unstressed syllables

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Senior Member
India - Hindi
The word "soccer" did not, as you might think, originate in America, but in England. The game of football had divided into two separate games -- rugby football and association football. In the slang of the elite privately-run schools for the privileged, many words and nicknames were created by taking a single short syllable and adding `-er' to it. Thus "rugby" was shortened to "rug" and then had "-er" added to make "rugger" (and today, this is still the slang term for rugby among the upper classes in England). "Association", to fit in with this slang, had all of its unstressed syllables removed, leaving "soc", add "-er" to that and you get "soccer".

Would anyone explain the coloured `words' in the above paragraph?
  • Forever Green

    Senior Member
    US/MA - English
    "In the slang of the elite privately-run schools for the privileged," this refers to private schools, where only the rich can afford to go, and it's usually more difficult to get in if you're not from an established family. Their "slang" is words they use, usually easy for an outsider to figure out, but unlikely for anyone else to use.

    "Unstressed syllables"...oy, you're Japanese? Um. Well, it's a habit of English speakers to pick one syllable out of a word (or a few from an especially long one) and pronounce it slightly more distinctly than the others. I suppose the best comparison I can come up with is the vowel right before a stop. In the word "association," this syllable happens to be the second.
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