News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • December 09, 2016, 07:47:20 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1807683 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

perpetua

  • Member
  • Posts: 2212
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7485 on: April 24, 2013, 04:05:33 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

MrsJWine

  • Member
  • Posts: 8952
  • I have an excessive fondness for parentheses.
    • Wallydraigle
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7486 on: April 24, 2013, 04:09:16 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

Mental Magpie

  • Member
  • Posts: 5868
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7487 on: April 24, 2013, 04:31:47 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

It isn't just the accent; I have found many many many many times that people just don't know the difference between the two.  People erroneously believe they are homophones (due to accents, yes, and also just ignorance of the difference between the words).

Ms_Cellany

  • The Queen of Squee
  • Member
  • Posts: 6401
  • Big white goggie? No. Hasn't seen him.
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7488 on: April 24, 2013, 04:33:18 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

In my experience, they're pronounced exactly the same.
Bingle bongle dingle dangle yickity-do yickity-dah ping-pong lippy-toppy too tah.

MrsJWine

  • Member
  • Posts: 8952
  • I have an excessive fondness for parentheses.
    • Wallydraigle
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7489 on: April 24, 2013, 04:36:42 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

It isn't just the accent; I have found many many many many times that people just don't know the difference between the two.  People erroneously believe they are homophones (due to accents, yes, and also just ignorance of the difference between the words).

I know it's not the accent. I was just telling her that here, they often are pronounced exactly the same, which explains some of the confusion for some people.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

stitchygreyanonymouse

  • Member
  • Posts: 641
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7490 on: April 24, 2013, 04:37:02 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

While as Mental Magpie notes, itís not just the accent, it can be not knowing, my SO, with his central NY accent does not pronounce them differently, and as much as I correct him (and all his teachers, etc), he says that he just canít grasp the difference in writing, because he says them the same. With my midwest accent, they sound different.

Slartibartfast

  • Member
  • Posts: 12496
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7491 on: April 24, 2013, 04:39:05 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

While as Mental Magpie notes, itís not just the accent, it can be not knowing, my SO, with his central NY accent does not pronounce them differently, and as much as I correct him (and all his teachers, etc), he says that he just canít grasp the difference in writing, because he says them the same. With my midwest accent, they sound different.

This may be what lead to someone complaining about the "drug attics" hanging around their apartment I saw when I was on another forum  :o

Mental Magpie

  • Member
  • Posts: 5868
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7492 on: April 24, 2013, 04:55:46 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

It isn't just the accent; I have found many many many many times that people just don't know the difference between the two.  People erroneously believe they are homophones (due to accents, yes, and also just ignorance of the difference between the words).

I know it's not the accent. I was just telling her that here, they often are pronounced exactly the same, which explains some of the confusion for some people.

I said it isn't JUST the accent because I agree that it is partly the accent.  I wasn't discounting your post, just agreeing and expanding on it a bit.

WillyNilly

  • Member
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7493 on: April 24, 2013, 05:11:42 PM »
"Then" and "than" to me, are pronounced almost exactly the same (and if someone did say them the same I doubt I would notice). And further, while I'm sure it was covered at some point in some grammar lesson, to be honest I do forget the difference, as I think most people do (to the point I think most people don't know there is a difference). I mean I can glean from usage the difference but there is no clear rule I easily remember like there are for other English grammar quirks.

Mental Magpie

  • Member
  • Posts: 5868
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7494 on: April 24, 2013, 05:19:13 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.

WillyNilly

  • Member
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7495 on: April 24, 2013, 05:52:08 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.

Personally I think homophones are grammar quirks.

Two words that are pronounced the same and used similarly (then is an adverb, than is a conjunction... which is a word often used with an adverb), and spelt very similarly, to me is a quirky recipe for grammatical disaster.  :)

Iris

  • Member
  • Posts: 3867
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7496 on: April 24, 2013, 06:07:38 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.

Personally I think homophones are grammar quirks.

Two words that are pronounced the same and used similarly (then is an adverb, than is a conjunction... which is a word often used with an adverb), and spelt very similarly, to me is a quirky recipe for grammatical disaster.  :)

They aren't homophones to the rest of us who speak English (Australia here) though. I don't say then and than at all similarly and until 2 minutes ago it didn't occur to me that anyone could mix them up because to me they are two totally separate and distinct words with completely different meanings - to me than is a comparing word (to put it simply) "I'd rather X than Y" and then is used to order things chronologically "I'd rather do X and then do Y". That's a massive oversimplification of course, but just to show my point.

Though in fairness given the number of people over here who mix up their, there and they're I suppose now I know that you guys pronounce them as homophones it shouldn't surprise me...
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

jpcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 9799
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7497 on: April 24, 2013, 06:12:07 PM »
Spoken out loud I believe that it's an accent thing (like pronouncing the word Milk or is it Melk?) and should be given leeway due to accent.

Written word, however, should be spelled correctly. Your and You're sound the same when spoken, but in written context mean different things, just like then and than.


Mental Magpie

  • Member
  • Posts: 5868
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7498 on: April 24, 2013, 06:21:32 PM »
Spoken out loud I believe that it's an accent thing (like pronouncing the word Milk or is it Melk?) and should be given leeway due to accent.

Written word, however, should be spelled correctly. Your and You're sound the same when spoken, but in written context mean different things, just like then and than.

This.


I think where we disagree, WillyNilly, is that I don't think they're used similarly at all.  I also don't hear them as homophones, but as above, I give them leeway due to differing accents.

Elfmama

  • Member
  • Posts: 7005
  • Derailing threads since 2001!
Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7499 on: April 24, 2013, 06:29:26 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.

Personally I think homophones are grammar quirks.

Two words that are pronounced the same and used similarly (then is an adverb, than is a conjunction... which is a word often used with an adverb), and spelt very similarly, to me is a quirky recipe for grammatical disaster.  :)

They aren't homophones to the rest of us who speak English (Australia here) though. I don't say then and than at all similarly and until 2 minutes ago it didn't occur to me that anyone could mix them up because to me they are two totally separate and distinct words with completely different meanings - to me than is a comparing word (to put it simply) "I'd rather X than Y" and then is used to order things chronologically "I'd rather do X and then do Y". That's a massive oversimplification of course, but just to show my point.

Though in fairness given the number of people over here who mix up their, there and they're I suppose now I know that you guys pronounce them as homophones it shouldn't surprise me...
One of the most frequent homophones in parts of the US are short-e/short-i words.  Pen and pin, ten and tin are all pronounced with the same vowel sounds.  People in the SCA are reminded by our Board of Directors to use the words "Middle Ages" and not "medieval" because people with certain accents hear the latter as "mid-evil."  I've heard first-hand accounts from one Baron that a co-worker got very upset about "why they pretended to be even a little bit evil."  Further questioning revealed that the coworker thought the Middle Ages were called "mid-evil" because they WERE moderately evil, because "they didn't know as much about God and Jesus then as we do now."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~