Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 20:46:31 CST
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU
Subject: Re: RhetORic
I've been out of town and am responding to old postings from the middle
of last week. Once my father, who had advanced to the 3rd reader in
Indian Territory before electing to place farm work above readin/ritin,
sounded out 'rhetoric' as rheTORic and asked me what it meant. I of
course, dutiful son that I am, demonstrated the received pronunciation in
my explanation. Why would he not have made it rhyme with 'caloric'?
And have the same stress placement as 'algebraic'? I don't know whether
he used the term much after learning its meaning.
I'd been thinking of posting a word-stress question, and here's my opportunity.
Recently I heard an interview with an Republican legislator from Oklahoma in
which he consistently stressed (not equally, but that's not the point) the
first and third syllables in 'distribute' so that it "matched" 'distribution'.
(I can't think of the man's name, but gave his party affiliation in case
that helps others think of who it might be; he's on TV a lot these days because
he is Chair of some committee [really drawing blanks here]). His pronunciation
almost made Robert McNeil do the same "mispronunciation."
Have others of you noticed many suggestions of a current trend away from
some of the SPE stress-placement rules that we found so interesting in 1968?
I've noticed other examples but can't think of them right now.