The Macmillan English Dictionary does not note other ''esque' words that refer to an author's idiosyncracies; 'Pinteresque' is another. This does not mean that the student has license to coin new '<author>+ esque' words though: 'Shakespeare => Shakespearian' and 'Shaw' => Shavian' are among the alternative forms. And such words do not always refer to an author. Humour, for example, can be 'Chaplinesque' (like that characteristic of Charlie Chaplin), 'Pythonesque' (like that characteristic of the TV series Monty Python's Flying Circus), 'Dada-esque' ...
- prologue and prorogue
Confusingly, prologue has the apparent 'twin' prorogue in which the 'o' is lengthened to /əʊ/. Macmillan English Dictionary does not include this word, which is quite rare, being used chiefly by scholars of constitutional history – in such collocations as 'prorogued parliament' or 'prorogued the senate'. See, for example, the Collins English Dictionary's prorogue.
/ju:e/ versus /jue/ versus /jʊe/
Of these eight, the Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes two with the first two of vowel-sounds and four with the last; but the audio samples do not seem to justify these distinctions – least of all in the case of these rhyming pairs Of these eight, the Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes two with the first two of vowel-sounds and four with the last; but the audio samples do not seem to justify these distinctions – least of all in the case of these rhyming pairs:
The verb has /we/ in the final syllable, which is stressed, whereas the adjective has stress on the first syllable and the sound /wə/ in the second.
The Macmillan English Dictionary gives the transcription as /`ekwəri:/ . But the audio sample has different stress and the vowel sound /we/ in the stressed syllable. Both pronunciations are common (and the /we/ pronunciation is beginning to have the edge. In a hundred years, /`ekwəri:/ will probably be regarded as archaic.
The Macmillan English Dictionary gives the transcription as /ju/ rather than /ju:/. The audio sample seems to have the sound /u:/, as in – for example – statue.
The Macmillan English Dictionary gives the transcription as /ju:/ rather than /u:/. But the audio sample has the sound /u:/ with no glide. As this inconsistency suggests, both pronunciations are common.
The Macmillan English Dictionary gives two alternative transcriptions: /'ɪʃu:/ and /'ɪsju:/, although the two audio samples seem to be identical. Both are common pronunciations.
This, and several other words with the prefix 'blue', is included, as blueness is not an essential feature. Words such as bluebird are, however, excluded. A fuller explanation of inclusion criteria is provided here.
Some speakers do use the pronunciation /sju:/; at one time it was widely regarded as the 'correct' version. But this pronunciation is now very rare.
Unique, that is, among the words ending '-quet'. One other word in the Macmillan English Dictionary does have the transcription /i/ as a sound represented by the digraph 'ue': the not very common dengue fever.
- habitué and roué
It was tempting, as previously, to include the last two in one catch-all sub-section, but as the French sounds are distinctive it's possible that a distinction is preserved. (This is not to suggest that native speakers consciously pay attention to etymology. Few Italians, distinguishing the [dz] of mezzo from the [ts] of prezzo, know that the distinction can be traced to the Latin medium and pretium; and those few probably aren't conscious of it at the time when – like all native speakers of Italian – they make the distinction.)
The only one, that is, listed in the Macmillan English Dictionary. No list of this kind can be exhaustive. The Collins English Dictionary, for example, gives evacuee the same vowel sound as toluene (the second T in 'TNT'). But the Macmillan evacuee has a /u/, where Collins gives it a /ʊ/ – matching the /ʊ/ in toluene Both words are little enough used for any distinction to be insignificant.
- '-quet' and '-quette' words
The growing commonness of European rail travel has led to the appearance in British English of the word 'banquette'; American English already had it, presumably imported by French-speaking immigrants. The Macmillan English Dictionary does not include this word, but see for example the Concise Oxford Dictionary's banquette. The pronunciation of the last syllable is neither /ɪt/ (as in racquet) nor /wɪt/ (as in banquet) but – like other '-quette' words, such as briquette – /et/ (with the stress, similarly, on the second syllable).
The Macmillan English Dictionary gives the transcription as /ɪ/ , but the audio sample has the sound /ə/.
Tales from the word-faceTuning in late to In Our Time earlier this week, and not knowing what the topic was, I was misled by a speaker who pronounced 'hypocrisy' with a schwa in the 3rd syllable. She was one of the speakers I have noticed before
<hedge>in whose speech an unstressed 'i' is regularly pronounced /ǝ/, especially in words that already have a stressed /I/. For many speakers, for example, Tony Blair was the /praIm 'mInǝstǝ/ (I think, in his more Estuarine moments, our Tone was one of them) . Also, even in speakers of RBP, this may occur: demonstrations may, for example, be accompanied by acts of /'sɪvǝl dɪsǝ'bi:djǝns/, although those speakers, if asked 'How do you pronounce C-I-V-I-L?' would say /'sɪvɪl/.
I know of no authority who supports me in this – solid though the observation seems to me
Anyway, she said /hɪ'pɒkrǝsi/, and for a moment I thought we must be in the land of the Houyhnhnms – a hippocracy. But other speakers soon saved me from my Swiftian delusion.
At the time of my submission for the ELTons 2012, I was thinking about writing a much larger 'Dictionary of Vowels and their Sounds' (larger, that is, than , #WVGTbook), but at the moment I'm just sticking to digraphs. I'm toying, though, with the idea of a sequel, giving the same treatment to vowels followed by
Update 2012.10.15.14:40 – Footer updated
Update 2014.12.18.17:00 – Added note
† Wrong word. See here.
Mammon (When Vowels Get Together V4.1: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs – AA-AU, EA-EU, IA-IU, OA-OU, and – new for V4.1 – UA-UE. 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.