81

TL;DR Your friend is incorrect. It's not *tpelf with p, but tƿelf with ƿ—Wynn—which was the Old English (OE) letter to represent the phoneme /w/. So twelve was tƿelf 1. Twenty was tƿēntiȝ 2. Two was tƿā 3. Historical prelude to W The letter that looks like a P is actually: Ƿ (ƿ) It's called Wynn which was a runic letter in Old English alphabet for the ...


70

TLDR The pronunciation of 'iron' in standard varieties of English is EYE-URN (BrE: /'aɪən/, AmE: /'aɪrn/) and not EYE-RUN (which is also a common pronunciation of 'iron' in some varieties of English) because of a very common process called Metathesis. It's defined as the transposition/rearrangement of letters, syllables or phonemes (sounds) in a word. ...


57

𝑇𝐿;𝐷𝑅 The W in 'two' and 'sword' is silent because of a sound change that took place somewhere between Old & Middle English. The change applied to words in which the W was preceded by [s, t] and followed by a back vowel [ɒ ɔ o ɑ u] etc. 'Swore' and 'sworn' also lost their W's at one point, but were later on restored by analogy with swear. 𝐸𝑥𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛...


28

There isn't a relatively simple explanation, I'm afraid. As you've pointed out, there are more exceptions-to-rules than than there are rules; however, there are some general guidelines that might help you: before double consonants before double consonants, 'i' is usually short regardless of its position in a word: as in bitten, hidden, miffed, bigger, piggy,...


25

Assumption is directly derived from Latin assumptionem which does have a P, so it also has a P. Assume on the other hand is derived from Latin assumere, which didn't have a P. Other similar examples include presume/presumption and consume/consumption Edit* Articulatory reasons for the P The epenthetic P is probably inserted for articulatory reasons. ...


25

TL;DR The reason why the ⟨th⟩ in posthumous is pronounced /t͡ʃ/ (ch) is the coalescence/assimilation1 of the t and the following u. Explanation 'Posthumous' is made up of the prefix post- and humous. Post ends in a /t/ and the ⟨h⟩ in humous is silent so it starts with a u which is basically /juː/ (the same as the u in 'cue'). We could say that humous starts ...


21

𝑇𝐿;𝐷𝑅 'Lose' came from Old English (OE) word losian while 'loose' was taken from Old Norse around the thirteenth century. There was a process in OE through which s, f and th became voiced respectively to [z], [v] and [ð] when they occurred between voiced sounds i.e. between two vowels or a vowel and anther voiced sound. There was no phonemic contrast of ...


17

Void's answer give the immediate explanation: English does it because Latin does it. Edit - and now also explains the phonetic reason. But there is a more general answer behind this. It's a phenomenon called epenthesis (not a very good article, but it gives the idea): where a sound comes to be inserted between two other sounds, just because it starts ...


17

As explained in DailyWritingTips: Front and Back For some perverse reason, a few common compounds that include front, and their back correspondents, are treated differently: “front door,” backdoor (but only as an adjective); “front seat,” backseat; “front yard,” backyard. How could this have happened? Perhaps it’s the ubiquity of other closed compounds ...


15

In some regional accents it is /aɪrən/, but this is rare enough in most regions that people may never have come across it and will consider it an error, so learners aren't advised to pronounce it that way. In the 15th century, spelling variants included "irn". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the standard pronunciation shows "loss ...


12

'Post' is a common prefix in English, from the Latin for 'last' which to us essentially means 'after'. The English 'posthumous' literally means after burial. For the full etymology of the word from Latin, see this reference. Some words that use this prefix are not compound words but hyphenated, for example, 'post-mortem' (an examination after one's death). ...


11

Collins considers "back yard" as two words permissible in British English. Of course, in British English the standard term is usually "back garden" (always two words), but "yard" might be used if the area was paved (as Collins indicates). "Back yard" is also used metaphorically, which "back garden" rarely is.


11

There isn't a hard-and-fast rule to determine which negating prefix to use; however, there's a very loose ‘guideline’1 that sometimes works: un- is usually prepended (attached) to Germanic words in- (or il-, im-, ir-)2 is usually, although not necessarily, prepended to Latin words Reproducible is derived from reproduce which is in turn derived from Latin ...


10

"Loose" has probably always been pronounced with [s] - the Norse word that it was borrowed from is spelt with double "s". "Lose" has been pronounced with [z] at least since Old English. (Between vowels, OE "s" was pronounced [z]. I use square brackets here because the s/z distinction in OE wasn't phonemically ...


7

Sure ay and ah are reasonable ways to express /ei/ and /a:/ informally. Splitting into syllables helps signal that these are phonetic spellings. But note that while there is a difference in British and American pronunciation of Tomato (Brits say to-mah-to, Yanks say to-may-to) The same is not true of "potato". Brits and Yanks both say "Po-...


7

In English you say "per mile" or "per second" or "per dollar" or "per person" or ... The phrase tells you to divide. I have never seen "perAnything" other than "percent". That does mean "divide by 100". So "35 percent" is an everyday way to say "35/100" or "0.35&...


6

𝑇𝐿;𝐷𝑅 'Wind' (n) and 'wind' (v) had the same vowel in Old English. Both had a short vowel /i/ which was lengthened in Late OE due to a sound change triggered by consonant clusters such as /nd, ld, mb, rd/ etc. The vowel in 'wind' (n) got shortened in the seventeenth century for some reasons. The short and long vowels in 'child' and 'children' can also be ...


5

Every language has a fixed set of rules called 'Phonotactic rules' that govern the licit and illicit sequences of sounds in syllables. A sequence of sounds that is allowed in one language may not be allowed in another language, for instance, the cluster /pn-/ is phonotactically well-formed in Greek, but ill-formed in English, that's why the /p/ in pneumonia ...


4

Two thoughts: "For" would look the same as the preposition "for", so would potentially be a little confusing in a way that "forty" isn't. Some speakers apparently say "four" differently from the "for-" of "forty". The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary by J. C. Wells gives only /fɔ:/ for British ...


4

It's because acquire is formed by prepending the prefix ad- to Latin quaerere. Then later on, it anglicised to acquire. So why the d changed to c? It's because of a very common phenomenon called Assimilation. The last consonant of certain prefixes tends to have the same place of articulation as the the first consonant of the root words. For example, the ...


3

Regarding "know," you will notice certain patterns in English pronunciation that allow you to make a good guess at a word's pronunciation even if you've never encountered the word before. For example, I think the combination kn- at the beginning of a word is always pronounced as "n-" (silent K) in English words. Examples: know, knew, ...


3

I would suggest first looking this up in any dictionary. You'll most often get no results——that is, 0 results found in your search. As shown here. You can also use WordReference to show you conjugated forms. According to usage examples in the OED, glowed is the past participle of glow. Glown is indicated as a form, but a rare form, and not cited in any of ...


3

The short, perhaps jokey, but absolutely true and definitely the best answer is 'just because'. Some people refer to English spelling as a pseudo-historical and anti-educational abomination, while some describe it as the world’s most awesome mess. There are reasons and causes for this. Also as I often say 'there are more exceptions to rules than there are ...


3

Interestingly, forty is spelt differently from four and fourteen. There are good phonological explanations for this quirk. IIRC, at the close of the middle English period, forty had a diphthong [ou] which in Early Modern English merged with [o:]. [o:] was developed from middle English [ɔ:]. At that time, forty had two syllables due to which [o:] was ...


3

Every syllable has one vowel This is an overgeneralization and is misleading. This may be true in some languages, but not in English. In English, a syllable can be composed of a diphtong, which is a unit that is a combination two vowels. A long vowel may also be considered as a instance of two vowels. An English syllable also doesn't always have a vowel ...


3

There are no hard and fast rules for the pronunciation of -ate endings that I'm aware of, but here's a general rule of thumb that you can stick to: Monosyllables that end in -ate are almost always pronounced /-eɪt/, for example, mate, fate, rate, sate, date, gate, hate, late etc. Disyllabic and polysyllabic words: Verbs ending in -ate are usually pronounced ...


3

They are different words spelled differently with different meanings. Hence they are pronounced differently.


3

"Demonopoloize" is the standard spelling. If you feel this is hard to read, because it seems to be "demon-opolize" you are free to use a hyphen to clarify the splitting: "de-monopolize". If you use a style guide, you can check to see which form it prefers, otherwise use what you prefer and be consistent. A similar example is &...


3

If there is such a thing as “Web English”, it’s definitely not what you are describing. The entities in a computer language are not English. They may look like English words to make it easier for people to remember them, but they are syntactically distinct. The background-color entity is no different than declspec or __init__. The only valid spelling of ...


3

Unreproducible or not reproducible. Note the corrected spelling.


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