How do you pronounce superlative?

(117 Posts)
SarkyWench Thu 22-Nov-12 19:45:26

I think that ds1 has been taught this incorrectly.

1) super-LAY-tiv (to rhyme with "super native")
2) soo-PER-li-tiv

RightUpMyRue Thu 22-Nov-12 19:46:11


AppleOgies Thu 22-Nov-12 19:46:21


AppleOgies Thu 22-Nov-12 19:47:11

1 is just wrong.., who on earth says super-lay-tiv?!

I agree with Apple.

Crikeyblimey Thu 22-Nov-12 19:48:24


1 is just not the same word - madness.

picnicbasketcase Thu 22-Nov-12 19:48:54


chrisrobin Thu 22-Nov-12 19:49:22


Sue pearl a tive

Two. Obviously. Roffle.

cashmere Thu 22-Nov-12 19:50:06


KristinaM Thu 22-Nov-12 19:52:19


BOFingSanta Thu 22-Nov-12 19:52:24

Definitely 2.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 22-Nov-12 19:52:50


Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pascha Thu 22-Nov-12 19:53:48

No 2. Sue PEARL ativ.

Notquite Thu 22-Nov-12 19:56:16


lovethesun1 Thu 22-Nov-12 19:58:57

No.2 definitely!

HullyEastergully Thu 22-Nov-12 20:00:10

I LOVE Super-laytive.

I am going to adopt it for-Thwith

DilysPrice Thu 22-Nov-12 20:07:22


(though David Bowie at Live Aid referred to everyone's effort as "superlatative", which is an excellent word, so I frequently struggle with the urge to say that instead).

SarkyWench Thu 22-Nov-12 20:53:19

Thank fuck for that.

I thought I was losing my mind...

I got ds1 to tactfully suggest that his mum thinks it might be <insert correct pronunciation> but she is insisting that I am wrong.

Do I persevere? Or let a generation of children spread comedy pronunciation wherever they go?

Maybe the teacher has an unusual accent which makes some words sound odd?

SarkyWench Thu 22-Nov-12 21:19:22

Nope. Nothing unusual.

This is up there with hyper-bowl and yoze-might
(different people before you ask)

ISeeThreadPeople Thu 22-Nov-12 21:21:43

DD's preschool teacher read a book to them all about Archy Meds.

SarkyWench Thu 22-Nov-12 21:24:26

Very intellectual (I think...)

redwellybluewelly Thu 22-Nov-12 21:25:16


DilysPrice Thu 22-Nov-12 21:26:33

Love Archy-meds. Was he a friend of So-crates?

SarkyWench Thu 22-Nov-12 21:27:36

And don't forget hippo-crates.

SarkyWench Thu 22-Nov-12 21:28:55

But seriously. What do I do?

Notquite Fri 23-Nov-12 13:54:07
gymboywalton Fri 23-Nov-12 13:54:35

soo per la tiv

SarkyWench Fri 23-Nov-12 14:07:05

ooh. sexy voice smile
thanks Notquite.

Notquite Fri 23-Nov-12 14:11:57

Well I have a slight cold...

mintyneb Fri 23-Nov-12 14:18:03

the teacher is obviously not using her phonics correctly wink

bialystockandbloom Fri 23-Nov-12 14:23:28

Ha ha!

But what's yoze-might? confused

Notquite Fri 23-Nov-12 14:24:27

Yosemite. Presumably.

ScrambledSmegs Fri 23-Nov-12 14:25:12

You can add eppy-tome and or-ree to that list too. Thanks teacher hmm

Yoze-might = Yosemite.

bialystockandbloom Fri 23-Nov-12 14:25:53

What, as in Yosemite National Park?


BOFingSanta Fri 23-Nov-12 14:58:06

I used to say yozemite until about twelve months ago blush

BarbecuedBillygoats Fri 23-Nov-12 15:06:11

I love so crates and hippo crates

I agree with everyone else

Have to admit though that even though I know it's not yoze mite I can never remember what it is.

HanSolo Fri 23-Nov-12 15:30:44


ISeeThreadPeople Fri 23-Nov-12 22:41:51


ScrambledSmegs Fri 23-Nov-12 23:32:04

Yes, awry. Supply teacher (covering regular teacher's sick leave) actually 'corrected' girls saying those words when reading aloud in class. We all looked rather hmm at her, and took the piss unceasingly for the rest of the time she was there.

We weren't very nice to her sad I think she probably hated us.

SarkyWench Fri 23-Nov-12 23:40:09


I'm on a roll...

I pronounce dressage to rhyme with message.

Because it amuses me.

But how many of you ever need to say dressage?

SarkyWench Fri 23-Nov-12 23:47:21

I'm wearing some very fine dressage...

SarkyWench Fri 23-Nov-12 23:48:21

I regularly tell people that I'm a pendant.
That amuses me.


And it is crud-ites round here.

And for some strange reason I feel the need to pronounce Glossop as Gloop. Based on the Cholmondeley and Peover principle.

And Slaithwaite. Don't get me started on that.

SarkyWench Fri 23-Nov-12 23:56:51

crud-dites are far less classy than crew-dites.

For some reason I describe views as being picture-skew.
Which makes no sense.

AViewfromtheFridge Fri 23-Nov-12 23:58:33

Clearly 2. But...I'm an English teacher and have made the odd slip up in pronunciation when using words which I've only ever seen written down.

I must confess that there are at least 96 children, and probably more, who I have sent out into the world pronouncing protagonist protaJonist, oxymoron oxy-MORon (stupid) and apropos a-PRO-pros.

I know now how to pronounce these words.

Oh we do that as well, picture skew.

Not classy at all here.


So how do you pronounce protagonist?

3b1g Sat 24-Nov-12 00:01:55

Or archipelago?

BOFingSanta Sat 24-Nov-12 00:02:38

Pro Tag onist.

BOFingSanta Sat 24-Nov-12 00:03:11

Arki Pell Ago

3b1g Sat 24-Nov-12 00:24:54

That's what I went for (DS2's reading book). Wasn't sure where to put the stress though: third or fourth syllable.

steppemum Sat 24-Nov-12 00:28:50

dd did a play with lots of flower fairies, one was called Dahlia. Teacher insisted on pronouncing it DAR - LEE - A

I tried to tell dd that this flower is pronounced DAY - LEE - A, but she wasn't having it.

Have since discovered there is some current character in something with htis name pronounced the teachers way!

AViewfromtheFridge Sat 24-Nov-12 00:32:12

Protagonist is like a hard 'guh' sound rather than a soft 'juh' one.

(Although I still think it sounds better my way.)

Notquite Sat 24-Nov-12 00:37:26
SarkyWench Sat 24-Nov-12 09:12:55

Somebody farted on my pedantry thread shock

Xenia Sat 24-Nov-12 09:18:54

As I think the second poster had it. The more interesting issue is does anyone still pronounce the su bit as I sometimes do - we must preserve that English traditional. I cannot write it. I mean either the vey common - soo or what I always think sounds much better sue.

Actually it is the same issue with I will soo you (take you to court - American pronunciation) or sue

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 09:22:18

I love this thread.

I'm in Ireland where all Gardai (police) say veh-hick-ul. And some of those vehickles are ambliances.

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 09:23:31

Notquite, that's a great site.

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 09:24:47

And, having read lots of Enid Blyton as a child I still like to call fluffy white things merring-yous

SarkyWench Sat 24-Nov-12 09:27:14

I think that ambulance should be spelled the welsh way...


I like "tacsi" too

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 09:47:25

Oh, yes. In Ireland we have the very Irish version of the word - tacsaí grin. Lots of Irish words are like that. Telefón for example.

insancerre Sat 24-Nov-12 10:09:46

I remember at sixth form reading something out loud, probable shakespeare, in class and coming across Antipodes for the first time.
I pronounced it annti- podes instead of an-tip-uh-deez
But I think I got away with it as nobody else knew how to pronounce it either

ScrambledSmegs Sat 24-Nov-12 10:22:59

I pronounced Arkansas "Ar-kansas" in a school lesson once. I did not get away with it blush

At least I'll never forget how to pronounce it correctly now.

FlyOverTheMistletoe Sat 24-Nov-12 10:29:41

Yoze mite- not talk like that, sadly I know some one who always does wink

apachepony Sat 24-Nov-12 10:38:37

Jaysus. Is it really embarrassing to admit I just learnt there now how Arkansas is pronounced today? Obviously heard that word in films etc but never connected it to the spelling. Obviously we never learnt the states in school blush

apachepony Sat 24-Nov-12 10:39:48

In my defence, my pronunciation of Yosemite is spot on...

EvilTwins Sat 24-Nov-12 10:45:27

I used to teach a particular short story for GCSE English (twas in the AQA anthology) which had "beribboned parcels" in it. Was always grin at my colleague who insisted the parcels were Berry Boned.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 24-Nov-12 10:47:58

Super LAY tive sounds like it ought to have something to do with excess milk production, thought that would be Super LAIT ive.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 24-Nov-12 10:48:12

Aghh, 'though'

Mathsdidi Sat 24-Nov-12 10:51:46

I once taught a girl named Siobhan, pronounced SIGH oh ban. Her parents had never heard it and read it in a baby names book.

Notquite Sat 24-Nov-12 11:18:27

Some words are just asking to be mispronounced. Sundried tomatoes will always be 'sundreed' in my head.

Notquite Sat 24-Nov-12 11:20:48

Presumably because it should have a hyphen, but doesn't always on jars.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 24-Nov-12 11:24:52

OP, how old in DS1? Could he be encouraged to go into school and pronounce a number of commonly used words with the emphasis on the third rather than second syllable? (Where this is wrong of course). If questioned, he could say 'but if superLAYtive is right then surely these words must be right too?'

That's probably far too mischievous and exploitative of your DS for adult amusement but, you know, it's a thought!

And then there is Guy. I heard of someone who had read the name in a book and called their son Guy, but thought it was prounounced Gooey.

Still makes me laugh now.

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 12:28:48

Oh, talking of mischievous - I cringe when I hear it as mis-cheeve-us, but I don't know if that is accent or mispronunciation.

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 12:30:05

Actually, it's more miss-cheev-ee-us they pronounce it.

To me, it's mischiev-us

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 24-Nov-12 18:25:35

I spent many years thinking that mail-volent and malevolent were two words with a very similar meaning. blush

BOFingSanta Sat 24-Nov-12 18:32:15

What about 'grandiloquent'? I don't think I've ever said that out loud, but I might if I know how to pronounce it.

I'm thinking gran-DILL-ikwint. What do you reckon?

SarkyWench Sat 24-Nov-12 18:49:50

Is that even a word?

BOFingSanta Sat 24-Nov-12 18:53:11

inflated, pompous, or bombastic in style or expression
[from Latin grandiloquus, from grandis great + loqu&#299; to speak]
grandiloquence  n
grandiloquently  adv

I suppose if you used it you would indeed sound like a bit of a twat. But I like a challenge grin

COCKadoodledooo Sat 24-Nov-12 19:24:33

What apple said on page one re OP.

And where do you stand on controversy?

HelpOneAnother Sat 24-Nov-12 19:32:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

We were reading some Shakespeare aloud in an English lesson once - probably the one I only ever call Richard the Turd, since that was how I heard an Irish person pronounce it once, and it was funny - and our English teacher corrected someone's accurate pronunciation of 'Gloucester' to, yep, 'Glow-cess-ter' ('Glow' rhyming with 'cow'). Good job his name wasn't Worcestershire. She'd have been all sorts of confused.

LeeCoakley Sat 24-Nov-12 19:43:13

I remember talking about a book I was reading called 'Crime and Compromise' pronouncing it as com-prom-iss. Aargh. Blushing as I type.

LeeCoakley Sat 24-Nov-12 19:44:36

Controversy to me is like mandatory. Words I try to avoid saying!

vamosbebe Sat 24-Nov-12 19:47:20

Met a fellow English teacher years ago who pronounced apostrophe as 'apo-STROW-fee', and I've heard turqoise as 'tor-kwars'. I must admit I LOVE playing with the pronunciation of words, especially with DH, and say 'apo-stow-fee' and 'tor-kwars' a lot. smile We especially love the character in the first season of Scrubs: Dr Beardface who pronounced his name 'beard-fah-say'. We're childish smile

austenozzy Sat 24-Nov-12 20:07:59

My wife gets annoyed when I order or even say bruschetta with the correct 'sk' sound in the middle (minus the rolling r, as that would be pompous!). She reckons I sound like a pillock, but I can't bring myself to call it 'brooshetta', so there!

austenozzy Sat 24-Nov-12 20:09:47

I can sort of understand the turquoise 'turk-wahz' thing, due to it being a french word. Pronunciation guides seem to suggest an 'oise' as in 'noise' sound, though. What's the official line?

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 20:37:11

Controversy has the emphasis on the emphatic "o" in the middle, doesn't it?

Mandatory is easy - Man da right-winged politician

See, about Turquoise, yes it's French, and if you were speaking French you would say Wahz. But if you are speaking English, surely you wouldn't? Lots of words are French, but I think it is pretentious (pret-en-tchus) to pronounce them in French. Like my Granny who always said "An h otel" and people who pronounce Helen as Ehl-ehhhhhnn.

austenozzy Sat 24-Nov-12 21:15:55

Just remembered another. Homage. No, it's not 'oh-maaaaaj', it's 'hommidge'.

I was told the 'an hotel' thing is a leftover from when Hs were silent in English, but I don't know if that's a folk etymology. See the american pronunciation of 'herbs' as an example of that. Apart from taking unnecessary effort to say 'an hotel', it just sound pretentious and anachronistic.

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 21:20:51

Oh yes. Homage. Like porridge almost. Not 'om-aaaaj

I say garridge too. Not ge-raaaaaj

I ^hate 'erbs.

My granny was pretentious and anachronistic (though I had to look up anachronistic grin)

3b1g Sat 24-Nov-12 21:24:05

What about montage though? I wouldn't pronounce it montidge.

austenozzy Sat 24-Nov-12 21:25:24

I had Dermot O'Leary's radio 2 show on the other while on way to the tip (livin' the life!) and he kept flipping between oh-maaaaaaj and hommidge, he couldn't make his mind up!

austenozzy Sat 24-Nov-12 21:25:57

*other day

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 21:26:20

Oh, dear. Yes, Mon-taaaj

Fuckit. There are no rules. I think what I say is just right though, that would solve it.

chinley Mon 26-Nov-12 21:14:28

Has hyperbole been mentioned yet?

For years I pronounced it HY-per-bowl.

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 21:41:55

Until I was about 25, I thought that banal was pronounced in a way that rhymed with anal.

bialystockandbloom Mon 26-Nov-12 21:45:22

Until I was about 18 I thought there was a word mizzled which meant being duped into thinking something erroneous.

Er, oh yes. Pretty similar to the meaning of misled then. blush

bialystockandbloom Mon 26-Nov-12 21:47:50

Sorry austenozzy but pmsl at 'bru-sk-etta' grin

chinley Mon 26-Nov-12 21:51:56

3b1g, I still think that! grin

How do you pronounce it then??

I'm notoriously awful when it comes to pronunciation.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 26-Nov-12 21:54:10

I know someone who pronounces banal thus 3b1g!

Also others who've thought that about misled (and ORrey for awry, as above). I think mizzle is fine, misty drizzle is it not?

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 21:55:37

Chinley: to rhyme with Carl.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 26-Nov-12 21:55:42

Maybe it's you chinley! It's ban-Ahhl, or more like b-nAhhl.

BOFingTheDude Mon 26-Nov-12 22:07:50

I'm not sure which would be more dispiriting: banal sex or anal sex.

chinley Mon 26-Nov-12 22:31:34

I think bANAL sounds better. Bahnaal sounds so poncy!

chinley Mon 26-Nov-12 22:33:42

Everything should be spelt how it sounds anyway methinks. The world would be a much better place.

SarkyWench Mon 26-Nov-12 22:52:06

Is that meth-inks?

AViewfromtheFridge Wed 28-Nov-12 16:33:39

Did anyone hear Steve Wright pronounce epitome epi-tome not once, but twice this afternoon on radio 2? Surely if you're broadcasting to the nation you should check these things!

singleWhiteMale Sun 09-Dec-12 23:03:05

There's an awful lot of skoodenfrood on this thread..

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