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WORDS

This is a companion to my old Phonemic Transcription Key; it started out as a section of that page, but it grew to the point where it needed to be hived off into its own directory where I could separate out each letter of the alphabet.  This page is mainly here to provide a jumping‐off point to those individual letters, but it can also house my collection of example sentences.  As always, angle‐brackets like this indicate examples of orthodox spellings, while my phonemic transcriptions use IPA in slant‐brackets lɑɪk ðɪs.

This isn't a prescriptive guide to how words should be pronounced; it's just an attempt at a representative selection of accurately reported personal spoken forms.  These pronunciations may be what I normally say, but I'm not denying the existence of alternatives, some of which I even recognise as making more sense than my own habitual versions.  When people pronounce “nuclear” as “noocular”, that's not the end of the world; prejudice against people who happened to grow up speaking differently from you is bigotry, plain and simple, and it's about time it became as socially unacceptable as the other kinds.

SENTENCES

Some full‐length case‐studies – they may not be phrases that come up frequently in conversation, but all of them have been used before, and “The North Wind and the Sun” often turns up as a sample text in comparative studies.  In each case, I am speaking with normal levels of emphasis at ordinary conversational speeds.

With tenure, Suzie'd have all the more leisure for yachting, but her publications are no good.
wɪð ˈtɛnjə ˈsuːˌziːd hæv ɔːl ð mɔː ˈlɛʒə fə ˈjɒtɪŋ bət hɜː ˌpəblɪˈkɛɪʃənz ə nəʊ ɡʊd

For certain US accents and phonological analyses, that's a “quick brown fox” sentence, providing a full inventory of phonemes; for me, even if we ignore the somewhat marginal ʊə, it would require the addition of air thigh rear chow joy.  Eventually I found myself a perfect JBR RP pangram, with exactly one use of each phoneme in my inventory:

Are those shy Eurasian footwear, cowboy chaps, or jolly earthmoving headgear?
ɑː  ð əʊ z  ʃ ɑɪ  j ʊə ˈr ɛɪ ʒ ə n  ˈf ʊ t w ɛə  ˈk æʊ b ɔɪ  tʃ æ p s  ɔː  ˈdʒ ɒ l iː  ˈɜː θ ˌm uː v ɪ ŋ  ˈh ɛ d ɡ ɪə

Yes, I know there are far too many Rs in that for it to work for all you rhotic types!  Honestly, for me there's only one – I've increased the spaces between segments to make it easier if you want to double‐check.  Now for some less elaborately contrived example sentences:

Bother, father caught hot coffee in the carpark
ˈbɒðə ˈfɑːðə kɔːt hɒt ˈkɒfiː ɪn ðə ˈkɑːˌpɑːk
I teach Ferdinand the calm cat to fetch cold cups of coffee.  Who knows more about tasting things?  He's used the book.
ɑɪ tiːtʃ ˈfɜːdɪˌnænd ðə kɑːm kæt tə fɛtʃ kəʊld kəps əv ˈkɒfiː   huː nəʊz mɔːr əbæʊt ˈtɛɪstɪŋ θɪŋz   hiːz juːzd ðə bʊk
The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveller came along wrapped in a warm cloak.  They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveller take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.
ðə nɔːθ wɪnd ən ðə sən wə dɪsˈpjuːtɪŋ wɪtʃ wəz ðə ˈstrɒŋɡə wɛn ə ˈtrævlə kɛɪm əˈlɒŋ ræpt ɪn ə wɔːm kləʊk   ðɛɪ əˈɡriːd ðət ðə wən huː fɜːs səkˈsiːdɪd ɪn ˈmɛɪkɪŋ ðə ˈtrævlə tɛɪk ɪz kləʊk ɒf ʃʊb biː kənˈsɪdəd ˈstrɒŋɡə ðən ðiː ˈəðə
Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveller fold his cloak around him, and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt; then the Sun shone out warmly, and immediately the traveller took off his cloak.
ðɛn ðə nɔːθ wɪnd bluː əz hɑːd z iː kʊd bət ðə mɔːr iː bluː ðə mɔː ˈkləʊsliː dɪd ðə ˈtrævlə fəʊld hɪz kləʊk əˈræʊnd hɪm   ən ət lɑːs ðə nɔːθ wɪnd ɡɛɪv əp ðj əˈtɛmp   ðɛn ðə sən ʃɒn æʊt ˈwɔːmliː ən ɪˈmiːdʒətliː ðə ˈtrævlə tʊk ɒf ɪz kləʊk
And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.
ən səʊ ðə nɔːθ wɪnd wəz əˈblɑɪdʒ tə kənˈfɛs ðət ðə sən wəz ðə ˈstrɒŋɡr əv ðə tuː
Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.
həʊld ðə ˈnjuːzriːdəz nəʊz ˈskwɛəliː ˈwɛɪtər ɔː frɛndliː mɪlk wɪl ˈkæʊntəmɑːnd mɑɪ ˈtræʊzəz
I hereby place this example sentence in the public domain.
ɑɪ ˈhɪəbɑɪ plɛɪs ðɪs ɪɡˈzɑːmpəl ˈsɛntəns ɪn ðə ˈpəblɪk dəʊˈmɛɪn