Horrible orange

While I was pumping gas yesterday I was thinking about the words “horrible” and “orange” — the way that one can pronounce the “or” as “ahr” if you are trying to manage a Long Island ethnic shtick. Then I tried to come up with other words of this kind, and failed. Of course, Wikipedia helped me. (Scroll down to “Historic ‘short o’ before intervocalic r.”) What’s interesting here is that Long Islanders agree with the British and the Canadians that “horrible” and “orange” have the same accented vowel as “borrow” and “sorry.” But they disagree about what the vowel is. So it’s actually my dialect — the standard American one — which is inconsistent on this point. I’ll never make fun of Long Island again.

OK, fine, I will, but not for that.

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One thought on “Horrible orange

  1. Em says:

    When I saw the title horrible orange I was afraid you’d had another refrigerator failure.

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