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Thread: Pronunciation: palm (calm, almond - and others with internal "al")

  1. #1
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    Pronunciation: palm (calm, almond - and others with internal "al")

    I was reading a book on English a long while back, and it pointed out a difference in how the L in CALM is pronounced, but not pronounced in PALM. I was shocked, because I have always pronounced the L in PALM.

    I checked some dictionaries, and sure enough, PALM has a silent L. Does anyone else follow this practice? Are there any other words out there like this? I've never heard anyone NOT pronounce the L.




    Thank for any help,
    Jon

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I didn't believe you, but you're right! I must be a neanderthal! I've been pronouncing the L in palm, psalm, qualm and balm all my life. Those are all I can think of at the moment, but now I suspect I've been blowing on a lot of others, too.

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I pronounce the L in palm. Also the one in almond, which some people not only elide but also change the /aw/ to an /ae/ sound, so that almond rhymes with "Sam and Janet."

    You know the song-- Sam and Janet Evening?

    I pronounce the L in the other examples mentioned-- the only silent one I can think of is salmon, which in fact does rhyme with "Sam and Janet."
    .

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    "Sam and Janet"? I'm not sure what you're talking about there...

    If NO ONE actually pronounces it without the L, then why on Earth doesn't the dictionary recognize this and change things?

    However, maybe there are a lot people who don't pronounce it.




    Jon

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I have never pronounced the L in palm, almond or salmon.

    Maybe this is a regional thing. I live in Western Pennsylvania.

    Off the top of my head, I can add the following to the non-pronounced L list (at least for me):

    could
    should
    would
    balm
    embalm
    talk
    walk
    balk
    chalk
    calf
    yolk
    Lincoln (2nd L only is not pronounced)

    I'm sure there are others, as well.

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joelline
    could
    should
    would
    balm
    embalm

    talk
    walk
    balk
    chalk
    calf
    yolk
    Lincoln (2nd L only is not pronounced)
    I pronounce the L in the bold words above. I think most on that list are probably pretty solid--can't be pronounced any other way.



    Jon

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Jon,

    Did you ever hear (or sing) the old folk spiritual "There is a Balm in Gilead"? If you've heard it, you'd have noticed the L isn't pronounced. Did you ever watch the TV program, Six Feet Under? They never pronounced the L in embalm. Again, maybe this is just a regional thing; I've never even heard anyone pronounce the L's in those two words (though I have heard people pronounce the L in palm and almond).

    Joelline

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    The only word mentioned in the posts above where I DO pronounce the L is "almond"

    I come from Manchester, England.

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Well stop it, captain!

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joelline
    I have never pronounced the L in palm, almond or salmon.

    Maybe this is a regional thing. I live in Western Pennsylvania.
    I'm with you Joelline. Never pronounced it either.
    I've heard "all-mond" but only from British people, and only a few of them. Delia Smith, the noted culinary personality does it.

  11. #11
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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Maxiogee,

    We had a lot of Irish immigrants come to this part of America; maybe that's how we learned to pronounce it correctly!

    Joelline

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I just thought of 2 more words where the L is not pronounced:

    solder
    colonel

    The pronunciation-issue was surely one of the reasons I used to misspell these two words so often!

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I pronounce it "ALL-mund". I'm trying to think of the song in my head...

    "sometimes you feel like a nut,
    sometimes you don't.
    Almond Joy's got nuts,
    Mounds don't"

    I can't remember how it's pronounced on the comercial. This must be regional. I never hear people pronounce it without the L. When I tell people that the "correct" way is to use a silent L, they look at me like I'm insane.


    So, to you people who don't pronounce it, does the L at least modify the sound any? I mean, do you pronounce BOMB and BALM the same then?




    Jon

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joelline
    I just thought of 2 more words where the L is not pronounced:

    solder
    colonel

    The pronunciation-issue was surely one of the reasons I used to misspell these two words so often!
    Colonel has to be one of my favourite words. Honestly, there's not an R in there anywhere. Makes you wonder where the English came up with this stuff. .




    Jon

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I was taught British English and I was taught not to pronounce the L in words such as "calm" or "balm".
    And, in the same way, I was taught to pronounce differently "bomb" and "balm", the vowel in "bomb" shorter than the "a" in "balm", and with a different sound too.

  16. #16
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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    I do pronounce bomb and balm the same way, but again that's probably a regional pronounciation.

    Jon, are you sure you're not British? You spelled "favourite" like a BE speaker! We Yanks usually spell it "favorite"!

    Joelline

    P.S. We'll all be listening carefully the next time the Almond Joy commercial comes on!

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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joelline
    I just thought of 2 more words where the L is not pronounced:

    solder
    colonel

    The pronunciation-issue was surely one of the reasons I used to misspell these two words so often!
    I don't pronounce the L in colonel, but I do in solder... I can't imagine a Brit not pronouncing it...

  18. #18
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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    captain,

    We are talking about the same word? That's solder (as in soldering 2 pieces of metal together) and not soldier (as in the army)?

    I ask because I can't imagine anyone saying SOL-DER, but, then, I've heard you Brits mispronounce a lot of other words, now that I think about it! (How's that for a cheeky Yank?)

    Joelline

  19. #19
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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joelline
    captain,

    We are talking about the same word? That's solder (as in soldering 2 pieces of metal together) and not soldier (as in the army)?

    I ask because I can't imagine anyone saying SOL-DER, but, then, I've heard you Brits mispronounce a lot of other words, now that I think about it! (How's that for a cheeky Yank?)

    Joelline
    Yes, sol-der with a sol-dering iron!!

    Do you really pronounce it the same as "soda"??

    And don't forget who invented the language!!

  20. #20
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    Re: Pronunciation "palm"

    Quote Originally Posted by captain_rusty
    Yes, sol-der with a sol-dering iron!!

    Do you really pronounce it the same as "soda"??

    And don't forget who invented the language!!
    Actually, Daniel Jones' English Pronouncing Dictionary gives an L-less pronunciation of solder as an option;
    so it must be an older English pronunciation preserved in the US.
    Bibo, ergo sum.

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