Thursday, 8 August 2013

OE, you, get offa my... erm

This is an excerpt from the (imminent) V3.1. It's a bit lacking in context, but I hope you'll get the gist. Frantic work on the latest release –  before a planned holiday in the last week of August –  has distracted me from Harmless Drudgery for a while.
  1.  Noes
    This  is the plural of 'No', used – for example –  in the parliamentary phrase 'The Noes have it' ["'People who voted 'No' are in the majority."]
  2. Noel
    This  is the word that means Christmas. The name 'Noel' is dealt with later on in this table.
  3. socioeconomic
    This  is the sole representative of words that use this prefix. The  Macmillan English Dictionary has matching transcription and audio. But whenever this prefix precedes a word starting with 'e+<consonant>', any of three alternatives (/əʊɪ/, /əʊe/, and /əʊi:/) is usually acceptable.
  4. '-soever' pronounsThese are used chiefly in rhetorical contexts and even then are sometimes considered archaic. Other such words exist in theory but are very rarely used: whencesoever, whithersoever, and whomsoever.
  5. macroeconomy and microelectrics
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound, but the audio sample is /əʊe/. Either is acceptable. Some speakers use one, some use the other, and some use both (depending on the degree of formality).
  6. Boer
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes this word (in British English) in two alternative ways. For the other, see the appropriate section.
  7. geoeconomics, microeconomic, and macroeconomic
    The  Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound, but the audio sample in the first two of these words is /əʊe/. Either is acceptable. In the case of macroeconomic, the  Macmillan English Dictionary has matching transcription and audio.
  8. joey
    The  Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes this with the unique sound /əʊi/ (with a short /i/).
  9. homoeopathy and homoeopathic
    The  Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes these words, alone among -oe- words,  with a short  /i/ but this is not a meaning-bearing distinction; it is simply a matter of stress.
  10. manoeuvrable 
    This has already been listed in the relevant -eu- section.
  11. oesophagus The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription has this sound, but the audio sample presents a sound somewhere between /e/ and /ə/.
  12. oeuvre 
    This has already been listed in the relevant
     -eu- section, but note that the vowel sounds of oeuvre and manoeuvre, though the words are etymologically related, are not the same.
  13. does
    This is the 3rd person singular of the verb do, and not the plural of the noun doe.
  14. OEICThe  Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes this with the sound /ɔɪ/, but despite this transcription the speaker providing the audio sample spells out the abbreviation.
That's all for now. I'm still busy musing (nave, eureka, and tessera have recently caught my attention, but not so as to spawn a post. Maybe some time...)

Update 2013.09.27.13:45
Header updated:

 Mammon (When Vowels Get Together V4.0: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs – AA-AU, EA-EU, and  IA-IU, and – new for V4.0 – OA-OU.  If you buy it, contact  @WVGTbook on Twitter and I'll alert you to free downloads of the forthcoming volumes; or click the Following button at the foot of this page.)
And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: nearly 32,400 views**,  and  4,400 downloads to date. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with 1570 views/700 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.


  1. OE, you, get offa my... erm (plates? ;-))

  2. :-? (I was trying to do something with Offa's Dyke, but the implications were undesirable).