Category Archives: pronunciation tips

Pronunciation tip: N’Awlins, Worcestershire, and the “dropped R”

I filmed my latest pronunciation tip over several weeks, partly because it required some location shots that weren’t exactly walking distance and partly because reasons. It deals with something that comes up often with the names of certain places: If the “local” pronunciation “drops the R,” is that the true correct pronunciation? Also, what about when certain other letters of the name don’t get said?

(Just incidentally, this is also a little dig at certain dictionaries that give phonetic pronunciations as if they were phonological ones. I think every dictionary should have a trained phonologist on staff, or at least available freelance, as I am. 😀)

Pronunciation tip: Agincourt

My latest pronunciation tip is on Agincourt. Oh, did you think I meant the place where Henry V defeated the French? Well, that too, but first of all the one in Scarborough, which means in Toronto.

Pronunciation tip: Zoltán Kodály

If you’ve never studied music, you may not have heard of Zoltán Kodály. But listen to this. He’s a Hungarian composer who can teach us something interesting about rhythm… not with his music (though that’s nice enough); with his name.

Pronunciation tip: sausages

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve done the wurst pronunciation tip I could do. You’ll watch it and say “I never sausage a thing!” I go to Whitehouse Meats in St. Lawrence Market and show you four sausages and how to say them: andouille, chorizo, boerewors, and merguez. Andouille like them? Yes, we do!

Pronunciation tip: Toronto places 2

I had so much fun last week doing my trip west across Toronto that I decided to walk north on Yonge Street this time and help you with some more street names that you might be unsure about:

Pronunciation tip: Toronto places

Toronto’s street grid looks on a map like it was set in place by people who had competing ideas about how it should go. But Toronto’s street names– and some other place names – often seem to have been set down by people who had competing ideas about what letters should stand for, and what letters could be silent. I decided to do a streetcar trip west from my neighbourhood to show you a few Toronto names that are apparently there to trip up visitors:

Pronunciation tip: jalapeño and habanero

I made a little trip (two blocks) to my greengrocer at the St. Lawrence Market to shoot this pronunciation tip, just so I could illustrate it. It was a one-shot deal… and not without technical difficulties. But hey, I say the words, I eat the peppers. What more do you want?