GRAMMAR so confusing even NYT wrote about it

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 18, 2013 6:44 PM GMT
    OK, would you write "a homage" or "an homage"?

    Here's the NYT article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/magazine/07FOB-onlanguage-t.html
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    Jul 18, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    There's a soft "h" in "hysterical" as "an hysterical movie" but I don't see it for "homage."
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    Jul 18, 2013 9:56 PM GMT
    How dare my post sink down the list so quickly! icon_wink.gif
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Jul 18, 2013 9:59 PM GMT
    but are you french though?
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    Jul 18, 2013 10:24 PM GMT
    wrestlervic saidHow dare my post sink down the list so quickly! icon_wink.gif
    .
    Did it?
    I checked it right after I made this post and it's way on top!
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    Jul 18, 2013 10:56 PM GMT
    Reminds me of the movie Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck; he pronounces it the French way; the first syllable was Oh, the second I can't figure out how to spell phonetically, sort of maj where the j sound is very soft, the a sound is short. Accent on the second syllable. So in that case I think you'd use an instead of a.
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    Jul 19, 2013 9:18 AM GMT
    English grammar is very easy. However, the spelling and pronunciation can be tricky. Here, it's not really about grammar, but about the pronunciation.
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    Jul 19, 2013 9:42 AM GMT
    There are two slightly different meanings, with differing pronunciation depending on the context; thus this is a question of grammar after all.

    "o-maj"= usually a physical representation of respect toward someone or something. (ex: They built a statue as an homage to the king."), similar to French pronunciation.

    "hoh-midge" = the act or feeling respect or honor toward someone or something. (ex: The citizens paid homage to the late king by bowing to his statue.) Both are used as nouns. Anglicized pronunciation.
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    Jul 19, 2013 10:22 AM GMT
    I think it's an homage.. it's a french word. ;p
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    Jul 19, 2013 10:23 AM GMT
    um, why?
  • mitshoo

    Posts: 76

    Jul 20, 2013 5:03 AM GMT
    YOU GUYS.

    There are such things as dialects. I don't know why people don't understand this.

    As far as the pronunciation of H is concerned, it should be known that H's go in and out of existence in languages. To me, not saying the H sounds like you are from old money east coast United States, like you went to 'Ahvahd (Harvard) or something. Like when people say "an historical". I personally find dropping H's grating on my ears, and it sounds just a tad pretentious. My favorite is when people say "an" but still pronounce the H anyway. I think the increasing popularity of these few words may be due to hypercorrection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercorrection

    It's where people think something is a rule for "proper" speech, and then apply it everywhere it doesn't belong.

    A sample quote from this article, which happens to talk about H's!

    H-adding
    Some British accents, such as Cockney, drop the initial "h" from words, e.g. have becomes 'ave. A hypercorrection associated with this is H-adding, adding an "h" to a word which would not normally have an initial "h". An example of this can be found in the speech of the character Parker in Thunderbirds, e.g. "We'll 'ave the h'aristocrats 'ere soon" (from the episode "Vault of Death"). Parker's speech was based on a real person the creators encountered at a restaurant in Cookham.


    So, there you go. It's the same thing, but in reverse. A member of a dialect who lost word-initial H's wanted to sound smart, and knew that the upper class pronounced H's, so he started inserting them wrongly. In the U.S., not pronouncing H's sounds smart and rich and east coast, so people increasingly drop them.
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    Jul 20, 2013 5:06 AM GMT
    I love little minutae like this. The English language is a fascinating creation.
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    Jul 20, 2013 5:08 AM GMT
    mitshoo saidYOU GUYS.

    There are such things as dialects. I don't know why people don't understand this....

    So, there you go. It's the same thing, but in reverse. A member of a dialect who lost word-initial H's wanted to sound smart, and knew that the upper class pronounced H's, so he started inserting them wrongly. In the U.S., not pronouncing H's sounds smart and rich and east coast, so people increasingly drop them.


    OK smarty pants, how would you WRITE it. An homage or a homage?
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    Jul 20, 2013 5:14 AM GMT
    gayinterest saidThere are two slightly different meanings, with differing pronunciation depending on the context; thus this is a question of grammar after all.

    "o-maj"= usually a physical representation of respect toward someone or something. (ex: They built a statue as an homage to the king."), similar to French pronunciation.

    "hoh-midge" = the act or feeling respect or honor toward someone or something. (ex: The citizens paid homage to the late king by bowing to his statue.) Both are used as nouns. Anglicized pronunciation.


    +1
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    Jul 20, 2013 5:26 AM GMT
    Aristoshark saidIt's pronounced "ommidge".

    Or, "oh-MAHJ" if you're at a high-falutin' dinner party someplace. Eating brie.
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    Jul 20, 2013 5:52 AM GMT
    I pronounce the H, so I'd write "a." Don't know if it's right, but I'm not willing to read the article, so I'm sticking with that.
  • mitshoo

    Posts: 76

    Jul 23, 2013 7:50 PM GMT
    wrestlervic said
    mitshoo saidYOU GUYS.

    There are such things as dialects. I don't know why people don't understand this....

    So, there you go. It's the same thing, but in reverse. A member of a dialect who lost word-initial H's wanted to sound smart, and knew that the upper class pronounced H's, so he started inserting them wrongly. In the U.S., not pronouncing H's sounds smart and rich and east coast, so people increasingly drop them.


    OK smarty pants, how would you WRITE it. An homage or a homage?


    For this particular word, an homage. It is, after all, French. I commonly hear two different pronunciations of this word, and both of them have a silent H: oh-MAHJ, and AHM-ij. They differ in both vowel placement and stress. Putting the H in front making it HAM-ij slightly amuses me, but it is not nearly as grating as taking out the H in "an 'istorical".

    So in short, "an" for either pronunciation, and I would avoid saying H. I wonder if anyone has made a dialect map for this particular word?