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squirreled Options
JPK
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:15:11 PM
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Dear fellow forumers,

I have read that some people consider squirreled to be the longest one-syllable word. Though I understand that when speaking fast it may come out as "squirld", I don't get how it could possibly be considered monosyllabic. Unless I can't read the pronounciation key from www.dictionary.com, that website seems to agree with me.

I was gonna use as an argument that if squirrel was intended to be pronounced as one syllable, there would be no e in it, but then I realized that we don't pronounce the e for past participles (loved, walked, squirreled).

What do you people think?

JP
capo403
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:20:42 PM
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JP,

I agree with you that squirrel is a two-syllable word.
wanda
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:31:06 PM
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Well, I am not a native but it's enough to say this word aloud and you have the answer! Of course it has two syllables...
fred
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:47:46 PM
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It's easier to hear the two syllables if you hear a New Yorker say it: sqwoy-alled.
grammargeek
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 1:54:15 PM
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It looks like Webster's shows it as one syllable.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 2:22:40 PM

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Not sure but is it two-syllable in UK pronunciation, one in US?
Sounds two-syllable to me, but I'm babelized.

How about schtroumpfed or broughammed?

fred
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 2:37:47 PM
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Shouldn't the word be split between the two "R"s?

One sulble sounds like my buddy up the holler... skwarl! supper's a ready!
Lama18
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 2:52:24 PM
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Ummm.. i think it depends on the way you pronounce it
there is one way of pronouncing, the 2 syllables way, it goes like this : sqwai-rel (the emphasis is on the "ai", or a split between the Rs as Fred said)
And the second way is :sqwerl. It flows, like each letter comes one after the other, so its a one syllable word.
i dont know though which one is correct
Lancaster
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 4:32:35 PM
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One can pronounce any word incorrectly and thereby reduce the syllables. Seems a silly debate.
risadr
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 8:07:24 AM
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I pronounce "squirrel" as one syllable and, thus, "squirreled" as one syllable as well. It sounds and feels odd to me to say it as two.
pedro
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 8:10:39 AM
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SKWI - RL
early_apex
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 8:58:29 AM
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risadr wrote:
I pronounce "squirrel" as one syllable and, thus, "squirreled" as one syllable as well. It sounds and feels odd to me to say it as two.


I agree. Every time I enunciate squirrel as two syllables, it sounds contrived.

Try separating it into two words, then hyphenate them to speak them as one: skwer-rel. Then see how many people have any idea what you are talking about. I suspect that those people would either be English or Fred.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 9:58:18 AM

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I just listened both US and UK versions of squirrel. The UK sounded odd.
stentorianmouse
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 10:12:52 AM
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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
I just listened both US and UK versions of squirrel. The UK sounded odd.

It's about half an octave higher!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 10:15:35 AM

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stentorianmouse wrote:

It's about half an octave higher!


Yes, but it sounded something like skwil-uh.
stentorianmouse
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 10:25:27 AM
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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
Yes, but it sounded something like skwil-uh.

I know what you mean.

If you listen to the pronunciations of "prior" there is something similar. Maybe there's a more or less general rule that in UK pronunciation words tend to get separated into more syllables than in US?
moorwood
Posted: Sunday, December 6, 2009 10:58:30 PM
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I know that words are pronounced incorrectly all over the place but I'd never before heard of "squirrel" pronounced as if it had only one syllable. We live and learn, eh? One incorrect pronunciation I particularly dislike is "pronounciation". Another is the Americanism "inneresting". It always strikes me as lazy. (Why don't they be done with it and omit the second t too?) Aussies tend toe-curlingly to change ts to ds as in "bedder" and "beaudy". "Gunna" is another cringe-maker as in "I'm gunna go now". (I wish he would.)
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, December 7, 2009 1:11:26 AM

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Squirrel--not one, not two, who can comprehend the sublimity of the non-dualist Way? Only, perhaps, fred and the English. My personal preference is for fred's New Yorkah version--picture Curley of the Trois Stooges' trenchant utterance of the word upon being bitten by the little beastie's fangs.

{Mandatory use of the word "FreeDELFia" by Luftmarque: "FreeDELFia"}
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