Overdo vs. overdue

To overdo something is to do it to excess. For example, if you overdo the eating of ice cream, you might get a stomachache. The word is only a verb.

Overdue is only an adjective. It means undelivered or unpaid when due. If you fail to turn in an assignment at the deadline, it becomes overdue. 

45 thoughts on “Overdo vs. overdue”

  1. Well these two words do NOT sound the same.

    Do is pronounced do and Due is pronounced jew, just like Dune is NOT pronounced doon but jewn.

          • In the part of England I’m in, ‘Jewn’ is the 6th month of the year, but ‘jewn’ or sometimes ‘dyewn’ is for dune. And tbh most places outside of North America pronounce do as do and due a jew or dyoo. However, many people do slip into saying doon and doo instead of dune and due.

          • If you can explain how a ‘D’ ends up pronounced like a ‘J’ that would be great. I have never heard of proper English spoken with the letter ‘D’ pronounced as ‘J’. To me, the thought of the word ‘dune’ being pronounced as ‘jewn’ is fairly ludicrous.

            Out of the 75 or so individuals I have known fairly well from all over the world, there has not been a single one that has pronounced ‘due’ as ‘jew’ or ‘dune’ as ‘jewn’. Not to mention that in my entire life I have never heard a single person make this claim.

            I have been through college, not to mention the years of schooling before college. My mother was an English and grammar major when she was in college. Never has anyone said this before and it is totally blowing my mind.

            Based on everything I can find, there is nothing that backs up the ‘dune’ as ‘jewn’ assertion.

            Dune Origins: late 18th cent.: from French, from Middle Dutch dūne ; related to Old English dūn ‘hill’

            Every single online dictionary I looked up pronounced it as ‘dune’ and clearly illustrated dune with a ‘d’ at the start and a long ‘u’ sound for middle. The list can go on as to what I have found that contradicts your claim. So by all means please show me something that backs up your assertion because at this point at best I can say your assertion is wrong based on every bit of info I could find.

          • Well, I have to agree with the people above; most people I know pronounce ‘due’ as ‘jew’ and ‘dune’ as ‘jewn’. I rarely, if ever, hear someone say ‘doon’.

          • The question becomes whether that is correct though. These people, the OP in particular, seem to be saying that is the correct way to pronounce it and/or that it is only NA that doesn’t pronounce it that way.

            Tons of places have accents or pronounce certain words a little different, but there is a massive difference between accent driven pronunciation and the correct pronunciation.

            Hence why I asked for something backing the assertion. More people responding that they have heard people pronounce the ‘D’ as a ‘J’ just means that more people hear it pronounced wrong according to everything I have found. Telling people that the correct way is wrong, and I am only assuming, is the exact opposite intent of having comments allowed.

          • So first you say it doesn’t get used at all, then you say it’s incorrect. I’m sorry, but standard pronounciation in England is due = jew or dyoo. It comes from the ‘you’ sound of the ‘ue’ which Americans seem to ignore. Put a ‘d’ on the front of ‘you’ and it’s difficult to not make it sound like ‘jew’. Try it, because that’s how to pronounce those vowels.

            When you consider the English language, you have to realise that American English is a dialect that branched off from the root language (if you can call English a root language) hundreds of years ago. It’s almost a different language entirely, to see some of the weird and wonderful ways Americans get things wrong on the internet, often using the wrong word in common phrases because it sounds the same. It consequently comes as no surprise that someone felt it necessary to point out the distinction between ‘overdo’ and ‘overdue’, an issue that wouldn’t come up in England because the two words sound different.

            Please stop trying to say the English have got English wrong. It doesn’t make for a convincing argument.

          • I am not saying the English have the language wrong. I am saying those calling the pronunciation of this word and others like it are wrong. Huge difference.

            I noticed that you didn’t provide any sort of link to any dictionary, out of the hundreds available, that shows the correct pronunciation as ‘jew’.

            Not to be a jerk, but to say that random people on the internet are correct over the HUNDREDS of dictionaries, produced by companies that make money based on the quality of their product, while not showing a lick of evidence from a reputable source is ludicrous.

            How did this go from those without proof needing to provide proof to the person that is correct, based on all peer-reviewed sources, to a situation that has the person with proof required to make a more compelling and convincing argument. What has the world’s logic come to?

          • Seems that the Oxford dictionary indicates that “dune” is correctly pronounced as “dju:n”. I would note that dju:n does not sound like “doon”, nor does it sound like “jewn” (seriously, you people pronounce “dune” as “jewn”?). Dju;n indicates a sound like “dyewn” where the “d” and “y” blend together. No matter how you pronounce it, there is no “j” sound in there, unless you also misunderstand how “j” should sound. Stupid argument any way you look at it; with the number of accents in the UK, travel 20 minutes and you will find someone who pronounces almost every word differently. Same for the US.

          • Thanks for the reply. Do you have a link to where you found dune pronounced as “dju:n”?

            Syllabification: dune
            Pronunciation: /d(y)o͞on /

            That is what I found at the Oxford Dictionary site. I definitely wouldn’t argue against what you are saying here, but I am still trying to find a single place that represents the pronunciation with a ‘j’ anywhere in the breakdown, even though we have established the “j” would actually be pronounced like “y” (dependent upon your root language of course).

            *EDIT* – Don’t worry about the link. I found the British representation which has it the way you had posted.

          • Wow, Meatshield (tic), you really will go a long way to “be right”, a trait that, sadly, Americans and Britons share; it might have some basis in world-domination complexes and overblown senses of exceptionalism.
            But I digress…
            Just accept that the “u” in words like “due” or “dune” (but not “June”) is pronounced as “you”, and when a “d” precedes it then people tend, for convenience, to represent it phonetically as “ju” although it’s more correctly “dyoo”. And that’s why so many Jews have been referred to in this discussion!
            While YOU, as (I presume) an American, may like to pronounce so many words in just the lazy, ill-informed, lowest-common-denominator fashion that is so beloved by your countrymen, hiding behind the excuse that “it’s cooler to be modern than to keep with the old ways”, be assured that the source (England) and other correct users of the language DO pronounce “due” as “dyoo”.
            Perhaps it’s easiest to think of the U.S. as a country that speaks a patois of English, much the same as Jamaica and other inheritors but changers of the English language do… but not due!

            Feel free to think of your library books being “overdo” but remember that the U.S. is also the culture that so often uses the phrase “I could care less” when in fact they mean they could NOT care less. But, hey, why be correct when it’s cooler to be lazy?

            BTW: “tic” is shorthand for “tongue in cheek”. And please don’t be offended by this reply. It’s not your fault you were raised in a society that values style over substance and is intellectually lazy, thus producing some of the most banal and intelligence-insulting television in the world. And in such quantity on a myriad of redundant channels!

            Oh, the irony…

          • You do realize that being extremely insulting and claiming it is “tongue in cheek” doesn’t actually change the ignorance that you spew right?

            How did I “go a long way” to be correct? I supplied facts to support my position while being misquoted, having statements I never made at all associated with me, and then a multitude of others reply with their opinion that I am wrong even though there is nothing to support that assertion.

            I quote, “Just accept that the “u” in words like “due” or “dune” (but not “June”) is pronounced as “you”, and when a “d” precedes it then people tend, for convenience, to represent it phonetically as “ju” although it’s more correctly “dyoo”.”

            Please do explain why it is that I should “just accept” the prior statements as “correct” when your own arguments used the phrase “for convenience” in reference to the use of “ju” when pronouncing the given words.

            Then please elaborate how anything else you said has any validity given your own admission that I was correct in questioning the opinions of those I questioned.

            How does anything I have said lead you to the logic which compelled you to give me a lecture on the tendency of lesser educated individuals to be lazy rather than correct?

            If we are speaking of intellectual laziness, wouldn’t large portions of your off-topic rant qualify as lazy? Using “tic”, “BTW”, “U.S.”, or any number of other abbreviations or idioms seems quite “lazy” to me.

            Then again I am just pointing out the hypocrisy I can readily identify in your rant focused at highlighting the negatives you most likely would not admit apply to every nation in the world.

            Am I going to great lengths to “be right” with my response? No I am not. There is no reason for me to go to any length to be right, as you have not given anything other than your opinion compared to my already listed facts. If you have facts to present which counter what I have found, I would be more than willing to look at those facts.

            What exactly is this irony you speak of? You may not agree, but that statement is disjointed from the rest of your shotgun blast, resulting in a contextually devoid remark which I am not certain you really have a rational explanation for uttering.

            All that aside, the second your statement goes off-topic to sling ridiculous insults, which you then assume apply to me, you lose all respect from your audience. I am guilty of taking my jabs at people that come swinging wildly at me, but I am well aware of the impacts associated with my actions.

            In my opinion, you don’t come across as having the slightest clue that your rant there does anything more than present you as a bigot against citizens of the U.S.

            Perhaps you are aware and just don’t care. Unfortunately for you, if that is the case, that awareness only reflects upon you in a much more negative way.

          • Many people in England speak as poorly as Americans depending on their level of education and geographical origins, Cockney English is an example of lower class speech. You are also forgetting that this country was settled by the English who later became dissatisfied with their government. They brought their language, English, with them from this place you are so enamored with-England. Yes, other cultures-the Dutch- also settled this land which brings me to the point that actually, English, is a Germanic-Norse language with contributions from multiple heritages including the arabic world.

          • I fail to see what your statement is aimed at achieving. Are you trying to claim I am wrong in refuting the statements made to me or are you voicing that you agree with me that it is ludicrous for those in opposition of me to make their claims?

            Where do you rationalize the statement that I am forgetting the United States was settled by people originating in England? I never stated anything that claimed otherwise until now, where I will point out that the US wasn’t settled solely by citizens of England.

            Later you mention the Dutch, while implying that I would be shocked to know they had settlers as well, which is perplexing given your choice of words in your odd attempt to educate me on the English being the only settlers. Where is it that you got the impression I needed a poorly developed history lesson?

            I am not quite sure what you are trying to say with your assertion I am enamored with England either. That statement in its current state makes absolutely no sense as a statement made to me, but you are free to elaborate on what you intended to say or correct your statement with the word you intended to use.

            So I guess in the end I have to wonder if you truly think you have said anything worthwhile. I don’t think I have actually hoped a person was attempting to troll me before, but if you actually made that post thinking it was intelligent I am seriously disappointed in the recurring lack of intellect I am presented with on the internet.

          • You do realise that dictionaries record and report language usage, not prescribe what is correct — and, in so doing, they can easily omit variations to what is the norm that are considered acceptable in various regions or cultures.

            You asked for something to back up the assertion that “dune” can be pronounced as “jewn” but don’t accept first-hand accounts from persons who do, in fact, pronounce it that way; instead you say: “More people responding that they have heard people pronounce the ‘D’ as a ‘J’ just means that more people hear it pronounced wrong according to everything I have found.”

            But the issue is not whether or not “jewn” is “correct” according to any dictionary, but whether it is standard or nonstandard, accepted or not accepted. As another commenter rightly said, “dyew” can easily become “djew” in spoken English. This is known as relaxed pronunciation and the “d” to “j” transition is a fairly common occurrence — consider “would you” becoming “woudja”. It may not be “proper English”, as you put it, but it’s common, colloquial spoken English nonetheless.

            Methinks you have spent too much time among English language prescriptionists and elitists if you have never heard a “d” to “j” transition — and especially if you refuse to accept that it is ever acceptable.

          • I am fairly certain that I specified something to back up the assertion the pronunciation is correct in the manner in question. There is a bit of a difference there. I can list off tons of words which get mangled by regional dialects, but my request wasn’t in relation to the existence of regional dialects it was in relation to regional dialects being claimed as “correct”.

            I would have to look more into your claim about dictionaries not defining the correct pronunciation, as I have always believed the phonetic in the dictionary to be given precisely to define how to pronounce a word correctly. If you care to share a source which confirms your assertion I would be more than happy to review that source, but I won’t just accept your assertion without something which supports it.

            As for your assumption about me, well, I am pretty sure that assumptions made on false perceptions tend to be false as well. Your false perception that my argument is not about the “correct” way to say the word would definitely make any assumption based on that correct only by luck and not by logic.

          • My reply did not post. I can only imagine it appeared suspicious to moderators due to the number of links, placed there so as to satisfy your lust for sources. I trust you can find the sites by searching for the quotes.

            Take 2, sans links:

            You are constantly asking people for sources. Have you not fingers, with which to google? Nobody is asking you to “accept [their] assertion without something which supports it”, but, at the same time, most people don’t carry around a list of sources of all of the knowledge they have ever acquired, and the onus is not on anyone to prove anything to you — especially when the claims are common knowledge and/or common sense. If you don’t believe someone, try reading some books and stuff, and see what you find out.

            That said, I would not make an unfounded claim. Here are some quotes to get you started:

            “The Oxford English Dictionary is not an arbiter of proper usage, despite its widespread reputation to the contrary. The Dictionary is intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive. In other words, its content should be viewed as an objective reflection of English language usage, not a subjective collection of usage ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. However, it does include information on which usages are, or have been, popularly regarded as ‘incorrect’. The Dictionary aims to cover the full spectrum of English language usage, from formal to slang, as it has evolved over time.” — Oxford English Dictionary, Guide to the Third Edition of the OED.

            “Modern lexicographers (dictionary makers) describe current and past language but rarely prescribe its use.” — Merriam Webster, “dictionary” entry in the Concise Encyclopedia.

            Prescriptivist guides are more likely to be style and usage guides. Read some of them, and you’ll see that there are countless differences in opinion about what is correct and what is not. There is no Great and Powerful English Language Authority (if you want something like that, become a francophone). Assertions of “correctness” are at the whims of the particular editors/corporate bodies that produce such texts.

            Find out more by googling “are dictionaries prescriptive or descriptive”.

            Have fun.

          • I can do searches all day for stuff on Google. The point is that if you present an argument that isn’t necessarily common knowledge, it is on you to present sources to go with that. Generally speaking, if I don’t know something, or I have an opposite understanding of something than is factual, it is most likely a symptom of that information not being common knowledge (not an all inclusive statement which I think my wording implies).

            In this case, nobody other than yourself has even brought up the point you made. That is another sign it is not common knowledge.

            I also prefer to know what resource a person is using, because as I am sure you know, there are tons of people that do not realize the difference between fact and opinion, nor understand opinion versus peer-reviewed.

            You do realize that you are interweaving personal attacks into what you are writing too don’t you? You have no clue how many books I have read nor what level of expertise I have in my profession, yet you make comments that imply a lack of intelligence and knowledge because you know a fact about dictionaries which nobody else seems to know. You may want to work on that if you didn’t recognize you are doing that because it can definitely make a discussion devolve quickly.

            So thanks for your sources, but no thanks to your personal attacks; however slight they may have been.

          • “if I don’t know something […] it is most likely a symptom of that information not being common knowledge” — well, no; you are not actually the measure of what is common knowledge.

            I don’t presume you have a lack of intelligence or knowledge, but I do disagree that the onus is necessarily on the claimant to prove anything to you, as I said in my previous comment. Your level of expertise in your profession is irrelevant, unless your profession is related precisely to what we are discussing. But, if it were, I would expect you would already accept as common knowledge that the majority of modern dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive.

            “nobody other than yourself has even brought up the point you made” — in these comments, yes, but not in general. That does not mean it is not common knowledge. Anyway, common knowledge or not, it takes 5 minutes of searching and reading to find sources that corroborate my claims, and yet you presented arguments that were contrary to such fact.

            If this were a face-to-face discussion, you would surely not expect links to be cited, but would probably go home and do research if you wished to a) invalidate the claims with which you don’t agree and/or b) be enlightened as to where you may be wrong. I personally expect the minimum of effort to be made to educate oneself; what you are doing is asking to be spoonfed (or, perhaps more accurately, you are hoping that the other person cannot provide sources off the top of their head, and somehow feel that this would equate to an automatic win for you).

            I freely admit I was condescending in my addressing of this issue, but not otherwise. And I do realise I was being so. I don’t think the discussion has devolved as a result, although we have got somewhat off topic. Feel free to return to the original issue; I am interested to hear what you now make of your claims regarding correct pronunciation of “dune”.

          • You seem to have missed the underlying intent of nearly every single thing I have said, and I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are intelligent enough to be doing that intentionally, so before I start getting frustrated with your intentionally obtuse response, I will let you move along.

            So final point of which you will not change my stance:

            You have shown that the dictionary is not the defining authority on pronouncing a word. That doesn’t change that there is no supporting evidence to the claim of what is “correct” when pronouncing with a ‘j’.

            Yes there is a correct way to say the word and yes there is a correct way to teach to say the word. I will do that independent research when I have the time to “read a book” on something that is outside of my profession and is of less importance than the list of 40-50 books I have slated to read already.

            This may only be an assumption, but the existence of phonetics logically points to the use of those phonetics as a means to define how to say words. I am willing to bet the actual authority on properly pronouncing words displays that proper pronunciation in the form of a phonetic.

            As for your information being common knowledge, you were referencing the technical definition of the authority of a dictionary, which I believe to be outside of general common knowledge. The definition of a dictionary is common knowledge, but widening the scope on that to the authority the phonetic representation of pronouncing a word in a dictionary holds and you are going beyond what most people even have a reason to inquire about.

            I would say my incorrect assumption on the dictionary would actually be the common knowledge, but that is only if you accept that common knowledge doesn’t mean correct knowledge like I do.

            Your assumption of how a lively in-person debate would go is quite off. If you can honestly tell me that in a debate you would not reply to someone presenting “facts” that are in opposition to your knowledge on the subject? You wouldn’t say, “I hear ya, but where did you get that information from?”, so you know what reference they are using?

            In person, I would be able to easily detect if a person was lying, because in that circumstance I have body language and eye movements which paint a clear picture of whether something being said is fact or fiction.

            Saying that my wanting to know where you got your information from is wanting to be spoon fed something is yet another childish attempt at condescension from you. Thank you for 100% ignoring my stated reasoning for requesting someone to define their source, and then leaving out the whole part where a link to the source doesn’t give me that information through osmosis, to take yet another stab at me.

            I am not participating in this discussion with you to put up with childish stabs via misrepresenting clearly stated thought processes. Adding to, leaving out, mixing and matching multiple statements, or being intentionally obtuse in your interpretations of given statements are an absolutely pathetic way to debate. Not that all apply here, but you are inching closer to the line of ignorant antagonism with each reply.

            You may think it is not on others to prove their points, but you are simply wrong. In the example where I requested you provide your source, stating that I would look into it on my own as well, there were sources easily found, so it is understandable you would scoff at having to provide where your information derived from.

            On the contrary, in the scope of the initial debate, I did the research myself. I didn’t find any support for the opposition’s claim. That was a waste of my time doing research on facts that didn’t exist.

            That is why it is on the individual presenting the argument to provide the source, because it isn’t my responsibility to prove your point for you, and I shouldn’t have to waste my time searching for sources that do not exist because the argument presented is a fabrication. Not to mention when a person’s information comes from a bad source, I should be able to determine the source validity, as that validity can be just as important to a counter argument as a reputable source to use for myself.

            So putting together the likelihood of totally fabricated arguments, or the presentation of arguments that are wrong based on a person truly not realizing they are wrong, if you come into a debate to correct someone, your correction needs sourced support as your entrance fee into the conversation.

            And now I am done with this discussion. I am relatively certain you won’t even acknowledge my points, let alone present a counter argument to those points, and I am quite certain your response will continue to lob underhanded insults at me based on the fiction you have created surrounding who and what I am.

            Should you respond without the underhanded insults I would be more than happy to continue the discussion, but based on prior experiences, I highly doubt you are capable of dropping your arrogance which I am sure is something you developed due to being the only person with the ability to think logically in your circle of family and friends.

            So when you think you are intellectually above an individual you snipe at them with statements that frequently go unnoticed. I am not one of those people that won’t notice and I will point out the missteps in the logic behind those snipes every single time.

            This last bit here is definitely assumed, but I would be interested in knowing how close I truly am with that assessment. Believe it or not, I am not insulting you with that last bit either. I deal with super intelligent people almost exclusively, so I am used to and I fully understand that type of arrogance.

          • In all seriousness then:

            Perhaps “common knowledge” is an overstatement. But I hold that demanding sources for facts that are widely accepted in the field and easily verifiable — not to mention intrinsic to the argument — is bothersome. Minimal research would have told you that the very dictionaries on which you base your arguments regarding pronunciation are at odds with your position. Of course if one is presenting specific data, actual quotes, or information that is difficult to find, the request for the source is quite reasonable.

            You are quite right that I don’t intend to present a counter argument to each of your points; I believe on many points we can only agree to disagree, plus you have affirmed that you are done with the discussion anyway. However, in mentioning “the actual authority on properly pronouncing words”, you seem to have missed my point that there is, in verifiable actuality, no body that officially governs English language and usage. There are records of and recommendations regarding common or usual usage, and there are opinions as to what is or should be “correct”. I believe this is what you will find if you choose to research further. And I genuinely urge you to investigate, because there is some fascinating material on this topic out there.

            You can believe until the end of time that certain speakers pronounce certain words incorrectly, and I will continue to believe that any pronunciation that has become standard among any group or subgroup is acceptable and outside the realm of objective correctness, however irksome the usage may seem to me personally. I have no qualms with your opinions, but rather your misconceptions, which have already been addressed.

            Comparing arrogance levels or assuming its origins is something I have no interest in doing, but I would be more than happy to correspond further on other points.

          • So here is a bit of logic for you and you may feel free to address it or not:

            Most developed countries have school systems. The school systems are regulated by an authority. That authority only accepts teachers who are qualified. To be a qualified teacher you must graduate from college. To graduate from college you must pass courses which define the proper way to teach a curriculum. That curriculum is set by a defining authority. That defining authority essentially decides the correct way to teach and learn language. And there you have it. A correct way to pronounce words based on a defining authority setting the guidelines for teaching of language.

            Basically, there is a correct. Variations on the base correct word are formed from regional dialects, but the correct way to say the word doesn’t change just because a regional dialect slurs their speech in a unique way. Phonetics never change, regardless of regional dialect.

            So perhaps there isn’t a convening panel of individuals, but I would actually be willing to bet there is. For grammar there are a number of groups which define proper grammar. That means there are multiple correct ways, but only 1 way is correct at any given time. I am convinced there is a similar system for words, their definitions, and proper phonetic pronunciation. Unless you have done the research to disprove that theory, then you can’t legitimately say I am wrong.

            Given I know of at least 1 group which defines things such as new words, which is where Webster’s Dictionary gets its list of new words to include in each version, logic tells me pronunciation of words is another group or possibly the same group.

            You have also failed once again to listen to what I have told you numerous times is my argument. My argument is not that dictionaries prove me right. Never has been. My argument is that dictionaries do not support the claims that a pronounced ‘j’ in these words is “correct”, and further, that the addition of the ‘j’ is not supported anywhere as correct with non-‘j’ usage being wrong.

            That is what I was astonished with. The fact that not only did the opposition claim that using the ‘j’ is correct, but non-usage is wrong and then toss in some sniping at Americans because they are bigots on top of it.

            Sure, I presented my support with the dictionary as the source, but my argument is that my opposition is wrong and not that I am 100% correct.

            I really don’t see why you don’t understand that I am debating the opposition’s false statement. I just happened to use an argument which lacked in effectiveness due to a mistaken thought of the dictionary being an authority on pronunciation, but that doesn’t change that your own argument says my opposition is wrong and my opposition has failed to present anything showing they are right.

            Essentially, you attacked the wrong person. You should be going after my opposition. I questioned the opposition’s claim and not the other way around.

          • There are so, so many assertions based on assumption in what you wrote, and you seem to have convinced yourself without sufficient investigation to justify being convinced about any of the points you have made.

            As I said before, there is some fascinating material on this topic out there. I hope that you will engage with some of it.

          • Your response makes no sense. Yes there are conclusions from logical assumptions, but stating they are logical assumptions doesn’t show those assumptions to be incorrect. There are rules for spelling and pronouncing parts of words (i.e., “I” before “E” except after “C”…) which had to derive from somewhere. The example may just be a standard idiom, but it is further support for the existence of a recognized authority on such matters.

            Just about everything I can think of has some sort of recognized authority. The internet has the W3C as an example. Every bit of sentence structure, part of speech a word is categorized as, spacing of paragraphs, etc. are all covered by at least one recognized organization who defines proper or correct usage.

            I am starting to think you are the one convinced of your correctness without sufficient investigation, because I am not convinced I am correct, I am simply not convinced that you are. It is just curious to me why pronunciation of words seems to be the only thing out there that doesn’t have a recognized authority defining what is correct. This sort of thing is why I require the opposition to post their sources, because you went from a verifiable statement to a statement that doesn’t make any logical sense that you insist is true.

            I will definitely do the legwork once I have time to dive down that rabbit hole, but I just want to know where you would like the proof I find to be directed. I don’t buy it that you actually know this fact, or more on the nose that your fact is indeed true, so if I find proof you are wrong I want to know where I can rub your nose in it a bit, especially after your previously condescending nature and absolute certainty.

          • I didn’t say that you made logical assumptions, but that you made assertions based on assumption. For example, “Every bit of sentence structure, part of speech a word is categorized as, spacing of paragraphs, etc. are all covered by at least one recognized organization who defines proper or correct usage” is an assertion — you have stated this as a fact, and yet you go on to admit that you have not yet “done the legwork”. So how can you know whether such statements are or are not true? I don’t see any point in arguing about or discussing a topic that at least one of us doesn’t know much about.

          • I stated I haven’t done the legwork to discover which entity is recognized as the authority on pronunciation of words. You chose to combine two totally unrelated statements and put them together into a single context. Either you are incapable of knowing the difference or you intentionally misrepresented my statement. You can choose which one applies, but I would love for you to actually admit to which one applies.

            Every bit of sentence structure, part of speech, and spacing of paragraphs does have a recognized organization of authority, or specifically for grammar there are at least 2 I know off the top of my head. So that is a fact.

            You don’t seem to know that fact, which is precisely why I questioned your supposed factual information which goes against the facts of other language based topics.

          • There are regulatory bodies for a number of languages, such as the Académie française (French Academy), Commission on the Filipino Language, the Polish Language Council (Rada Języka Polskiego), and many others. But there is not an equivalent in the English language. I cannot provide you with a completely authoritative source for this claim, because that would have to amount to a statement by such an academy that they do not exist, or a tangible absence, and neither of those things are possible. Thus, the onus has to be on the claimant to prove that there is such an academy.

            Surely, however, if there were, the majority of English speakers would have heard of it: the agency would have publications; they would have a presence online and/or in print; they would have offices; they would have lists of the names of its members; etc, as the abovementioned agencies do. There simply is no such thing in existence for the English language. Of course there are agencies that wish to protect and “purify” the language, but they are not globally recognised as “the authorities” and have not been granted any governing rights by any official body.

            Similarly, as I have already pointed out, there are a number of style and usage guides that typically have their own panels of experts and which present opinions and/or recommendations for use of the English language, much as dictionaries have researchers and editorial boards to describe how the language is typically used. You will find much variation in what style guides say, much as you will find differences in definitions and even pronunciations between different dictionaries. So there are far more than two recognized organizations that cover syntax, word classification, and typesetting, but they are not official authorities, nor do they appeal to a single (or compound) higher authority.

            There are, of course, conventions in English that have developed over time: these are concepts on which people typically agree and to which they tend to adhere for the purpose of clear communication. One would generally not spell “dog” as “fox”, for example, because it would not be understood as intended. The point is, though, that there are no English language police to tell you that you can’t spell it this way. If a group of people decided to spell it this way, it could hypothetically catch on and spread and eventually become the norm; spelling changes have happened throughout history exactly in this manner.

            And there is much disagreement over the conventions that do exist. There are plenty of online discussions as to whether a period (or “full stop”) should be followed by one space or two, and why; whether single quote marks should be used inside double ones, or vice versa; whether “high school” should be “high school”, “highschool”, or “high-school” (or “college”, or “secondary school”…); whether or not the conditional is a mood, a tense, or neither; whether it is “could care less” or “couldn’t care less”; whether “they” is acceptable as a third-person singular pronoun; and whether Alanis Morisette’s scenarios really were “ironic”. There is no authority that weighs in on these issues and gets the final say. If there were, I’ll say again, we would know about it.

            You should find that everything I have said above is easily verifiable with a modicum of research.

          • And of those recognized organizations, which may lack a stamp of officially government approved, but still are recognized as the expert authorities, how many have a recommendation to pronounce the words in question with a ‘j’ instead of a ‘d’ or ‘dyu’ sound?

            You are now trying to play semantics instead of admit that there are organizations which do define these things. Are they 100% accepted by all people? No. Are they given the power to define best practices and recommendations by the general public, government, education systems, and business? Yes.

            So instead of a single authority you have multiple authorities each with their own experts and each with their own philosophy on what is right. Most of the topics they weigh in on hold similar to exact notions of correct, while there are other topics they disagree on which have slight variances in philosophy, with perhaps a small amount of topics with a wide margin in philosophy.

            Do any of those actually support the argument that use of the ‘j’ is correct?

            What I am trying to figure out is why you are so against finding the middle-ground here. Why are you so hellbent on taking every single thing I say and giving it absolutely no wiggle room to include something that might be a single word outside of my statement, but is obviously within the scope of what I am saying?

            Do I hold you to every little word you say in a literal way without any use of common sense to determine the intent of your statement? No. I read your statements, combine them with the surrounding text, use common sense, then address your intent and not the literal words which may have pigeonholed your scope to illogically restrictive meanings.

            I account for where the discussion has been and where it appears to be going, so when a more definitive statement is made later in the discussion for simplicity, I don’t translate that truncated statement into something I spit back as an improper declaration of facts. If you stated it was your opinion or logical process in previous similar remarks, I don’t turn around and tag the new statements as statements of fact.

            I just don’t get why people try to win debates by being intentionally obtuse and over literal in their interpretations. I could point out all sorts of comments people make that if intentionally twisted can be tossed back as “proof” they are liars or uneducated or any other false attack used as a smokescreen.

            How does that sort of behavior actually result in resolution of a debate?

          • I specifically did acknowledge style guides and dictionaries as recognized English language authorities. We are absolutely in agreement there. I just said that they are not official regulating agencies nor do they appeal to one.

            I have already commented on the “dy” to “j” transition that can happen in speech, and that variations to dictionary pronunciations may be considered nonstandard, but are not outright “incorrect”, given that dictionaries generally record and describe usage, rather than prescribe (or recommend) it. It seems we are going in circles.

          • It makes you obtuse because you stated the wrong argument from the beginning and then argued semantics when your position is exactly the same as mine, minus the tidbit about the “official” nature of a dictionary.

            Your real argument from the start, or better defined your original clarifying statement, was I am correct that none of the generally accepted authorities support the use of a “j”, but that the generally accepted authorities don’t definitively call the use of the “j” incorrect either.

            Instead you presented your argument as me being totally wrong because dictionaries only recommend pronunciation.

            You see the difference in the two arguments? They are vastly different, but somehow this discussion has turned your original argument into the clarifying statement due to you playing semantics and not even realizing your own argument from the beginning.

          • I have said from the start that dictionaries report common pronunciations. I never stated that they either support or recommend pronunciation. I have responded to each new claim as you made it, so the argument has changed at times, but not my original statements. My position is only the same as yours on the fact that there are English language publications that are recognised as expert authorities, which was a position you changed to from saying there was a central regulating authority/body of authorities, at least on matters of pronunciation. I still hold that nobody formally regulates pronunciation or other English language conventions; that there is no “correct” pronunciation; and that dictionaries generally present an unbiased record of what are typical pronunciations.

          • Right. You agree with me. You are being obtuse in your interpretation of my words and intent, and even with me clarifying, you refuse to broaden your interpretation to include that clarification.

            The existence of a formal “correct” or “incorrect” doesn’t change that there are accepted organizations, with subject matter experts, who define the base phonetic for a word. Regional dialects are free to stray from that base, but in the event a dialect changes a word significantly and that word catches on more widespread, a new word would be added to the dictionary with the spelling that matches the phonetic for the new word. This has been seen recently with the inclusion of a lot of internet slang and terminology and the word “ain’t” being added to the dictionary.

            The word “ain’t” was a regional dialect version of “aren’t”, but due to its widespread usage and its widespread acceptance, an entirely new word was formed. They didn’t change the old word to match.

            So there it is, at a minimum, proof positive that there is indeed an “incorrect” even if there is leeway given for regional dialects in relation to “correct”.

          • I can only interpret the words you use as I understand them, which I base on how they are typically used and understood. If I am honest, I rarely could recognise that you were attempting to clarify anything in particular; rather you seemed to be reiterating your position by returning to the same terminology, yet you became frustrated that I did not understand your intended meaning.

            If I understand you correctly now, your “correct” is my “standard”, and your “incorrect” my “nonstandard”,* and thus we are mostly on the same page. Your latest statements do indicate a change from your original and various subsequent positions, so forgive me for not understanding straight away that you were trying to show agreement.

            That said, I hope I am not wrong in taking your quote marks around “incorrect” and “correct” as scare quotes, otherwise it would seem we remain with positions that are ultimately irreconcilable.

            Finally, you never took me up on my offer of reading material, but I suggest the following to you nonetheless — not for any refutation purposes, but because it is relevant and will, I hope, be of some interest:

            “It’s time to challenge the notion that there is only one way to speak English”, Harry Ritchie, The Guardian, Tuesday 31 December 2013 09.00 GMT


            *Note that my choice of terms is per what is usually used to refer to what is normative and non-normative in a population’s language. Hence why I misunderstood and disagree with your choice of words.

          • I’m afraid Yanks are notoriously lazy when it comes to enunciation just as our school system has destroyed the English language. I had the pleasure to be liaison with the RAF because the Colonel read my typing one day and asked if I made a mistake or did I always spell colour this way. When I answered I spelled words properly he assigned to the RAF and RAAF units that were attached to our base.

        • English was not invernted in England. A common myth is that English was invented in England. Actually, English comes from a Germanic-Norse heritage with multiple and rich contributions from the Romance languages: French, Spanish, and later Olde to modern English with substantial rich contributions from the Arabic world-algebra, calculus, abacus, etc..

  2. I remember reading about an actor at the Canadian Stratford Festival, who was being pressured by the American director to pronounce “Duke” as “dook”, although it would usually be pronounced “dyook”. The actor finally said that he would do so, but added that it might make him “pook” (meaning, of course, puke).

  3. It is not true that you get a stomach ache from eating too much ice cream. Particularly if it’s haagen daz. Fell free to correct spelling.

  4. English was not invented in England. This is a widely circulated mistaken myth. The English language is a conglomerate of many languages and initially comes from a Germanic-Norse heritage with contributions from the Romance languages: Spanish, French, etc.and later olde to modern English. There is also a heavy rich heritage from the Arabic culture as in algebra, calculus, abacus.

    • I’m just here to second you, factfinder. Anyone who’s studied Old English (Beowulf, Caedmon, etc.) knows that the “English” we use today owes very little to the English of the seventh century. Our modern English derives much more from Saxon languages, plus a large helping of Romance languages, with a smattering of Greek, and with very little true English remaining.


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