Saturday, January 05, 2008

Scown; scon......what scone on...

I pronounce scone like sc-own. I would consider this the joe punter way of pronouncing the word, and that the sc-on pronunciation is the posh variant.

Well I discovered yesterday that for the British, the sc-on pronunciation is the normal one and only posh geezers there say sc'own.

Isn't that gas. I love linguistics.


  1. Ya know what gets to me....Milan.

    Not our beloved member of the lima bean pod but the slightly lesser known Italian city of the same name.

    There's one guy James Richardson, baldy guy does Italian football and presents the excellent Football Weekly podcast for The Guardian.

    Can someone explain why he and other sports journos say Mi-Lan for the city but Meee-lan when talking about the teams.

    Does the AC or Inter that precede the teams change the emphasis?

    Like Football Club of Meee-lan rather than Mi-Lan?

    Yours in wonder


  2. It's dificult, pronouncing foreign names as they do - you walk a very fine line of affectedness, like my friend who has always insisted on saying spa-GHE-TI Bol-on-Yaysi, despite the fact that the dish doesn't exist in Italy...

    There's the whole Juventus v Yuventus thing as well, and commentators never seem to be able to pronounce players' names, I can't understand why.

    I suppose there's a word for the the City in English, Milan as opposed to Milano, but the team says it that way and people follow along? God knows.

    What about people who say Eye-talians, or the strange way people of a certain accent say ITaly, I don't even know how to describe it.

    Funny I just read a scon/scone post on Rollercoaster, with lots of funny add ins. I say scone, to ryhme with bine, but I ridiculed my american mother for once having said shone to rhyme with bone - it's all so arbirary, really, though I do love looking up the origins and finding out why - like my favourite 1st year Eng BA lecture about Saxons v Normans - the French have the same word for animal and its meat - 'Do you want some pig? What! You don't eat pig??!'

    While we have pork etc as well as cutesy [piggies - apparently the saxons were the animal keepers and butchers etc, the Norman toffs just sat around scoffing great cuts of meat, so that's what a pig was to them. Apologies if everyone knows this already, I hope you stopped reading long ago if so!

    I say vayse, the American way, vazz sounds well posh to me - and vawse is just wierd!

  3. As an after thought, mate of mine engaged to an Italian girl. Insists on ordering a pannino rather than a pannini in work.

    Pannino is the singular, apparently we've been tricked into calling them panninis

  4. Same with graffiti. I've even been served a single raviolo in a posh restaurant!

  5. Don't get me started on how people here say quesadilla or paella. I lived in California for too long to handle that!

    I say things funny to people here...BAY-sil, or-EGG-a-no, TOM-ay-toe. But some things I still haven't gotten over...umbilical?!

    We all say things differently, and that's what makes us special :-). And Jo, I say it the same way you do.

  6. God, yes, my sister lives in SF though she doesn't exactly have an American accent, having grown up here - and she says 'Wacamole' and Herry Potter, which sounds so strange without an actual American accent behind it!