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  1. madhatterdesign
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    madhatterdesign New Member

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    Proper Notation for Pronunciations?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by madhatterdesign, Aug 26, 2010.

    Hello all! I am writing a paper for a college class all about my name (Brianna). One of the points I am making in the essay refers to the various possible pronunciations of my name. What is the proper way to write the pronunciations?

    For example, I wrote the following in my paper:

    The most common mispronunciation I hear is "Bree-ON-uh."

    Should I use [ ] instead of " "? I have looked all over the web and cannot find any information on this!

    Thanks in advance!

    Bree-AN-uh
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unless you are going to use a dictionary pronunciation character group, just use the best phonetics you can.

    I would make it bree-AH-nuh.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I completely agree with Cog that you should use the most intuitive phonetic representation of the pronunciations. Few people are versed in the ins & outs of actual pronunciation symbols.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/help/ahd4/pronkey.html
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    English teachers use the phonetic alphabet, or phonetic transcription, all the time. You'll find it online or at the front of most dictionaries. The common one is 'IPA-based phonetic transcription'.

    If you are doing an essay about your name and want to give it an interesting, more academic slant, my personal opinion is that it would definitely add to the essay to have just a sentence or two about its phonetic spelling when you mention pronunciation. As a teacher I can say we are always pleased to see a student making an effort with research, or trying to find an unusual angle, as long as it's relevant.

    As a case in point, I'm unsure about how you prefer your name to be pronounced. I think Americans tend to make a more 'aah' sound in Breeaahnna, whereas in S. Britain we pronounce it more like two names, Bree Anna, without lengthening the A.

    I've found this pronunciation variable with many names with 'A's, e.g. the pronunciation of 'Ali' is normally with a short 'A' in the Middle East (like in 'as') and the emphasis on the 'i': a-LI. But in western countries, the 'A' tends to be lengthened for some reason, making it like 'Ahlee'.

    If you explain the phonemics clearly, why worry that you must dumb down your work? Why assume no one wants to hear something unusual or new? It would make it more interesting--and the phonetic alphabet is an underused tool when using the dictionary to look up words.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i ditto the ditto of cog's advice...
     
  6. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    I don't think you need to surround the examples with anything.
     

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