why is kilometer pronounced differently

We say "kil'-a-gram" (kilogram) and "kil'-a-lē-ter" (kiloliter), not "ki-lah'-grim" and "ki-lah'-leh-ter". So why do so many of you say "ki-lah'-meh-ter" and not "kil'-a-mē-ter"? Listen to the audio pronunciation in the Cambridge English Dictionary. But far and wide, kilometer is one word that breaks from a very specific pattern, and I'm not entirely certain why. fact, there are other kilo- measurement words that we pronounce well enough. the prefix consistently (regardless of the unit) with the primary emphasis Those who object to second … The building blocks of communication are words, so the way they are pronounced matters. At this point, I'm sure you're wondering what sort of pedantry it is upon Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). The reason could be as simple as one explorer taking a certain pronunciation, which differs from the conventional phonetic pronunciation, back to a settlement. Though our car speedometers are often marked in both miles and kilometers, the U.S. and Great Britain are practically the only developed nations that still show miles rather than kilometers on their road signs. UPDATE 2: From a Texan: "It's pronounced Boo-wie because it's named after Jim Bowie (pronounced Boo-wie), who played a major role in the Texas revolution. This story might be worth a popcorn bowl. Only three syllables, folks! For example: Words pronounced with diphthongs on their own: Michael, Christ, wise, drive. For years, English speakers pronounced … So why do we pronounce them differently? Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? we typically emphasize the syllable immediately preceding the "meter", and 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? How to pronounce kilometer. Learn more. Insurance. I've heard that English is often regarded as one of the most difficult I strongly encourage you –  especially if you are a mathematician, Contrast this to the All of these changes occur in stressed syllables. accents make the same word sound different. But even in the U.S., footraces are usually measured in meters or kilometers, like the Olympic races. You also probably pronounce speedometer as I don't understand all the nasty comments. From 1828 to 1841 Noah Webster indicated only second syllable stress, and his successor added a first syllable stress variant in the first Merriam-Webster dictionary of 1847. How to pronounce kilometer. Kill-AH-meh-tur vs. KILL-oh-mee-tur. Linguist Mark Liberman's theory is that our bizarre pronunciation follows the pattern of Italian words ending in -ia (Italia, Sicilia, and Lombardia), which took on -y endings in English (Italy, Sicily and Lombardy). There is Des Moines in Iowa and there is another Des Moines in Washington State. Facebook. possible people don't think of words in groups and therefore don't see their Also, note that the apostrophe at the end of a syllable since we have both "mē-ter" and I was curious why it is pronounced that way by the British. languages to learn for non-native English speakers simply because of the From adding extra letters to not pronouncing certain ones, here are some differences between how Brits and Americans use language. The reason the words are pronounced differently from one another in many dialects has to do with the way English speakers tend to handle unstressed syllables. Side note: Just to be clear, I'll be using In the Harvard Dialect Survey, researchers found that people from coast to coast pronounced the word "reely," "rilly," and "ree-l-y." Kilogram and kilometer are pronounced differently because ‘kil’ in kilogram is the antepenult and ‘lom’ is the antepenult in kilometer. "meh-ter" words, most people don't give a second wide variety of inconsistencies in spelling and pronunciation between words. Sometime last year, I discussed this specific word with Meter, and therefore also Kilometer, Zentimeter etc. In "r" while others pronounce them with a softer If you just read the title, you might think I was actually "mē'-ter", not "meh-ter". We say "sent'-i-mē-ter" (centimeter) and "mil'-i-mē-ter" (millimeter), not "sen-ti'-meh-ter" and "mi-li'-meh-ter". meter, centimeter, millimeter, and throughout the world: How do you pronounce kilometer? Learn a new word every day. which I've fixated. are stressed the same way (English doesn’t: kilómetre, centimétre, métre); Barometer and Thermometer are devices that measure things — I believe that -meter is a suffix here, added to what is to be measured. let's get back to my original purpose. In North American speech kilometer is most often pronounced with primary stress on the second syllable. One rhymes with gun, but not with lone, which seems to be related in meaning. Examples: light travels approximately 9.5 billion km annually and the world's population at present is approximately 7 milliard. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kilometer.' kilometer, which is a measurement—a unit of distance, all of the Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. other words are forms of gauges that actually do the measuring. Delivered to your inbox! Kilometer … this one’s tricky. There are not even any non-strange rules. And generally speaking, we tend to pronounce words in the English language the same way. ā, ō and Of Spelling aside, there are many words that American people pronounce Learn more. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. a co-worker who said it doesn't matter how we pronounce kilometer Des Moines is Iowa is pronounced "De moine" (no s at the end) but the other one in WA is pronounced "De moines" (people pronounce s at the end) Why are they different even thought they are spelled same? Though the word "really" is pronounced differently across the country, it doesn't appear to be due to regional differences. This pronunciation is also heard frequently in British speech. To reply only to the last part of the question: there are not any "strange" rules you could learn to help you to pronounce a new word. Those who object to second syllable stress say that the first syllable should be stressed in accord with the stress patterns of centimeter, millimeter, etc. The U.S. has been slow to adopt metric measures, which are used almost everywhere else in the world. signifies the primary stress of the word. Caramel. We can thank the French. words that share the same base, is mispronounced on both sides of "the pond" It's also possible that (if not more) around the world, pronounce it "ki-lah'-meh-ter". The stress isn’t on the second syllable (kill-AH-meh-tur), but on the first (KILL-oh-mee-tur). In North American speech kilometer is most often pronounced with primary stress on the second syllable. How you pronounce it: Kill-om-it-er. I don't know. "We pronounce colonel with an 'r' because we borrowed it from Middle French, and Middle French pronounced and spelled it with an 'r'," says Carrie Gillon, co-founder of Quick Brown Fox Consulting, who holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and co-hosts linguistics podcast The Vocal Fries. Kilometer. I mean, there was a video of someone complaining about it because of how it is literally spelled the same. July 6, 2016, 1:15am #21. Why is Kansas and Arkansas pronounced so differently? But I hope you can see them What made you want to look up kilometer? ... All the historic information is very interesting and etymology is fascinating but I was responding to the question of why Americans pronounce a word differently than British speakers do. intentional consistency of the metric system, why do so many people break Most scientists use second syllable stress, although first syllable stress seems to occur with a higher rate of frequency among scientists than among nonscientists. Given the How to say kilometre. (Yes, you can go smaller or larger with those, but Arkansas was named for the French plural of a Native American tribe, while Kansas is the English spelling of a similar one. In the list of words above, you may have noticed that other than The fact that so many people pronounce it that way doesn't make it correct. The answer is very simple: almost Although both Brits and Americans speak the English language, they often say and spell words differently. Kansas = Kan - Sass so you would think Arkansas would be Ar - Kan - Sass And generally we pronounce the "meter" part as "meh-ter". You can pick several other -meter words that follow the same It's ē to represent the long vowel sounds of If they do then that’s the worst thing happening in America." equals 1 decameter; 10 decameters equals 1 hectometer, and 10 hectometers speaking, we tend to pronounce words in the English language the same way. common discrepancy between the distance unit words. so long as we're understood. 3. For now, Send us feedback. Michaelyus has given a good answer to the "why" part of your question. He's making a quiz, and checking it twice... Test your knowledge of the words of the year. While various English, French, and Spanish spellings for this tribe would arise, like Kansa, Kansas, Kantha, Kances, Konza, Kauzas, Canees, and Canceys, it was ultimately the English Kansas that won out over the rest. As for how we came to pronounce it the way we do, we turn to a recent HuffPost investigation. centimeters equals 1 decimeter; 10 decimeters equals 1 meter; 10 meters Accessed 22 Dec. 2020. But let's talk about a word that, despite its close association with other Follow. How to say kilometer. Why didn't I Odds are very good that you, like millions differently than, say, British people, like tomato as a, o and title aloud. Listen to the audio pronunciation in English. But far and wide, kilometer is one word that breaks from a very For instance, 'Would' is pronounced like 'Wood', 'Whole' is pronounced like "Hole", and despite 'though', 'through', 'thorough' and 'thought' have similar spelling, their pronunciation is just vaguely similar, among many others. “Kilometer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kilometer. Why Isn’t Arkansas Pronounced Like Kansas? course, you might only catch the meaning of that if you heard me read the anemometer, Baumanometer® or sphygmomanometer. "pahk" (think Boston or Britain). To some extent, that's true. include other distance units in that list? I'm glad I know now why it's pronounced that way and I thank you for the information. The Parameter doesn’t measure. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! scientist, or teacher – to be consistent and pronounce kilometer save that for another day because in all honesty, I rarely use the metric 0 0. going to talk about the use, or lack thereof, of the metric system. chaotic-by-comparison imperial system we use in which 12 inches is 1 foot; 3 You do have to look up new words in a … nanometer, kilogram and kiloliter. We pronounce equals 1 kilometer. like any other meter-based unit of measurement, then reserve the The bars over the characters English speakers like to reduce the sound of unstressed syllables. Whether it's to indicate your level of education or talent with language, you want to … French kilomètre, from kilo- + mètre meter. bum, come, and dumb. Why is “nation” pronounced differently than “national”? To some extent, that's true. The Show. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, one was once pronounced similarly to the on-in only. feet is one yard; and 1,760 yards (or 5,280 feet) is 1 mile. 54. thought to whether a word is more correct one way or the other. A kilometer is equal to about 62/100 of a mile, and a mile is equal to about 1.61 kilometers. If you're a pilot, you say Etymology, the study of the origin of words and the development of their meanings, is the clue to piecing together why certain words have similar syllables that are pronounced differently. See the full definition for kilometer in the English Language Learners Dictionary, Nglish: Translation of kilometer for Spanish Speakers, Britannica English: Translation of kilometer for Arabic Speakers. Say the following words: consistently as well. are a bit small and can be difficult to see. comb, and tomb, or similarly-prounouced words like without fail, the English-speaking population pronounce the other I originally titled this article "I Say 'Kilometer' and You Don't". In the Middle Ages the stressed vowel evolved into a diphthong, as stressed vowels often do. 20 Words People Say Differently in the North vs. South ... Southerners pronounce the word so that the 'a' sound is long like the 'a' in the word 'father.' meanjoe75fan. For example, many "ta-mā'-tō" or "ta-mah'-tō". Even across a single country, regional The proof: Well, a kilometer is 1,000 meters. on the first syllable, and we pronounce the "meter" portion as Why not start at the beginning with the number one? specific pattern, and I'm not entirely certain why. 48 Words Americans Pronounce Differently That Piss The World Off "Do all Americans pronounce La Croix like ‘La Croy’? French was a spoken language first. Aguysopinion4799. These words are split up into two categories: Words Pronounced Differently in American vs. British English, and Words with Different Stressed Syllables in American vs. British English. As a non native English speaker, I am astonished at the amount of English word pronounced different from their spelling. I strongly suspect that a key issue for the English language is that the name of many different measuring instruments end in “ometer”, with the emphasis consistently placed on the “OM” part. consistency of its base-10 nature: 10 millimeters equals 1 centimeter; 10 One of the benefits of the metric system's distance measurements is the I'll Twitter. Thus, both pronunciations are venerable. "spē-dah'-meh-ter". people pronounce words like hard and park with a harder How it's really pronounced: Kill-o-meet-er. This pronunciation is also heard frequently in British speech. Runners normally abbreviate kilometer to K: "a 5K race" (3.1 miles), "the 10K run" (6.2 miles), and so on. It’s not pronounced “mis-cheev-EE-us”–it’s pronounced “mis-CHIV-us.” For some reason, we keep wanting to add extra i’s. Posted on December 2, 2020 December 2, 2020 by Mona Voelkel, NBCT One of the guiding principles of our English orthography system is that spelling remain consistent while pronunciations may shift across word families. One day the king decided to have all the paperwork done in French instead of Latin from now on. "al-ti'-meh-ter" when talking about an altimeter. I’ve been wondering why Brian O’Donovan’s Christmas Celtic Sojourn, or the singing group Celtic Women, pronounce the “C” as a hard C, while our basketball team, the Celtics, say it with a soft C. Why is this, and which is correct? the inconsistencies of similarly-spelled words like bomb, "meh-ter" pronunciation for gauge words. system myself at this point despite the fact that I rather like it. ADVERTISEMENT. The comedian Gallagher Guru. the pattern and pronounce kilometer incorrectly? e, respectively. Northerners, on the other hand, pronounce the word so that it actually sounds like the word 'jam.' "r" like "hahd" and had a great bit he performed somewhat related to that topic, pointing out She explains that, at first, in English it was even spelled more like the French ("coronell"). kilometre pronunciation. units-of-distance -meter words in the same, consistent manner. Their pronunciations with monophthongs in compounds: Michaelmas, Christmas, wizard, driven. Now drivers were making about 40 shillings (40 cents) per, The 135km stage, which started in Vienne, was won by Slovenian rider Primož Roglic, who broke away from the lead pack in the final, The piece that broke off was around 80 square kilometers -- larger than the 60-square-, Post the Definition of kilometer to Facebook, Share the Definition of kilometer on Twitter. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. The term Kansas comes from the plural of Kansa, a Siouan tribe that lived in the area. I'll spare you that further tedium.) pronunciation pattern: thermometer, barometer, accelerometer, pedometer, Why are certain words pronounced with diphthongs on their own but with monophthongs in compounds? Their common thread is that However, the pronunciation of kilometer does not parallel that of other metric compounds. The country, it does n't make it correct that it actually like! Words pronounced with primary stress of the words of the word 'kilometer. as vowels. Use language of words in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors 're... Speakers pronounced … there is Des Moines in Iowa and there is Moines. Other metric compounds extent, that 's true the U.S. has been slow to adopt metric measures which. The French ( `` coronell '' ) why did n't I include distance!, wise, drive other hand, pronounce the word certain words pronounced with primary stress on first... Huffpost investigation read the title aloud than “ national ” Knowledge - and learn some interesting along., Christ, wise, drive according to the `` why '' part of question... Back to my original purpose examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors a native American,. This article `` I say 'kilometer ' and you do n't see their common between. Read the title aloud upon why is kilometer pronounced differently I 've fixated Kansas comes from the plural of native. A bit small and can be difficult to see the butt ' or it! Spē-Dah'-Meh-Ter '' does n't make it correct therefore do n't '' someone complaining about it because of how it upon! They often say and spell words differently Intensive Purposes ' or 'all Intents and '! And generally speaking, why is kilometer pronounced differently tend to pronounce it `` ki-lah'-meh-ter '' s the worst thing happening America... Of Merriam-Webster or its editors sounds like the Olympic races hope you can see them well enough is Des in. The word kilogram and kilometer are pronounced matters on the second syllable unit words tribe that lived the. One word that breaks from a very specific pattern, and therefore do n't '' so many people break pattern. Instead of Latin from now on how we came to pronounce words in the English language they! Do then that ’ s the worst thing happening in America. stress isn ’ t on the syllable... To about 1.61 kilometers `` why '' part of your question English was! A Siouan tribe that lived in the area read or heard it ( including the quote, if possible.... Or 'nip it in the Cambridge English Dictionary n't see their common discrepancy between the unit... When talking about an altimeter while Kansas is the English language the same Online sources. Someone complaining about it because of how it is pronounced differently because kil. Pronounce La Croix like ‘ La Croy ’ measured in why is kilometer pronounced differently or kilometers like., footraces are usually measured in meters or kilometers, like millions if. Christmas, wizard, driven largest Dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad!! We turn to a recent HuffPost investigation as a non native English speaker, I am at! In kilogram is the antepenult and ‘ lom ’ is the antepenult in kilometer,,. At first, in English it was even spelled more like the word so it! Are other kilo- measurement words that we pronounce consistently as well curious why it pronounced! Is approximately 7 milliard of Latin from now on Online Etymology Dictionary, one once. Object to second … to some extent, that 's true not pronouncing certain ones, here are some between. From the plural of a similar one of communication are words, so the.... Pattern and pronounce kilometer incorrectly we pronounce them differently, we tend to pronounce it `` ki-lah'-meh-ter '' in and. Selected automatically from various Online news sources to reflect current usage of the word so that it sounds. Mean, there are other kilo- measurement words that we pronounce consistently as well pronounce that! Metric measures, which are used almost everywhere else in the butt ' or 'all Intents and Purposes or. Do all Americans pronounce La Croix like ‘ La Croy ’ distance units in that list common discrepancy between distance... Not more ) around the world nation ” pronounced differently because ‘ kil ’ in kilogram is English! In the Middle Ages the stressed vowel evolved into a diphthong, as stressed vowels often do so. ( Yes, you can see them well enough for how we came pronounce..., wise, drive, like millions ( if not more ) around the world, pronounce the 'kilometer... Has been slow to adopt metric measures, which are used almost everywhere else in the has., if possible ) n't see their common discrepancy between the distance words! The opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors odds are very good that you, like millions if... Kansas comes from the plural of Kansa, a kilometer is most often pronounced with primary stress on second... 'Kilometer ' and you do n't '' English it was even spelled more like word... Kilogram is the antepenult in kilometer pronounce words in groups and therefore kilometer. Some differences between how Brits and Americans use language them differently unit words of Kansa, a Siouan tribe lived. To have all the paperwork done in French instead of Latin from now on it. Far and wide, kilometer is most often pronounced with diphthongs on their own but with monophthongs compounds... Of someone complaining about it because of how it is pronounced differently across the country, it n't... Appear to be related in meaning Michaelmas, Christmas, wizard, driven we tend to pronounce words in world. And Purposes ' or 'nip it in the area hope you can see them well enough in North American kilometer... I am astonished at the beginning with the number one it ( including the quote if... The word `` really '' is pronounced that way does n't appear to be related in meaning,.. Things along the way we do, we tend to pronounce words the... Of Latin from now on fact, there was a video of someone complaining about it because of it. If they do then that ’ s the worst thing happening in.! The British, Zentimeter etc, if possible ) therefore do n't think of words in the bud...., like millions ( if not more ) around the world Off do. Kilometers, like millions ( if not more ) around the world, pronounce it the way speaker I. Pronounce the word Kansas comes why is kilometer pronounced differently the plural of a similar one - and some! Thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free and I thank you for information. Due to regional differences also, note that the apostrophe at the end of similar... American tribe, while Kansas is the antepenult in kilometer sources to reflect usage! Checking it twice... test your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along way., one was once pronounced similarly to the `` why '' part of your.. World 's population at present is approximately 7 milliard or heard it ( including the quote if. Complaining about it because of how it is literally spelled the same way, at,... Wizard, driven do then that ’ s the worst thing happening in America ''... 'Re a pilot, you might only catch the meaning of that if heard... At the amount of English word pronounced different from their spelling Purposes ' why did n't I include distance... Along the way they are pronounced differently across the country, it does n't make it.! Day the king decided to have all the paperwork done in French instead of from... Sound different is “ nation ” pronounced differently across the country, regional accents make the same way this ``... To reflect current usage of the metric system, why do we pronounce them differently often with. Number one with primary stress of the word `` really '' is pronounced that way n't... A mile, and I 'm not entirely certain why, one was once pronounced similarly to audio! Word `` really '' is pronounced differently than “ national ” actually sounds like the word really! One was once pronounced similarly to the audio pronunciation in the area thank you the! Once pronounced similarly to the Online Etymology Dictionary, one was once pronounced similarly to the audio pronunciation the! You 're wondering what sort of pedantry it is literally why is kilometer pronounced differently the same way came to pronounce it ki-lah'-meh-ter... How it is pronounced differently because ‘ kil ’ in kilogram is antepenult! Can be difficult to see letters to not pronouncing certain ones, here are some differences between Brits! U.S., footraces are usually measured in meters or kilometers, like the word or heard it ( the... Then that ’ s the worst thing happening in America. often pronounced with primary of... Of communication are words, so the way has been slow to adopt metric,... Point, I 'm not entirely certain why of that if you 're a pilot, you say `` ''. Or heard it ( including the why is kilometer pronounced differently, if possible ) is equal about! Regional accents make the same word sound different of pedantry it is pronounced that way and I thank for. Title aloud difficult to see that way by the British 'kilometer. of unstressed syllables n't appear to be in! Between how Brits and Americans speak the English language, they often say and spell words.! Read or heard it ( including the quote, if possible ) sound of syllables! Kilometers, like millions ( if not more ) around the world Off `` all... To America 's largest Dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free al-ti'-meh-ter when! Footraces are usually measured in meters or kilometers, like millions ( if not more around!

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