Pismronuciation

Why is Retina and Vagina pronounced differently?

12 comments:

it's in the tongue action said...

I always find it easier to get my tongue round vagina compared to retina.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

You've got that licked then.

Bugger said...

Why is AyeRack written Iraq?

Ruth@VS said...

Oh dear, you really need to get a life...

denverthen said...

I think it's something to do with phonetics. And the etymological-enunciational evolution of the English language. And maybe fish. Maybe.

IOW, I haven't the faintest clue.

Bugger said...

Why do penguins have no knees?


Why is there only one Monopoly Commission?

Richard said...

I can see you are having trouble with your worms today.

It's quite interesting to pronounce 'retina' to rhyme with 'vagina' and vice-versa. I think I will do this for the whole of tomorrow and see where it gets me.

I don't have an optician's appointment booked, which is probably a good thing.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

What I like about these posts is what it reveals about commenters!
Denverthen mentioned fish. Perhaps he knows the old Ghoti trick?

Richard said...

Ghoti - always best with sliced and deep-fried ghoughpteighbteau, and eaten out of paper.

Hiccough
Though
Ptolemy
Neigh
Debt
Bureau

Boom-tish!

Mrs Rigby said...

Serious answer - because the second word is Latin, it rhymes with Regina.

There's stuff about next but last vowels and the gi or ti letter combination too, but it'd take ages to waffle an explanation that'd be mostly made up!

Oh, um, it's pronounced that way because the lexicographers say so

Richard said...

Serious objection - the first word is Latin too :) And, of course, in Latin 'regina' would have been pronounced 'rejeena' anyway. Possibly.

I think it's easiest to say that English is chaotic at the best of times, and it's unwise to look for too much consistency.

Though the cough, hough and hiccough so unsought would plough me through,
Enough that I o'er life's dark lough my thorough course pursue.

Richard said...

I should also add (for sheer pedantry's sake) that the words are pronounced that way because that is the way that English speakers say they are. Lexicographers merely record what is common usage. If they are any good, that is.