Which syllable is stressed in the word “nineteen”?

The dictionaries list both possibilities to stress nineteen (or any other -teen, for that matter): ,nine-teen and nine-‘teen. Are the two pronunciations completely interchangeable, a matter of dialect, or a matter of meaning? I am asking because I’ve never heard nineteen stressed on the first syllable in sentences like: I am nineteen years old. He … Read more

Why is the verb form of “record” pronounced [ri-kawrd] but the noun form is pronounced [rek-erd]?

Is there a different origin of pronunciation style for record as a verb and as a noun? Fun fact: in OS X, if you type say “this record” and say “record this” — the text to speech system picks up the difference. Impressive. Answer They have the same etymologic origins. I thought this was a … Read more

How did “defect” and “defect” come to have different pronunciations?

There are many interesting events in the history of the English language. Which one of them gave us “defect” (noun, /diːˈfɛkt/, imperfection) and “defect” (verb, /dɪˈfɛkt/ , change allegiances)? Answer (This is an expanded version of my earlier comment on the question.) This is not the direct answer to your question, but anyway it seems … Read more

Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles?

When saying the title of JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece, which is the correct pronunciation (Yes, I know that they’re spelled wrong, but I’m trying to emphasize the pronunciation): Thuh Lord of thuh Rings Thee Lord of thee Rings Thuh Lord of thee Rings Thee Lord of thuh Rings I’m partial to the first pronunciation, but another … Read more