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7 thoughts on “ai as in said

  1. Gloria Louis-Fils

    In the ai as in said list, I don’t know if the Australian pronunciation is the same, but in the states we would also include curtain, certain, fountain, captain, and mountain in this list. Your website is so helpful!

      1. Christie S.

        Interesting! I am thinking this would be a dialect thing. To be more specific, in Philadelphia we pronounce those words you mentioned with a short i for the ai spelling. That is based on our dialect or accent. I am sure that it other parts of the state and country, people pronounce ai in those words with a short e sound. This is all fascinating!

    1. alison Post author

      I pronounce “plaid” to rhyme with “dad”, not “said” and “red”, so I classify it with “plait” as a funny spelling of /a/ as in cat. In my non-rhotic accent the word “air” is a diphthong (/e/ plus schwa) so for spelling purposes I count it as a separate vowel with multiple spellings, as in hair, care, bear, there and their.

  2. Clare Herriges

    I’m from Wisconsin. I believe the list: fountain, mountain, curtain are short e when spoken brightly , positively. But when tired, frustrated or upset, they would be pronounced short i. In the case of hair, air, bear…. the Spelling would be called a diphthong because it is two letters, but the sound isn’t schwa. It’s just a short e. All of these sound /spelling elements are either auditory imprints or sight imprints, respectively. They could be referred to as ‘mirrors’. Sound/spelling mirrors.


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