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Pronouncing "chair" and "charity"

Poll #1772972 Margaret Atwood's accent

"Chair" is the first syllable of "charity".

Yes
16(14.2%)
No
97(85.8%)


(Inspired by Chapter 19 of The Handmaid's Tale: "I sit in the chair and think about the word chair. It can also mean the leader of a meeting. It can also mean a mode of execution. It is the first syllable in charity. It is the French word for flesh. None of these facts has any connection with the others.")

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
bart_calendar
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
The thing is Atwood knows very well it's not the first syllable of "charity" but was trying to show that the novel took place in the southern part of the United States without actually saying so.
gareth_rees
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC)
I concur. It's June/Offred's accent being described here, not Atwood's.
shadesong
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
Anecdata: I'm from the southern part of the US, and that's definitely not the first syllable in charity where I'm from!
mizkit
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
...the other option, I presume, being "char" as in "I charred the meat". Which sounds hopelessly affected to me, I'm afraid.
seawasp
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
Not like "Char", but more like the "ar" in "marry", I think.
(no subject) - purplecthulhu - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seawasp - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
chickenfeet2003
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
I suspect the most common pronunciation is a short, flat a as in "chat". Certainly that's how I would pronounce it.
(no subject) - purplecthulhu - Aug. 26th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - purplecthulhu - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - purplecthulhu - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seawasp - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
ellen_fremedon
Aug. 26th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
...how else would you say 'charity'?
bellinghman
Aug. 26th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
For me:

'cha' as in 'chat'.
'rit' as in 'writ'
'y' as 'ee'.

(I also have five different pronunciations for marry, Mary, merry and Marie. Yes, I can count: I know two different stressing for Marie.)
(no subject) - bopeepsheep - Aug. 26th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bellinghman - Aug. 26th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadesong - Aug. 26th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellen_fremedon - Aug. 27th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
del_c
Aug. 26th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
It's a NorthAm thing, isn't it? It's like how Karen is pronounced like "caring", Farah is pronounced "fairer", and why punning the name Harry as "hairy" works so much better there than here.

(I say Karen like "cat", Harry like "hat" and charity like "chat". Also Mary like "chair", but marry like "mat")
filigree10
Aug. 26th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, I used to be quite boggled by the fanfic writers that think Hairy Potter is a pun.
(no subject) - deor - Aug. 26th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
jeffreyab
Aug. 26th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
I should mention I am Canadian and share a dialect with Atwood.
redfiona99
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
After a listening to a talk by someone who pronounced 'measure' as 'may-sure' I have given up on English. (I pronounce it like bellinghman.)
ellen_fremedon
Aug. 26th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
That's how I've always pronounced "measure." (Or I use the same vowel as in 'may'; I do voice the fricative.)
(no subject) - redfiona99 - Aug. 27th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellen_fremedon - Aug. 27th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redfiona99 - Aug. 27th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellen_fremedon - Aug. 27th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redfiona99 - Aug. 27th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellen_fremedon - Aug. 27th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nwhyte - Aug. 27th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
drasecretcampus
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
Unless it's Smashy and Nicey or whatever the characters were called.
vampydirector
Aug. 28th, 2011 07:41 am (UTC)
I actually just used the wrong journal to vote in that (boneheaded move on my part!), but for me, "chair" is the first syllable in "charity.

And actually, since you mentioned the vowel rhyming in your review of The Handmaid's Tale, those four words do rhyme for me. Funny enough, I'm from the Syracuse, NY area and I'm rather curious now to see how it was represented in the book. But this was a quirk of my own accent that I wasn't aware of, so thank you!
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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