November 6, 2012

Primer

How do you pronounce primer? I ask this because a promotional announcement on my local NPR station used the pronunciation pry-mer to refer to a brief tutorial of some sort. This pronunciation is apparently common in England, but the standard American pronunciation for a reader for young children or a short tutorial of some sort is prim-er. On the other hand, a primer (pronounced pry-mer) can be a paint applied before applying the top coat or a device intended to ignite an explosive charge.



2 comments:

  1. Around here it's pronounced with a long "I" like the paint primer or the word "primary". People hearing the short "i" would think you were saying someone or something was "more prim" than someone else.

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  2. The logic behind English spelling and pronunciation can be hard to fathom. The word meaning “more prim,” of course, is spelled primmer.

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