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In my new job I often need to have text chats with remote coworkers.

Today one of them used the word "delt," and I'm virtually certain from the context she means doubt.

(She twice used the phrase ""when in delt." A google search turns up exactly two occurrences of that phrase.)

SJK
(Who is somewhat in doubt as to whether or not she meant doubt.)
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In my new job I often need to have text chats with remote coworkers.

Today one of them used the word "delt," and I'm virtually certain from the context she means doubt.

(She twice used the phrase ""when in delt." A google search turns up exactly two occurrences of that phrase.)

SJK
(Who is somewhat in doubt as to whether or not she meant doubt.)


Probably iPhone spell check corrector.

MOI
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"Probably iPhone spell check corrector."

I doubt it!

"Delt" isn't a word, so the spelling checker would never correct any other string of characters to delt.

Also, that chat is taking place using Lotus Notes, which is running on her desktop computer.
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This was so odd I decided to ask the person if I misunderstood her.

Her explanation. Someone walked up to her desk and:

"He was talking about the casino near our office. He was telling me a story about when the dealer dealt his hand. Messed me up. So I typed delt, (dealt)"

Mystery solved.
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"in delt"

I tried Goolging this (both with and without quotation marks) and didn't get any relevant hits. I got references to people talking about injections or lumps or problems "in delt" i.e., in the deltoid muscle, and I saw some references to "in tri-delt" (i.e., in Delta Delta Delta sorority), but no cases of "in delt" meaning "in doubt."

Maybe it's just a unique problem that this one speaker has.

culcha
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To that I can add the story of the oddest pronunciation of a word you'll ever hear.

I arrived in New York City as a young immigrant boy of 18. Although I
didn't speak a single word of English, I was determined to pick up the
language as quickly as possible. As a means to attain my short term
goal of 300 words in the first month, I aimed to add ten new words a
day to my vocabulary. This took some diligent nightly studies. I lived
alone and had no tutor, so I was relying on books without pronunciation
guides, which was bound to have some hilarious results. For example,
after adding the words cat, care and company to my vocabulary, I
presumed that every letter C was to be pronounced as a K. But then
came incidence. The first time I used the word I drew some very odd
looks. Justifiably so, since I pronounced it inky-dinky.

A half century later it's still relatively easy to pick me out as one whose
mother tongue is other than English. I use to be embarrassed about this
until one night in Oklahoma when a a barmaid asked me,
"Where y'all from?"
I said, "Europe."
After a long blank look, she said, "Is that in Comanche County?"
That's when I knew I had nothing to be embarrassed about.

~aj
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Is it I use to be?
or I used to be?
or I yoosta be?

*!*
cat
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In Texas, we have a small town spelled "Mexia"

Many people think it's pronounced (MEX-IA), but it's pronounced (MUH-HAY-UH). There are even locals who pronounce it (MUH-HAIR).

Years ago there was a joke in which two guys are arguing about the correct pronounciation of the town's name. Finally, one of the guys says, tell you what, let's go ask in that burger joint.

They walk up to the counter, and the first guy says to the waitress: "Will you please say where we are, and do it really slowly so my friend can understand"

"Sure"she says, "Daaaaireee Queeeen" ;0)

LWW
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How did you pick your words, and how did you learn their meanings?

Did you have a Hungarian/English dictionary?

My grandmother (OBM) said she learned English by listening to baseball games on the radio. I've always taken her at her word, but I admit I'm stumped as to how that would work.

I could listen to some foreign-language radio station all day, and I doubt I'd pick up very much.
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***""when in delt." ***

When in debt?


sheila
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In Texas, we have a small town spelled "Mexia"


A less dramatic example, but years ago, in the area of New Mexico between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, plotting out a day trip and conferring with the friend we stayed with, I looked at the map and noted that we'd be driving through the Jemez Mountains. "Jeh-MEZ" Mountains, I noted. Our friend had a good laugh.

HAY-miz. Almost like LAY Miz--but not quite!


sheila
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"Jeh-MEZ" Mountains, I noted. Our friend had a good laugh.

We have a few places in Texas where we don't use the proper pronounciation on purpose. One of those is San Jacinto. If you were in Mexico it would be "San Ha SEEN tow" but we pronounce it "San Jah Sin tow"

And you really dont' want to know what we do to "Voir Dire" ;)

LWW
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jojoba

La Jolla, California
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La Jolla, California

Love La Jolla! Especially that cool hotel that's out on the island. One of my former classmates lives in Del Mar.

LWW
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La Jolla, California

That's exactly what I thought of!

When I was a Bostonian, talking to my friend living in La Jolla, I did say "La Joe-La" until he corrected me.
California affords a lot of these thanks to Spanish / Mexican names.
"San Joe's", "San Jus-into" (in California it is indeed Hasintow), "Ox-aka" (Ouahaka), "Ba-jaw California", ...
OTOH the super-Mexicans say "Los An-heles".
Since I don't know Spanish here is what I've gathered:
English and SPanish -
J = H
X = H ("Viva la Mexico", Oaxaca)
G = H or GH (Los Anheles, Ar'hentina)

My friend Havier just bought a Ha'huar.
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"Since I don't know Spanish here is what I've gathered:
English and SPanish -
J = H
X = H ("Viva la Mexico", Oaxaca)
G = H or GH (Los Anheles, Ar'hentina):"


What I don't get is this:

J, X, and G are all pronounced as H, but when there is a genuine H, it's silent.

Humberto = Umberto

Ho fihure.

~ah
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Humberto = Umberto

English is not much better.
Confession: I used to pronounce the H in "herb".
You do if it is short for Herbert, but not if you mean a small plant, is that right? How is a non-native speaker supposed to know that?
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" How did you pick your words, and how did you learn their meanings?

Did you have a Hungarian/English dictionary?"


I found a dog eared fifty year old Hungarian-English dictionary, titled
IIRC, "1,000 Most Common English Words" in a used book store, and far
exceeded my initial goal of 300 words in the first month.

Grammar was another story. Figuring I was smarter than the average 3-4
year old American child, I aimed to be able to communicate on that level,
and then build on it. I checked out children's story books of the "See Spot Run?"
genre from the library and absorbed them in no time.

I then started going to movies. I would go down to 42d Street to the
cheap movie houses on Saturday and Sunday mornings and sit through the
same double feature all day long. By the end of the day not only could
I mumble along with the dialogs, but also understand what I was saying and why.

Other than correct pronunciation, learning a foreign language is not a difficult task.
All it takes is genuine desire and willpower.

~aj
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"Confession: I used to pronounce the H in "herb".
You do if it is short for Herbert, but not if you mean a small plant, is that right? How is a non-native speaker supposed to know that? "


I had the same issue with Arkansas, which I pronounced as Ar-Kansas.

~aj
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Confession: I used to pronounce the H in "herb".
You do if it is short for Herbert, but not if you mean a small plant, is that right? How is a non-native speaker supposed to know that?


The Brits say the "h" sound in both cases.

So not only do you have to be a native English-speaker to say these things right -- you have to know the correct brand of English too.

culcha
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Other than correct pronunciation, learning a foreign language is not a difficult task.
All it takes is genuine desire and willpower.


Immersion helps, too. Certainly it helped that you had ready access to English-language movies, radio, newspapers, etc., and a ready supply of English speakers with whom to practice.

I'm trying to learn conversational Hebrew, and I'm pleased with my progress, but I can't help but think it would be easier if I were living in Israel.

(Immigrant absorption is somewhat of an industry there. There are actually two weekly newspapers written in "simple" Hebrew targeting immigrants aspiring to learn Hebrew. In addition to news stories they have word games and puzzles aimed at increasing the reader's vocabulary.)
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are actually two weekly newspapers written in "simple" Hebrew targeting immigrants aspiring to learn Hebrew. In addition to news stories they have word games and puzzles aimed at increasing the reader's vocabulary.

Do you know if they are available in the U.S.? I would very much be interested in subscribing.

MOI
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I'm actually planning on subscribing to one myself.

The two I know about are:

Hebrew Today: http://www.hebrewtoday.com/

and Ivrit: http://www.jpost.com/Ivrit/Home.aspx
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weekly newspapers written in "simple" Hebrew targeting immigrants aspiring to learn Hebrew.


Written phonetically in the familiar Roman alphabet, or written in actual Hebrew?


sheila
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Looks like actual Hebrew but with some English explanations.

In every issue, you’ll find short articles in topics such as sports, culture, nature, movies, travel, science and computers, from Israel and around the world, as well as fun activities such as crosswords, word games, puzzles and even recipes. In addition, each issue also includes:

•A Hebrew-English dictionary for every article, providing a translation for new and difficult words

•Exercises for additional practice

•Different levels of difficulty

•Audio CD (optional) of all articles in a clear, enunciated style

•English explanations for the terms and concepts mentioned


•Hebrew alphabet and grammar / diction lessons

Having studied the Hebrew alphabet in conversion classes, I could handle this. It looks really attractive to me.

MOI
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My grandmother (OBM) said she learned English by listening to baseball games on the radio. I've always taken her at her word, but I admit I'm stumped as to how that would work.

I could listen to some foreign-language radio station all day, and I doubt I'd pick up very much.


Well, she knew they were talking about a baseball game, and presumably already had an understanding of baseball so she knew what sort of things they were likely to say - and could substantially construct what was happening from changes in the pattern of what was being said and how it was being said.

Example: when the announcer says something in a very excited manner and draws it out very long, it's probably a home run. What sort of things an announcer says when the batter gets a home run probably isn't all that much different for an Italian-speaking announcer as compared to an English-speaking announcer.
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Humberto = Umberto

English is not much better.


Oh, no, English is not much better - it's much worse.

Just as one example, how is -ough pronounced?

The tough coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed the dough. (Yep, I one-upped the good doctor.)

And then suppose you append a T - as in "ought" or "doughty"?

Here's the nasty set of examples, with its history: http://www.spellingsociety.org/journals/j17/caos.php
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The tough coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed the dough. (Yep, I one-upped the good doctor.)


Are you through?


sheila
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The tough coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed the dough. (Yep, I one-upped the good doctor.)


Are you through?


Okay, the tough ought to have coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed through the dough.
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The tough coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed the dough. (Yep, I one-upped the good doctor.)


Are you through?

Okay, the tough ought to have coughed and hiccoughed as he
thoroughly ploughed through the dough.


MOI
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The tough coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed the dough. (Yep, I one-upped the good doctor.)
***********************

Are you through?
***********************
Okay, the tough ought to have coughed and hiccoughed as he ploughed through the dough.



Wellll......"coughed" and "ought" are AWfully alike. The sound of "through" was new. ;-)
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Enough!

~aj
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Wellll......"coughed" and "ought" are AWfully alike.

The vowel sounds are the same, but "ought" lacks "f" sounds.
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Enough!


Well....aren't you in a hough!


sheila
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Well....aren't you in a hough!

I am through with the both of yough
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I am through with the both of yough


I gnough you'd say that. Bough hough!!!!
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Here's yet another "ough" sound, similar to "enough" but different.

Sough -- pronounced SAHFF.


sheila
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(She twice used the phrase ""when in delt." A google search turns up exactly two occurrences of that phrase.)

When in delt, do as the deltas do. (A brave new world reference).
R:
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That's soma kinda obscure reference.
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That's soma kinda obscure reference.

Thank you :) Here it is in context:

"… all wear green," said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, "and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta."
There was a pause; then the voice began again.
"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …"
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