[LMB] OT: More words that I HATE!!

Katherine Collett kcollett at hamilton.edu
Wed Sep 23 18:30:51 BST 2020

On Sep 23, 2020, at 11:31 AM, Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk> wrote:
> In standard British English, 'talk' and 'torque' are usually homophones.
> So the 'l' is not sounded as explicitly as "tall-k" would suggest, but
> it does modify the sound, otherwise it would be a homophone with "tack".

Right, but I don't think anyone is saying that they pronounce talk as if it's spelled tak.  The "l" certainly affects the sound, which comes out for me like tawk.  My British husband does indeed pronounce talk and torque as homophones, without either l or r pronounced, but affecting the preceding vowel.  That's a non-rhotic r, but what the l does is described as l-vocalization, it looks like (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-vocalization).

There are also words like "almond", in which I pronounced the l when I was a child, probably because of reading it more than hearing it, but then learned not to from the pronunciations of the adults around me.

Katherine (grew up in Massachusetts, parents from midwest and far west, various stints in the UK)

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