Pronunciation: applicable, explicable

boozer

Senior Member
Bulgarian
Hi, friends,

I have this small problem with the pronunciation of these two words, especially applicable. Some of the forms I give to the public (mostly native speakers) to fill in require irrelevant information, so we go:
Applicant: So what do I write here? Not applicable?
Me: Sure, write not applicable where you have nothing to say or you don't remember...

And then some of them think I'm actually correcting them, which I'm not. :)

So, how do you pronounce those words - stress on first or second syllable:

a/ 'æplɪkəbl, 'eksplɪkəbl - applicable, explicable
b/ ə'plɪkəbl, ɪk'splɪkəbl - applicable, explicable

My worry is that I'm the only one left pronouncing it as in a/. :)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    So explicable is dying irrespective of pronunciation? I sometimes use it instead of understandable...
    I rarely use it in my language, my friend. I understand it, but it would be a fairly rare word in my corner of the world. You're more apt to hear it from people who like to read. For some reason, I use "inexplicable" much more often. Maybe I just don't have many explanations:)
     
    Last edited:

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    So explicable is dying irrespective of pronunciation? I sometimes use it instead of understandable...
    Without looking in a dictionary, I would define explicable as 'able to be explained', which is not quite the same as understandable. You may be able to explain it and I may be unable to understand it all the same.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    I always say b), putting the stress on the 'plic' sylable for both words. However, placing the stress on the first syllable calls to mind the regional accent used in films and narrated stories based in the Southern United States such as Tom Sawyer or Forrest Gump.
     

    vorticella

    Member
    English, USA
    I always say b), putting the stress on the 'plic' sylable for both words. However, placing the stress on the first syllable calls to mind the regional accent used in films and narrated stories based in the Southern United States such as Tom Sawyer or Forrest Gump.
    Interesting. I don’t usually think of myself as having a Southern accent, however I would much sooner say applicable than applicable. Perhaps it is a regional thing that I’ve picked up. Thanks for pointing it out.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    Interesting. I don’t usually think of myself as having a Southern accent, however I would much sooner say applicable than applicable. Perhaps it is a regional thing that I’ve picked up. Thanks for pointing it out.
    Please note that I'm in England and film/radio only gives me a rough notion of American regional pronunciations. Our US contributors would give more reliable information on this subject.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    So far no regional pattern has emerged :) None whatsoever. What gives me some comfort, though, is that there still are people who say applicable. Explicable, however, is becoming a non-entity, it seems :)

    Thank you for all the replies, friends. All views are highly appreciated.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Option (b) for both here too. I rather suspect there is a regional pattern...
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Well, that seems to be the way the thread's pointing, boozer....

    If I'm right, and if you're mainly giving the forms to Brits, that might explain why they look at you blankly when you say "not applicable";)
     
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