Tuesday, November 5, 2013

syllables and emphasis

We had the funniest conversation at dinner a few nights ago and it was so funny that we keep reliving it almost every day.  So, I had to record it here, although it won't be nearly as funny as the real thing.  And it might sound better if read out loud.  
The pictures and the story are completely unrelated.  Cole just wanted me to get some action shots of him running and jumping...

We were eating dinner and Sierra was talking about the word:
as in serrated knife.
She says SERrated.  But the kids in her science class say serRATed.
And Summer says, "you are putting the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong syllAble."
And Cole asked that whole thing meant.
So we tried explaining syllables to Cole.
I used the example of Sierra's name:
SIerra or siERRa or sierrA
And we all took turns saying Sierra's name out loud with different emphasis.
Then we tried it with Summer's name:
SUMmer or summER.
So, of course, Cole tried to emphasize different syllables in his name:
CCCCCCole or cOOOOOle or coLLLLLLLE and even colUHHHHHH
It was the funniest thing ever.  And maybe using names wasn't the best choice to explain syllables.

Here's a question for you?  How many syllables do YOU think there are in the word mayonnaise?
or how about isle?

Summer had an assignment when she was in school in Mississippi.  For her homework she/we had to determine how many syllables were in a list of words.
Mayonnaise was on the list.  And clearly there is an O in the middle of the word and I'm sure that in the dictionary there 3 syllables in this word.  But I say MAY NAZE.  clearly 2 syllables.
But, slow it down a little and add a big O in the middle.  may O naze.
That is Mississippi pronunciation and there are obviously 3 syllables.
Now, isle.  
In this sentence:
"I found the cheerios in the cereal isle"
there are 2 syllables in isle.  like this:  I ull.
but, not in Mississippi.  it's one syllable.  as in:
"I buy my pickled frog legs in the vegetable AL"
And please take the full 3 seconds to pronounce that A.
It was a very complicated assignment for her/us.

emPHAsis on the wrong syllAble can be a very confusing subject.


Leslie said...

hahaha I love this post. Thank you for clearing up the word isle. I was trying to figure out how you would say that word with less than two sil-bulls. ;)

Amara said...

I say may o nayse, but then I usually take time to gag a little when I say it so maybe that's why. Hilarious. How do you pronounce beige? I still say beej because I saw it in a lot of books before I ever heard it pronounced. I still can't shake it.