Monday, September 23, 2019

More "Is THAT How You Say?"

I reckon this is the eighth installment of this thread, in which admit to all the words I thought I knew how to pronounce, but then I listened to an audiobook reader (usually British), or the dialogue in a BBC teleseries, and came away with an entirely unguessed-at pronunciation. Some of these were simply scribbled in the notebook I keep in the center island of my car, and they seem to have been in there for quite some time, so I can't say exactly who put me onto these pronunciations, or when and in what piece of spoken-word or video entertainment.

Grimacing, making a face expressive of pain. I would have thought it went "GRIM-us-ing." But according to some Brit in an audio book, it can apparently be pronounced as "grim-ACE-ing."

Circulatory, as in the system that pumps blood around your body. I had always heard and said it as "SIR-cue-lə-tor-y," with a secondary accent on "tor." But I guess the Brits have it as "sir-cue-LAY-tə-ry," with the secondary accent on "sir" and with the schwa in the penultimate syllable apt to reduce to almost nothing.

Magister, a master. Experience has led me to think of this word as being pronounced "MAJ-iss-ter," but some fantasy novel that defined it a bit differently (some kind of wizard, I guess) had it, in the audiobook, as "mə-GISS-ter," with a hard G.

Geas, a magical binding. I learned this word from reading fantasy novels, and I seem to remember establishing my notion of how to pronounce it from a Diana Wynne Jones book that made wordplay between it and "geese." However, according to a recent consultation with an audiobook reading of a Charles Stross novel, it can also be pronounced "gesh."

Skeletally, down to the bare bones. American pronunciation: "SKEL-ə-tə-ly." British pronunciation, per the same Stross audiobook: "skə-LEE-tə-ly." Far out, eh?

Ensign, as in the lowest commissioned rank in the navy. American pronunciation: "EN-sən." British pronunciation, per the same Stross audiobook: "EN-sign," with a silent G. Huh.

Gaseous, as in the state of matter. My pronunciation: "GAS-i-us." But according to at least two characters in an episode of Doctor Who that I recently watched (The 10th Doctor – I'm just starting to watch this show after years of dragging my feet), it's "GAY-shəs." Which, in my opinion, is a gas.

BONUS FEATURE: How about these English idioms I didn't know existed until the other day, when I read The Portable Door by Tom Holt? I had to look up what they meant on the internet, just to be sure – though I accurately guessed a couple of them from context.

You don't know you're born – You don't know how lucky you are. (Apparently derived from the thought "You don't know how hard life was before you were born.")

It's up the pictures – It's broken. (I have no idea what this is derived from.)

Did it hell as like – NOT! Or, The hell you did! The British version actually reminds me of the expression, "The hell you say!"

Not my line of country – Not my area of expertise. I would have expected a word like "business" in place of "country."

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