In typical North American English, does the word “smile” have one syllable or two? I believe it has actually two: Smy-El. Am ns wrong?



I’m rereading Ron Luciano’s The Umpire Strikes Back. Luciano to be a pro football player who after his third injury discovered umpiring baseball. He explains Emmett Ashford together “major organization baseball’s first black umpire….a exorbitant showman and the just umpire I’ve ever before known qualified of turning ‘ball’ into a six-syllable word.”

I include “comfortable” and also “vegetable” come Glenn’s list. In the united state (though not in the UK), “vegetable” is pronounce with only three syllables, “VEHJ-teh-bl”. We carry out “comfortable” in three, too: “CUMF-tr-bl”. Keep in mind the motion of the ‘r’ in the latter. Oh, and also “probably” is normally “PRAHB-lee”, though not always.

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Anyway, I’m v the rest of girlfriend on “smile”, and also the same with “child”, “lyre”, “rowl” and “flour”. Execute you check out the typical factor? In every case, an ‘r’ or ‘l’ adheres to a dipthong finishing in ‘ee’ or ‘oo’. Supposedly our physiology is such that we virtually have to express those as separate syllables.

(A diphthong is a slide combinations of 2 vowel sounds, mainly “eye” and also “ow” however there are numerous others. In the word “sigh”, the collection sound is actually two vowels, an ‘ah’ sliding into ‘ee’. In “cow”, the ‘ah’ sound slides in opposing direction, right into ‘oo’. The most common dipthongs slide toward ‘ee’ or ‘oo’. Physiologically “are” and also “ill” room diphthongs, too, wherein the starting sound slides into the collection ‘r’ and also ‘l’, yet they’re no traditionally classed the way.)

“Buyer” and also “byre” space pronounced precisely the same, but one is classified as 2 syllables and also the various other as one. Very same with “flower” and “flour”.

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In ~ the other end, “dial” is two syllables but “bile” is one; similarly “towel” and “jowl”. The dictionaries might say those are one-syllable words, but in mine opinion the only way to pronounce them therefore is to quick the ‘ee’ or ‘oo’; if you manage “fire” as a one-syllable word, you’re most likely from Georgia.

(I supposed that together a joke, but for non-Yankees i should explain that in the American southeast (not just Georgia) the local accent does indeed involve cut diphthongs short; “fire” sound a little bit like “far”, “oil” prefer “ole” and also so forth.)