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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:23 AM
Original message
Poll question: Another Grammar Question: Pronunciation
How do you pronounce "Herb" (As in a Seasoning)


I pronounce it as it's spelled... Herb (My Parents are English)
Most Americans say Erb.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. I was taught to pronounce it "erb". (My parents aren't English, they
just spoke it.)
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. It depends on where you're from.
Both pronunciations are considered correct. It's really a regional difference.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yep///Several times I've ask salespeople "Where are the Herbs..
...and they say (with a smile) "Sir ..it's pronounced ERB not HERB".

I don't bother to correct them....
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spoony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
24. I've gotten that, lol.
I've also gotten it for saying "maths" and "zed" for z. :D
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Here is a better one: can you differentiate pen from pin or ten from tin except by context?
If you cant', then you are a Southerner! It is the same vowel to us, and as I once told a Yankee, "If you can't determine whether I need one more than nine or something with which to write, then you are in sad shape!"
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Glorfindel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. *heheh* I know what you mean!
I'm afraid I tend to pronounce them as "peeyun" and "teeyun." But if you pronounce "hock" and "hawk" exactly alike, then you're definitely NOT a southerner. The same goes for "cot" and "caught."
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Yes, the cot/caught is a dialect differential. So is the pronunciation
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:47 AM by nealmhughes
of root and roof and crick and creek...

But the main one is the of "right" as a modifier! As in "It is meet and right so to do" in the Book of Common Prayer or "Rt. Hon." as a Brit title. I think it makes perfect sense and is pleasant on the ears to declare "It's right hot today!"
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cwydro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:57 AM
Original message
LOL
I remember in school in NC, classmates asking for an "ink peeyun" or a "straight peeyun". My parents are English too....they say "herb" and I say "erb".
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rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
23. In my neck of the woods
We do not differentiate shore E from short I before a nasal. (Lower Appalachia).
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. The e/i merger before n is also found in parts of the
NW US.

The open-o/a merger (caught vs. cot) pops up in originally Pennsylvania, but is common in the Western half of the US. There's a bit of speculation that it's a result of immigrants not having the distinction in the 1800s because of some distributional and age-related data.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. I would say with the 'H'
and I'm technically a midwesterner.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. I pronounce it 'oib' -- standard Brooklynese pronounciation
pass the oib ovah here
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. LOL, my best friend in HS's mom was from Brooklyn
she said, ferl, terlet and erl. We thought that was hysterical. :D
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. yea I had me a friend in the service, sargent oib
he was one of those brooklynese. Me being from ok with a drawl like you wouldn't believe and him being a brooklynese speaker don't you know it had to be comical for someone from californa say to listen to us talk. yea he prk hs ca in tha yrd, whereas I parrrik mi caaar in the geeraughhh
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
7. I pronounce it Herb
and I have a friend Herb who has a greenhouse where he raises open pollenated plants. Sort of honors him and his work to sound the "h".
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #7
20. I used to know this weird old guy with that name
The local hippies would address him as, "Erb." He took it as a compliment of sorts once the context was explained to him.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
11. According to the American Heritage Dictionary,
it can be pronounced either way, but "erb" is the preferred version.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
13. I get the biggest kick out of how people on the Ohio/Kentucky line
pronounce "measure" as "maaaaaaysure" and "Gulf of Mexico" as "Golf of Mexico."
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
14. This is America, pal
speak American. It's "erb."
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Is it pronounced "Herb" in another country? nt
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. I believe that is the British pronunciation.
Though what do they know about English pronunciation?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #15
26. British Commonwealth.
Americans have an h-ful pronunciation: We tend to not drop h at the beginning of words, and have no uncertainty about where it's to be found. Some British dialects preserved h, and we inherited that trait (just as we inherited pronunciation r as a rhotic, not as a schwa).

Many British dialects lost the h. There was a tendency to hypercorrection, where pronuncing h connoted prestige (the prestige value of 'h' flipped a few times, sometimes vulgar, sometimes valued). Since 'h' was lost in the standard dialect, they looked to spelling in cases of uncertainty. 'Herb' has an 'h', so it must be pronounced. But we got it from French after they had lost their initial consonantal 'h'. Historically Americans are correct in not having an 'h' there.

They did the same thing with 'filet'.

Hypercorrection (in this case a spelling-pronunciation) also accounts for the 't' being pronounced in 'often'. It was missing in pronunciation for centuries; I'm not sure, but I suppose it's because so many words with non-initial 't' had it replaced by a glottal stop in less prestigious dialects (boh-'ul for bottle).
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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Britons keep the "h" sound?
Seems I remember some dropped "h" sounds, like

"Take off that 'at in the 'ouse."

Or, "Your president's a bit pig 'eaded, ennee?"

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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
16. erb..silent H as in H-onor...H-onestly...n/t
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
17. I compromise
erb and herbal.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
19. My mother was from England - hence Herb.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
21. do the English also pronounce the 'h' in 'hour'?
just curious, not trying to be a smartass.
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rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
22. Diction, not grammar
Strictly speaking.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. Yep...excuse my ignorance.
:)
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. and basil (the herb)
is a long a sound

versus Basil, a man's name, has a short a sound.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
29. 'Huh-erb'
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
31. As Eddie Izzard says, it's "herb" because...
..."there's a fucking H in it."
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cmkramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
32. I say "erb"
unless it's the man's name, then I say "Herb".

However, I've also heard it pronounced "Yarb".
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