cause for pause, no?
- Oriented..this one isn't technically a grammar issue. This is strictly a mis-pronunciation, that Simon called to my attention last year as one of his pet peeves, and it's since become mine.. Oriented to (most) Brits is said as 'oreintATed'...sigh.