Pronunciation of 'grimace' - /grɪˈmeɪs/ ?

Droigheann

Member
Czech - Moravia
In all of the dictionaries I've checked the pronunciation is given as either /ˈɡrɪməs, ɡrɪˈmeɪs/ or even /grɪˈmeɪs/ alone. This has been recently challenged in Wiktionary, where no native speaker admits ever having heard anything else than /ˈɡrɪməs/. Should I accept that /grɪˈmeɪs/ is outdated but remains in the dictionaries out of inertia? Incidentally WR writes /grɪˈmeɪs/ but all the sound files say /ˈɡrɪməs/.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Erm ... it's up to you, Droigheann.

    I've only come across the schwa version, but if you want to use the /eɪ/ version, then go ahead:)
     

    Droigheann

    Member
    Czech - Moravia
    Well my first language puts stress, per default, on the first syllable of a word, so the schwa version is easier for me, it's only that I'm intrigued on account of so many dictionaries apparently keeping the same ... shall I say archaism? ;)
     

    Droigheann

    Member
    Czech - Moravia
    Yes - but the OED has the following annotation for both:
    This entry has not yet been fully updated (first published 1900).
    Interesting, I hadn't noticed that. On the other hand I then clicked on "Previous version" and they'd had it as /grɪˈmeɪs/ in 1989 - that doesn't seem so long ago.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The 1989 Second Edition won't have updated the entry, Droigheann: what it did was consolidate the previous edition of the OED with the Supplements that had been published, and add about 5000 new entries.

    To quote fom the OED website (my highlighting):

    Today, once again, the Oxford English Dictionary is under alteration. [...]
    The content of the Dictionary is also being comprehensively revised. However, instead of adding new material in supplements to the main edition, or simply interspersing new information throughout the body of the old edition, the entire work is being updated. This is the first time material written by Murray and the early editors has been changed since they finished in 1928.
     

    Droigheann

    Member
    Czech - Moravia
    So for almost a century they've just been adding new things without checking which of those already contained might have become outdated, which latter they're only doing now? Interesting and good to know, thanks for the link!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think it's a question of "not checking", Droigheann: the massive revision that's under way now would have been an impossible task in the 1980s;).
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I don't think it's a question of "not checking", Droigheann: the massive revision that's under way now would have been an impossible task in the 1980s;).
    Oh, how did our forebears ever accomplish so much without computers? :) In many cases it is impossible to know how words were pronounced in centuries gone by without written records such as in the OED. I'm sure at some point they will add "formerly" to the pronunciation. I have often wondered if the word "grimace" was ever pronounced that way. Thanks for pointing it out.
     

    Droigheann

    Member
    Czech - Moravia
    Well I didn't say I blamed our forebears, rather myself for having so easily forgotten all those (paper) notebooks I used to keep and all the information therein contained, so meticulously noted down and so useless when it came to finding a particular piece ... ;)
     
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