[LMB] Levels of Bafflement

Harvey Fishman fishman at panix.com
Mon Jan 15 01:08:41 GMT 2018

On Mon, 15 Jan 2018, M. Haller Yamada wrote:

> Just wanted to add that in some dictionaries, there is one stress mark for the primary stress, and a
> second one stress mark (backwards?) to mark the secondary stress in a polysyllabic word. I can't
> find an example, but it's like the word impossible. POS is primarily stressed, while BLE is stronger
> than the "si", but weaker than POS. Atomica is another word that follows the same pattern.
> Micki

I have seen dictionaries where the major stress is indicated with a bold 
apostrophe and the secondary stress with a lighter apostrophe. I just 
checked my copy of the computer Random House and it uses a double quote for
the major stress and a single quote for the lighter stress. My Merriam-Webster
computer dictionary seems to use a single apostrophe before the major stress
and a comma before the secondary stress. Wierd!! The word that I checked in
these cases is "cataclysm".


  Harvey Fishman   |
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