Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Marked Words

Today in the shower, I was bothered by the word "Wednesday". I don't pronounce it how it's spelled, and neither, AFAICT, do most people I know - my pronunciation is closer to "Whens-day", with the wh- sound halfway between a standard w and a full wh. I tried pronouncing it without the n as "Wedsday", and found trying to make that word unpleasant because it causes my nose to close. I wonder how many of the "sounds right" things in english are to avoid odd sensations while making words, or possibly to avoid some permutations of sounds that are almost impossible to properly make. By slowing down the word a bit and making sure to start with "Wed" and making the n its own syllable, I managed to pronounce it as written, and it actually doesn't sound that different from how most people pronounce it, although the rough transition between a d and a n-syllable would probably attract attention when used in normal speech - it sounds a bit like a hiccup.

Possibly interesting random info I partly dug up on dictionary.com's entry for Wednesday:

  • Mõnan dæg - Mon day - Mon tag
  • Tīwes dæg - Tues day - Diens tag
  • Wōdnes dæg - Wednes day - Mittwoch (no idea why German drops the scheme here)
  • Thunres dæg - Thurs day - Donners tag
  • Frīge dæg - Fri day - Frei tag
  • Saeternes dæg - Satur day - Samms tag
  • Sunnan dæg - Sun day - Sonn tag
I wonder if there are dialects of English that seriously try to pronounce it as written.. Anyhow, have a happy Wednesday.
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