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Why are bass(fish) and bass(instrument) pronounced differently?


kirottu

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Google says the instrument pronunciation comes from Latin, the fish from Italian.

 

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=bass&searchmode=none

 

Damn GET variables. Or are they POST.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Google says the instrument pronunciation comes from Latin, the fish from Italian.

 

I think google is a bit off - Bass (instrument) comes to English from Italian Basso which is from the Latin word Bassus.

 

Bass (fish) comes to English from Middle English Bas, which derives from the Old English word bærs (similar to Dutch Baars) which itself derives from the Germanic Barsaz.

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Google says the instrument pronunciation comes from Latin, the fish from Italian.

I think google is a bit off - Bass (instrument) comes to English from Italian Basso which is from the Latin word Bassus.

 

Bass (fish) comes to English from Middle English Bas, which derives from the Old English word bærs (similar to Dutch Baars) which itself derives from the Germanic Barsaz.

Yep. Misread the link I found. Serves me right for trying to browse web on phone at work :p

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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So they are pronounced differently, because they come from different sources.... What do you english barbarians think letters are for?

 

Seriously though (I can't just leave the joke answer), the tradition in English is to spell and pronounce words from other languages as they would have been in that language (or at least as close as you can get translating it into the English Alphabet).  Sometimes over the centuries, the origin of the word gets obscured, but the pronunciation remains.

 

In this case the spelling got changed; can't tell you why bas in Middle English became Bass in English.  At some point that's how someone codified it to be.

 

Typically you'd find Shakespeare (the biggest of the early Modern English authors), Dr. Samuel Johnson (influential Modern English Dictionary in the early 1700s), and/or Noah Webster (for American English) at the root of such things, but given the timing we might also find blame for Robert Cawdrey, Thomas Blount, Edward Phillips, John Wilkins and William Lloyd, or Elisha Coles as I think they all created modern English dictionaries prior to Johnson.

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County ← Anglo-Norman counté ← Old French conté ← Latin comitātus, meaning "Jurisdiction of a Count"

 

Country ← Middle English contree ← Old French contree ← from vulger Latin contrata as used in the phrase terra contrata meaning "land opposite"
 

My guess (can't find any evidence online to support it so possibly wildly inaccurate) is the "u" in Country came from one of the standardizers of the language.

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Next : why is draught pronounced like draft

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Next : why is draught pronounced like draft

 

My understanding its because in Middle English, gh was pronounced as either f or w.  The Old English source word was dræht which in turn came from dragen, "to drag"; so Draught would have originally been pronounced drawt (belying its origin in draw). 

 

However even by early modern English there were uncertainties on gh - Shakespere rhymed "daughter" with "after" and "slaughter" for example. Over time the "gh" for "f" pronunciation won out over the "gh" for "w" in the case of draught to the point that the American language changed it to "draft" because who has time for all those extra vowels and consonants, right?

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Time to make an Ask Amentep thread.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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So they are pronounced differently, because they come from different sources.... What do you english barbarians think letters are for?

Counting?

 

 

I, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, xi... No, not going to continue until d

 

Roman computer science was doomed from the outset. Just try to make sense of the following pseudo code:

 

for i = i to x do {

  i = i + i;

}

 

what the heck is i at the end of the loop? 1, 2 or 55?

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Well, their compilers would work with that numbering system, so I,V,X,C,D,L,M wouldn't be any more permitted than you naming a variable 7 (unless you have some weird ass AST :p)

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Well, their compilers would work with that numbering system, so I,V,X,C,D,L,M wouldn't be any more permitted than you naming a variable 7 (unless you have some weird ass AST :p)

 

Early versions of Fortran made it possible to redefined numerical constants in your code ;)

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I looks like I speak a lot of things completely wrong.

I am from germany.

 

I was told, that a long time ago in english the spoken language and the written language was the same, but over time the writing changed while the speaking stayed the same. Is there any truth in this?

 

In german, when you read something it is most of the time clear how to speak it. I was told that this is because in the past germany consisted of many different small kingdoms ( or whatever the monarch was called, duke, earl, count, . . .) each with their own dialect. When it became possible to print books, authors tried to write in a way that it can be understood in as many regions as possible so they sell more books. As a result, most authors around germany wrote the same way and since people read the same everywhere they spoke the same everywhere, because the books would show the correct way. Once again, I have heard it, I have no evidence.

 

I really hate french (the language, not the people). I learned it for 4 years at school, but I have forgotten everything. Nothing is spoken as you write it. You have to leave away half of the letters, but the question is which ones. I hate advertisment, but without it I would never know how to speak Peugeot (sorry, I know only cars, movies and food from france).

 

About roman computers: How did the romans use numbers above 3999? M (1000) is the biggest number I know. No 5000, 10000 or more.

Edited by Madscientist
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With Modern English (and I haven't went back to re-read about it so as always I could be wrong), the primary attempts to standardized the form really comes from Dr. Johnson's dictionary as it was the most comprehensive and thus became widely used.  This was all well and good until about a century later when Noah Webster based a dictionary on the American use of English where he also simplified a lot of spellings (draught - draft, colour - color).  When Engish adopts words, it tends to adopt the pronounciation, which leads to some of the exceptions in spelling in words (typically ones borrowed from French).

 

With Roman Numerals, a bar over a number means that number times 1000. So 5,000 would be a V with a bar over it, 10,000 an X with a bar over it (I can't represent it graphically)

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Thanks. Are you a linguist?

 

About english, if I am not sure I look into the oxford dictianary because a) we used it in school and b) I have it at home.

I do not know the differences between british and american english (or any other dialect) but at least in internet forums and when talking to other people nobody complained that they cannot understand me so far.

The best english (as in I can understand it best) I have heard in norway.

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