Posted by: thebylog | May 5, 2005

Correcting Pronunciation Misinterpretations

I didn’t say that we say words like “cool” with two syllables, I said we say them almost like they have two syllables. The difference, I believe, is in the concept of a diphthong (“a vowel sound that starts near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves toward the position for another”). For instance, if you say the monosyllabic word “right”, notice your jaw moves. After the initial “r” sound, you start with your mouth in the “ah” position but then transition to the “ee” position before ending the word with the “t.” You’re mouthing a diphthong. If you maintained the “ah” position for the whole vowel part of the word, it would come out “rot.” Same with “cool.” If you hold your jaw still and say the word you have, roughly, the Pennsylvanian pronunciation. But if you allow your jaw to move and say the diphthong (“oo” then “o”), you say it my way.



  1. Your way, yea, the right way.

    I don’t know By. Do you think rednecks will be able to understand something this complicated?!

  2. Again, Tom, you are confusing yankees with rednecks. Please stop.

    So, if ‘cool’ is 2 syllables, is ‘cooler’ 3? Is ‘rule’ 2 syllables? If so, is ‘ruler’ 3?

  3. I know at least one redneck who would consider it a gross insult to be confused with a yankee! =) FYI, most of them say “cool” like “coo”.


  4. I do too! Ha ha!

    See By, I told you your explanation was too complicated!

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