Pronunciation: status

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hamlet, Dec 12, 2006.

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  1. hamlet Senior Member

    Français (FR)
    In all the dictionaries I've seen it's said to pronounce "stay-tus" but every time I hear it on TV they pronouce it like in "statue". What's the correct form then?
  2. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    My dictionary shows both pronunciations. I only hear it with the first syllable pronounced like statue, except in British television. It could be an AE/BE difference. Perhaps your dictionary is British, but television programs you have seen are American???
  3. I have heard both from AE speakers, it's kind of like potato/potato tomato/tomato (potaito/potahto). Maybe a choice in style. Status like "statue" is far more common.
  4. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    I had always thought that staytus was a Southern American thing and status was more crisp in the Northern States and Canada.

  5. Divertido Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Status can be pronounced either of those two ways and both are just as valid. However more people pronounce it 'stay-tus', especially in England.
  6. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    I, and most people in Ireland I think, say stay-tus although I have heard sta-tus too, mainly on English TV.

    I've often heard this from Americans but I don't get it. Who pronounces potato "potahto"? I've never heard anyone pronounce it this way and if I did I'd tell them its wrong :D
  7. Have you ever heard the marvelous Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald duo
    "You say potayto, I say potahto,
    You say tomayto, I say tomahto.
    Tomato, tomahto, potayto, potahto, let's call the whole thing off!"?
    A classic.

    To me it's like the folks who say "Ahnt" instead of "Ant" for "aunt". It ain't what I do, but it happens!
  8. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    This is one of those words that I pronounce both ways! I think it rather depends on the time, place, context, and audience which I use at any given moment.
  9. jabogitlu Senior Member

    Nope, in Southern America (at least around these here parts) it's pronounced like statue.

    (I also say to-may-toe, poe-tay-toe, and ayunt for aunt. Gotta get those superfluous diphthongs in there!!!)
  10. SaritaMija

    SaritaMija Senior Member

    Minnesota, USA
    English-United States
    I pronounce the "u" in status like an "i", and the "stat" like "statistics"

    como, "Statis" o algo así
  11. Rozax

    Rozax Senior Member

    English - USA
    I pronounce status like the plant "statice" of the Limonium genus (Sea Lavender). It's a pretty filler flower.

    [This is my 100th post!!!]
  12. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    Click on the US and UK pronunciation links at the WR definition of status. :)

  13. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    If you (the English speaking natives) can't decide how to pronounce status, why don't you take an English word instead a Latin one (that you don't know how to pronounce)?

    (Both BE and AE pronunciations are very far away from the original Latin pronunciation.)
  14. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It really doesn't matter how the Romans pronounced status - English tends to ignore original pronunciations when settling on its own variant :p

    The OED lists only 'steIt3s

    I think I say status (not staytus) in technical contexts, and staytus when I refer to people.
  15. i_go_nutso

    i_go_nutso New Member

    I've never heard it pronounced 'stay-tus', and I believe it is more widely pronounced like statue.
  16. Chadner Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    I work for an English School here in Brazil and we are facing this matter on
    how to use the correct pronunciation of the word STATUS.

    Our old English book says Status /stey-tuhs/, and the new one refers to it as /stat-uhs/.

    We looked it up at Cambridge and it says only /stey-tuhs/.

    Are both of them correct or should we use only one pronunciation?

    Thanks in advance....
  17. cholandesa Senior Member

    Cusco, Tawantinsuyu
    The Netherlands, Dutch
    I believe the former is UK English, and the latter US English. When living in the UK I almost only hear the former, /stey-tuh

    Come to think of it, the same thing happens with data.. I hear people from the US pronounce the first part the same as /stat-uh here.

    What do others think?
  18. sloopjc Senior Member

    UK English
    Tomayto, tomarto - I think it's both! :D
  19. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

    Florida USA
    USA English (southern)
    STAT-uhs: most common here in US.
    STAY-tuhs: I hear it sometimes, but it makes me want to give the speaker a wedgie.
  20. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    English (Ireland)
    You can say both. I'm from Ireland and I say 'stat-uh' - I think 'stey-tuh' is American, but I'm not sure - American TV has had a big impact on how people here speak - we use americanisms all the time now!
  21. cholandesa Senior Member

    Cusco, Tawantinsuyu
    The Netherlands, Dutch
    So Chadner, it depends on whether you´re teaching the Yankee or Brit accent!
  22. laurahya Senior Member

    BC, Canada
    British English
    Yep, exactly. I've never heard anyone say STAT-us here, and I would be a bit surprised if I did. I think it's the opposite of xrayspex's colourful example!
  23. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Which was what precisely?

    When you answer, be sure that your answer holds true from 753 BC to 410 AD, and obtained universally from Hadrian's Wall to the Caspian Sea, and from Mauritania to the Red Sea.

    Please also ensure that it applies equally to the Latin spoken by the emperor and by the slave who carried out his pisspot.

    Sorry mods: Hakro's superior tone got the better of me. :D
  24. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I didn't want to sound "superior". But let's see the facts:

    As we all know, the modern Italian language is developed from Latin. So we can be quite sure that the original Latin pronunciation was very close to Italian. An it's very very far away from modern English pronunciation, both BE and AE.

    Of course the English speakers can decide how they want to pronounce foreign words that are adopted into English. See Panjandrum's post #14.

    The problem is that status is an international term that should be pronounced somehow undertandable in different laguages. That was my point.

    Defining the time space and the geographical area and including the different classes from emperor to slaves sounds like a superior tone to me. Sorry Winklepicker, I don't have the information you asked.
  25. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    How would you suggest that the word "status" should be pronounced, according to what you think would be correct in Latin?

  26. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I'd suggest it to be pronounced approximately like in Italian.

    Thanks for correcting my English.
  27. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

  28. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Speculation is so much fun. I confess to total ignorance about the way folks sounded in various parts of the Roman Empire. I would speculate that regional pronunciations showed a lot of variation. Class differences in speech certainly didn't just develop starting with the industrial revolution. How things sounded in Burgos or
    Brescia a thousand years back tells me precious little about prescriptions for current pronunciation. <End of happy rant>

    It's said both ways around here {Far N.E. corner of the U.S.} and the first syllable is usually, not always, a sound that is like the a in back. I liked the post that cited the plant, statice, as a close equivalent in sound.
    Maybe that's because I harvest sea lavender across the street every September. I wonder how the Romans pronounced 'scit' in 568 BC.
  29. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    I have only ever heard "staytus" in England, and would think someone was trying to sound "cool and American" if they pronounced it the other way - unless, of course, they were American, or had learnt American pronunciation, in which case I would allow it.:D
  30. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    So stay-tuss and statt-uss sayers must now learn the word with the Italian pronunciation - more like statt-uss, but the a is in the centre of the mouth, whereas in AE statt-uss it's near the front. And it's more an -ooss than an -uss.

    Hang on a mo: that's only one Italian pronunciation - probably Piedmonte or Toscana. Which region of Italy are we aiming for, Hakro? Please say it's not Venetian. Or Calabrian. :D
  31. SpanishStudent_39 Senior Member

    USA (English)
    In the US, I practically always hear "status" pronounced like "statue". That is how I see it in my American dictionaries.
  32. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    Well, if we're going to go there, I don't know what my husband will think when I call from the kitchen:

    Emilio, please could you check the status of the spaghetti carbonara and open a bottle of aqua vita?

    He would think I had gone mad. And he would be right.
  33. shoobydoowap Senior Member

    USA, English
    I agree. I heard Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! a few nights ago pronounce it "stay-tus" and I cringed. To me, it does sound very strange to hear it pronounced that way.
  34. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    I'm another AE person who find "status" rhyming with "mat" as most common here.

    Strangely, MW gives "'stA-t&s" as the first choice for pronunciation. A = the "ay" sound such as in "stay". I think MW is wrong not in offering two choices but in showing the less common as being more common.

  35. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    If you are suggestiong that "status" should be pronounced as in Italian because Italian vowel sounds closely represent the same vowel sounds in Latin, I won't comment. I have no idea how Latin sounded.

    But I have to comment on this:

    Please tell me you are joking. You are joking, aren't you?

    You can't be suggesting that we have any logical control over what words are borrowed and then absorbed into English, or how they are pronounced, could you? :)

    Does anyone know WHEN "status" was first used in English?

  36. sloopjc Senior Member

    UK English
    STATUS. The condition of persons. It also means estate, because it signifies
    the condition or circumstances in which the owner stands with regard to his
    property. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1689.

    -- From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856)

    Let's hear it for the United Stats of America!:D
  37. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    1671 EVELYN Let. to Sir T. Clifford 31 Aug., Diary & Corr. (1906) 646 The third and last period includes the status or height of the the conclusion of it in the Treaty at Breda, 1667.
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