Posted by James Briggs on August 13, 2003
In Reply to: Well, we do say LABoratory here, though posted by Word Camel on August 13, 2003
: : : : : : : : Does anyone other than me still say EXquisite (rather than exQUISite), HOSpitable, PREparatory, etc? Americans, at least, are seemingly incapable of accenting the first syllable of any multisyllabic word. I cringe whenever I hear forMIDable or apPLICable.
: : : : : : : Or preFERably.
: : : : : : This American here says EXquisite, hosPITable, prePARatory, FORmidable, and APplicable. I believe all five pronunciations are correct.
: : : : : That's the way I pronouce them, although I have to admit to never having thought about them before. My pet hate is 'conTROVersy', which I maintain should be 'CONTROversy'.
: : : : : We are in the middle of a heat wave here in the UK - yes, really. Talking about the weather is a national obsession, so there's lots of that lately. For the sake of my health I must give up on reacting to the irritatingly wrong 'hot temperatures'. Even on the BBC - I ask you. Bring back the lash.
: : : : I've never in my wildest nightmares ever conceived of conTROVersy--you've actually heard that on BBC??
: : : Yes, the BBC do get it wrong - even on Radio 4.
: : : As the OED says:
: : : ... from controversus 'turned against, disputed'.
: : : (The second pronunciation, putting the stress on -trov-, is widely held to be incorrect in standard English.)
: : Boy, I'll say! That is DESpicable (otherwise known in these here parts as deSPICable).
: I have heard innOVative. Pronounced that way, to my ears, anyway, it sounds like some technical term from gynecology.
What about the bastard KILOM - etre as distinct from the correct KILO - metre. I tell people that if they want to use the first variant, then they should say CENTIM - etre and MILLIM - etre. I don't get very far!!