Why Do People Say *On*velope?

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Envelope is spelled "*En*velope," so I think it should be pronounced that way, not *On*velope. Same with pecans. They're not pe*cons*!
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    It's a matter of breeding. Inbreds always talk kinda funny like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Because its more "woody" and "en" is more tinny. Anyone deserving of anything would never utter such a "tinny" word as "en" velope.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruby Rynne
    It's to do with the origin of the words. Envelope is derived from the French word (spelled enveloppe, same meaning), and they pronounce 'en' as 'on', as is 'en suite'.

    Same with niche, it's a French word, and they pronounce it neesh, so European English-speakers (and those around the world who speak a variety of British English) also say neesh. The whole nitch thing is an invention, valid in it's own way (I don't believe in being precious about language, it's an evolving thing), but based on being disconnected from the source of the word.

    Pecans I have no idea, I always say pee-cans (it's a wonder my Grandmother doesn't call them restrooms).
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Ruby Rynne View Post

      It's to do with the origin of the words. Envelope is derived from the French word (spelled enveloppe, same meaning), and they pronounce 'en' as 'on', as is 'en suite'.

      Same with niche, it's a French word, and they pronounce it neesh, so European English-speakers (and those around the world who speak a variety of British English) also say neesh. The whole nitch thing is an invention, valid in it's own way (I don't believe in being precious about language, it's an evolving thing), but based on being disconnected from the source of the word.

      Pecans I have no idea, I always say pee-cans (it's a wonder my Grandmother doesn't call them restrooms).
      Thanks, Ruby.

      The first example that popped into my head was en guard.

      @ Thunderbird - You are kidding, right?

      Let's get to the heart of the matter...

      There are a lot of English words (from various origins) that are not spelled phonetically. Should the word should be pronounced "showld" just because it's spelled that way? And shouldn't it REALLY be "enn-vell-oh-pee"? Of course not.

      All the best,
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
        [QUOTE=Michael Oksa;4270685]<snip>

        @ Thunderbird - You are kidding, right?/QUOTE]

        Doh! Caught.
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  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    'cus American English is a mutt.

    And shouldn't it REALLY be "enn-vell-oh-pee"?
    I think so. I need an ennvellohpee please.

    It's actually pronounced both ways depending on where you are in the US. East, West, North, South, we all do our own regional injustices to the Queens lingo.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sunfyre7896
    Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

    Envelope is spelled "*En*velope," so I think it should be pronounced that way, not *On*velope. Same with pecans. They're not pe*cons*!
    I agree with On-velope. It's strange. Just like Luh-bora-tory and shed-yool and Neesh instead of In-velope, Lab-ruh-tory, sked-yool, and Nitch. However, I've noticed a huge difference in the word pecan as far as Northerners pronounce it as Pee-can which is ridiculous to my ears, since we in the South say, P'con. I guess it's all about your region although, my above 3 examples and your first one are for strange people that pronounce it differently than anyone else around them. Think Puh-tah-toe here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pauline60
    Not everyone in England pronounces it 'onvelope'. Up North we pronounce it properly, ie 'envelope'.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Patterson
    Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

    Envelope is spelled "*En*velope," so I think it should be pronounced that way, not *On*velope. Same with pecans. They're not pe*cons*!
    Before indoor plumbing pe*cans* were an item folks kept under their bed for those nightime nature calls....
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  • Profile picture of the author ScottyM2
    You gotchyer point acrost.
    Jeet dinner?
    I wuz jess fixin to.
    I pairked my care in the gairuj.

    It's a wonder how anyone can understood anything sometimes, but it all comes together somehow.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I don't call envelopes anything anymore - I send everything email.

    Yep, we messed with the King's English pretty offensively, LOL. - But, then, there was a time when Anglo and Saxon were independent languages, too. The Vikings kinda twisted stuff up a bit, too, if I remember my history clearly. You'd think in England, they'd be used to it by now.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      I don't call envelopes anything anymore - I send everything email.

      Yep, we messed with the King's English pretty offensively, LOL. - But, then, there was a time when Anglo and Saxon were independent languages, too. The Vikings kinda twisted stuff up a bit, too, if I remember my history clearly. You'd think in England, they'd be used to it by now.
      Yeah, I read several sources that said that English came from DANISH. I can believe it. In German, for example, there is no TH sound. theater is pronounce te-ater. TWO in high german is ZWEI. Knife is messer. Well, LOW german may call two ZWO. here are a number of other things, but some dialects of danish start to have the TH sound. TWO is TO, Knife is knive. Danish IS closer to german, but you can see some of the transition.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    properly schmopperly - we tend to pronounce words the way they were taught to us.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    This thread is very ontertaining.
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  • Profile picture of the author AWriter
    Yeh that sounds french to me - still a boring subject
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  • Profile picture of the author scubasteve-cr
    So what about when you go to a restaurant, and you order an entree. Do you say "in-tree"?
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by scubasteve-cr View Post

      So what about when you go to a restaurant, and you order an entree. Do you say "in-tree"?
      Actually - I order an on-tray - which is exactly how they bring it to me.
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      Sal
      When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
      Beyond the Path

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