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Thread: "a" and "an"

  1. #11
    K in Michigan
    Guest

    Dictionary


    "Anything given or done to show reverence, honor, etc."

    So the use "an homage" would be appropriate, seems to me.



  2. #12
    Nora Christie
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    I have to disagree with all of you because my common sense of pronounciation tells me the word is pronounced with a faint "h" sound, like homily or hominy. Not like an omlet.

    I grew up in Oklahoma where we do have a twang but have lived away from there for many years.

    And "an homage" just plain sounds funny to me, I don't care what the Noo Yawker says!

    Unredeemable Nora

  3. #13
    K in Michigan
    Guest

    Oh, I forgot



    The original question was pronounciation...
    my dictionary has the non-silent H version first, but both are listed.

    I've heard the silent H version pronounced a la Francais, rhyming with fromage.

  4. #14
    Ed Potter
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    Common sense leads us astray with words taken from other languages. Mispronunciation of the word 'homage,' taken from the French, has led to the eventual acceptance of both of the pronunciations being talked about here. I suppose it's your prerogative which you use.
    Another word that gets regionally mangled (and is also from the French) is 'suite.' A radio announcer that I know recorded dozens of commercials for southern furniture stores. He knew the correct pronunciation, and would read lines such as, "A four piece bedroom 'sweet' for only..." For every single commercial he did for a southern market, they demanded he mispronounce the word as 'suit.' Incorrect or not, the folks with the money knew that a large portion of the audience didn't know how to pronounce 'suite.'

  5. #15
    Marlys Pearson
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    Ouch, Ed. Regional mangling? The OED, which is not put out by American Southerners, gives only the H pronunciation for homage. According to their etymology, "homage" has been in the English language for over 700 years, giving it plenty of time to have acquired an English instead of French pronunciation. I suspect it's Americans, wrongly suspecting the word to be a recent French import, who have been dropping the H.

    "Suit" would sound funny to me (I'm a Northerner myself), but I do try to accept that regional differences aren't necessarily "wrong."

  6. #16
    Ed Potter
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    I didn't say which region was responsible for mangling "homage," did I? ;-) Since both versions are now acceptable, it's potato potato. (Doesn't make sense unless you say it out loud, does it?) Words get mangled, used in their mangled form a lot, and eventually the new form is accepted or one wins out. Look at harass. We've got "her ass" and "hair ess" to choose from. When I was a kid, a lot people who dug holes, put things in them, and covered them up talked about having to "brrrr-y" things, now we only "berry" them.
    As for our original word, homage, I'd bet it was pronounced with the silent H when it was first adopted from the French, as it grew into a fine, strapping English word the H became accepted and the silence was pushed back across the channel. As you suggest, the resurfaced silence at the beginning is probably the result of a bunch of high-school and college French students throwing it around long enough that Webster and the rest threw up their hands and said, "enough is 'nuff!"
    Regional differences aren't wrong, but they aren't necessarily accademically accepted (or accepted for publication in things as hallowed as the Nude Yarker). Sometimes that changes, sometimes it don't. c'est la life, right?

  7. #17
    Marlys Pearson
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    I'm a Northerner married to a Southerner living in the Midwest, so I've been beaten into a certain linguistic tolerance by life itself

    It's true that not all differences are considered equal, but it's worth thinking about who gets to set the standards...

  8. #18
    Dejah Britton
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    I gotta say...I'm from the south and yes, in reference to 'suite'--when used to refer to a set of say, bedroom furniture, we say 'suit'. But if we're talking about a room at a swank hotel...its 'sweet'. So I guess it just depends on what you're using the word for.

    Dejah

  9. #19
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    I'll bet most of you pronounce "forte" in two syllables with an "ay" at the end, too. But the first pronunciation is one syllable "fort." Just goes to show you the language isn't hard edged enough to be one size fits all.

  10. #20
    Dejah
    Guest

    Re: Dictionary

    I'm sorry, I can't imagine saying 'forte' without the 'ay' at the end...I mean using it that way is just not my 'fort-ay'...LOL

    Dejah

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