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This is a question "You're doing it wrong"

Chthonic confesses: "Only last year did I discover why the lids of things in tubes have a recessed pointy bit built into them." Tell us about the facepalm moment when you realised you were doing something wrong.

(, Thu 15 Jul 2010, 13:23)
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More fun with names
While working as an EFL teacher in a language school near Bournemouth, I once had to teach a class of Thai teenagers. One of them was called Unn.

I pronounced the initial u as in put. After two weeks of teaching him, I found out that it should have been like the u in gun. And I was also told that the way I said it was the Thai word for "fart"*. And the poor kid had been too polite to correct his teacher.

*I am open to correction on this from anyone here who knows Thai.
(, Sun 18 Jul 2010, 18:34, 9 replies)
I don't understand.
Surely the 'u' in "put" is the same as the one in "gun"? I know there are subtle differences in the way that, for example, the two 'u's in "shut up" are pronounced -- but even then it's only a very subtle change in length and emphasis and probably not consistent across a range of speakers.
(, Sun 18 Jul 2010, 18:58, closed)
where you're from perhaps. Definitely not the same in a proper Queen's English accent. Do you pronounce "putt" and "put" the same?
(, Sun 18 Jul 2010, 19:19, closed)
in 'ull
"nine of you" is prnounced "Narnia"
(, Mon 19 Jul 2010, 0:39, closed)
in liverpool
"that thing over there" is pronounced "Tingio"

I think its Italian.
(, Mon 19 Jul 2010, 13:19, closed)
I pronounce put and putt the same.
I also use a similar, but not quite identical, sound in words like "foot".
However, since I'm trying to learn another language at present I see "put" as "puut" and "putt" as a slightly shortened version of "put" as I would pronounce it ordinarily.
(I'm a Yorkshireman who was brought up a bit posh, FWIW)
(, Mon 19 Jul 2010, 17:49, closed)
I'm a namby-pamby southerner
So for me, "put" has the same vowel sound as "foot" or "would", and "gun" has the same vowel sound as "son" or "fun".

Does that help?
(, Sun 18 Jul 2010, 19:55, closed)
Primary school phonics is taught from a document called Letter and Sounds
in there they say about the difference between the u in put being different to the one in gun only in the south.

That's what the government say, so it must be right.
(, Sun 18 Jul 2010, 22:06, closed)
Depends on which north and south you're talking about
Up here in Scotland, they are most definitely different sounds.

Unlike the 'a' sounds in bath and cat, which are identical here, but differentiated in Southern British English.
(, Mon 19 Jul 2010, 9:06, closed)

For lots of dialects of English, including most American dialects, the 'u' in 'put' is a high rounded lax vowel but the 'u' in gun is a mid central vowel (the sound at the beginning of 'erm' for British folks). For other dialects there isn't a contrast.

I've seen descriptions of Thai that say it contrasts these two sounds and others that say it does not. Maybe, like English, it depends on the region.
(, Mon 19 Jul 2010, 1:12, closed)

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