Monthly Archives: October 2010

“Squish” the middle vowel in some 3-syllable words

Take a look at these 3-syllable words:

If we read them as if English was a syllabic language, like Japanese for example, then we would read/pronounce them “bus-i-ness”, “choc-o-late” and “cor-por-ate”, right?

But that is not the way we say it, at least here in North America.
The way the word is written may appear to indicate that there are 3 syllables but we pronounce them like 2, and to do that we “squish” the middle vowel.
Try this:
“Bus-ness, Choc-late, Cor-prate.”

Okay that’s a start, but now we have to obey the “-ate” rule, which states that the “-ate” at the end of a sentence is pronounced like “it” if the word is a noun or adjective, and “8” if the word is being used as a verb.  For example, “The graduates will graduate in June” is pronounced “The gradu”its” will gradu”8″ in June.”

So now when we put it all together, we should read our original three words like so (capitals are used to show stress):

Try this sentence:  “The corporate (kor-prit) office of the Dreamy Chocolate (chok-lit) Company reports that business (biz-niss) is running well ahead of schedule and will produce lots of chocolates (chok-lits) in time for Christmas.”