The Universe and Me

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Mary Merry Marry

The English language test below had a question about how to pronounce these words. Having lived in Mass., I know they are pronounced three different ways. Back then I practised & practised to get the distinction down but being back here in New York, I've slipped into pronouncing them all the same. I need to work on this again. From the net, here's how to remember them for future use:
Only people from the Northeast tend to pronounce all three words with a different first vowel:
  • "merry" = /me+ri/
  • "Mary" = /Meu+ri/
  • "marry" = /mari/
Confusing? Not if you learn to listen carefully.


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