Friday, September 7, 2012

Australians Continue To Surprise Me

I'm watching the April 28, 2011 episode of Q and A.   It's about the monarchy vs. republic debate.

Bob Carr has said the word dynasty twice.

He doesn't pronounce it like I pronounce it.

I say Dine-usty. He says din-usty.  

I wasn't expecting that.  

At least I knew what he was saying, though. But maybe I understood it because of the context.   Without the context, I might have been lost.  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oh dear, with a name like Dina you must be a tad disconcerted.

    For pedants [like me] the correct pronunciation of vowel sounds [including Y]is theoretically determined by the etymology of a word. However, the great strength of English is its adaptability, which leads to a corruption of pronunciation of lots of words.

    Sometimes US pronunciation [perhaps through greater media influence] becomes "correct". For example, "harris" has now become "ha-rass" worldwide.

    In the case of "Dynasty" everyone here referred to that soap opera as "Dinasty". Maybe the word wasn't used often enough in the soap opera itself to influence the rest of the world.

    My own pet hate is the name Caitlin which most people pronounce "Kate-lyn" but is an anglicised gaelic spelling of the Irish "kat-leen" [originally anglicised as Kathleen]. There is no "th" sound in original Irish gaelic.

    The Irish part of me is cheesed off that the colonising British destroyed the Irish alphabet. The British part of me says "might is right" and there is no point in fighting it. What's done is done, move on.
    The Australian part of me says that as much as the Caitlin thing irritates me, I really shouldn't give a toss.

    The main test is whether, despite local accents/ pronunciation, we can communicate. As you say, the context is what matters.
    Full points to you, Dina, for having a healthy curiosity and an open mind.

    Naturally, the original English "Din-asty" is "correct" but if a couple of hundred million US-ians use the pronunciation dine-asty that is how you should say it lest you be thought a wanker. I shall forgive you because most Americans don't know any better.

    My forgiveness is generous, I know, but please don't thank me. Australians pride themselves on their tolerance and forebearance.

  3. As FC said. In my mind your name is pronounced Deena, but maybe I am wrong. I still say HARass and not haRASS.

  4. Fruitcake:

    Now I'm feeling pressured to pronounce it as Din-asty. If that's the original way of saying it...shouldn't I go with tradition? But then my fellow USian speakers will give me dirty looks.

    Fortunately, the word doesn't often pop up in my daily vocabulary.

    I'm joking. I usually pronounce things the USian way. Sometimes I do it with an Australian accent. It's like my own hybrid language.

    I do sometimes spell the British-Australian way.

    I try to pronounce place names in the way Australians intended.

    I feel weird saying Melbourne the Aussie way; but ignorant if I don't.

    Fruitcake and Andrew: My name IS pronounced Deena.

    When I went to Tasmania to meet my online friend for the first time; I confessed I had been mispronouncing her daughter's name in my head all these years. (Tara). She confessed she had no idea how to say my name. That moment of confessions was a really great ice-breaker.

    Tara's father's name is Tyrone. It's pronounced much differently than we pronounce it here in USian.

    So...maybe Caitlin can be pronounced your way; and other ways. But I can understand why it would frustrate you.

  5. Oddly enough, only yesterday I was wondering how you'd pronounce your name, as I know a few ladies with the same spelling but both use different pronunciations, so very convenient for me that you cleared that up in this!

    The American way of saying names like Tara/Clara etc always bugs me.. just because I never heard it until I was much older and it sounded to strange I guess!

  6. Kate,

    That IS funny that you were thinking about that yesterday.

    How do the other Dina's pronounce their name?

    After I met an Aussie Tara, the American pronunciation of Tara (which I saw On True Blood) sounded strange to me.

    I think I like the Australian version better. It sounds much more elegant.

    I don't think I've ever heard the name Clara before. Maybe I've seen it written.

    It sounds strange to me either way.