same or different

magazine   Saturday, October 11, 2003, 15:00 GMT
There was once a survey on ezboard that listed these words and said same or different.

Pen, pin
cot, caught
hoarse, horse
merry, marry, mary
father, bother
due, do
pour, poor
Jaro   Saturday, October 11, 2003, 15:05 GMT
I'm really getting tired of new topics asking if some words are pronounced the same way or how are they pronounced. If you don't know how are these words pronounced, look them up in
It includes both BE & AE pronunciation.
Richard   Saturday, October 11, 2003, 15:31 GMT
Pen/pin different I pronounce pen with the short e and pin with the short i
caught/cot same, I pronounce these exactly the same
hoarse/horse, same
merry/marry/mary, same
father/bother, same vowel sound
due/do, same
pour/poor, same
A.S.C.M.   Saturday, October 11, 2003, 19:01 GMT
Aye, I agree with Jaro.

Yet, I am curious: how can father and bother be pronounced the same?
Tremmert   Saturday, October 11, 2003, 19:05 GMT
I assume they meant rhyme or something...
Magazine   Saturday, October 11, 2003, 21:45 GMT
I meant do you pronouce father and bother to where they rhyme, I do.
mjd   Sunday, October 12, 2003, 00:53 GMT
These pronunciations vary by region. I live in New Jersey in the Northeastern U.S. Pen/pin, caught/cot, merry/marry/Mary.....these all are all pronounced differently where I live.
antimooner   Sunday, October 12, 2003, 23:54 GMT
Antimoon needs a reform to get rid of some topics.
good luck
Tom   Monday, October 13, 2003, 21:14 GMT

Dictionary transcriptions are not accurate enough to answer the question. Most of these pairs are pronounced the same in certain parts of the US, but not in others. There are great inconsistencies between the ways these pairs are transcribed in dictionaries.
A.S.C.M.   Monday, October 13, 2003, 21:38 GMT
Some of the worse dictionaries give the same phonetic transcription for the "o" in "cot" and the "a" in "father", as if the whole world spoke Standard American English.
Richard   Monday, October 13, 2003, 23:57 GMT
I pronounce cot and father with the same vowel sound.
A.S.C.M.   Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 00:31 GMT
Well, yes, Richard, many people in the U.S. do and the dictionary editors were apparently American. However, almost no one in Britain or Australia does. Thus, the dictionary editors are parochial and are not internationally-oriented enough to work on a dictionary.
Jim   Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 01:34 GMT

I second what Tom wrote. I like that dictionary that you suggest. I often use it but no dictionary encompases the entirity of pronunciation of all the words in English.

You write "It includes both BE & AE pronunciation." yes it does and that is exactly my point. It excludes Aussie, Kiwi, South African, Irish, Cockney, Newfie, Manx, Scouse, Yukon, etc.

There is a huge variation of pronunciation within Britian, within the USA and outside both. How can any dictionary hope to include all of them?

Here's my answer:

Pen, pin ... different ... [pen] verses [pin]
cot, caught ... different ... [kot] verses [ko:t]
hoarse, horse ... same ... [ho:s]
merry, marry, mary ... each different ... [meri(i)] verses [m@ri(:)] verses [meeri(:)]
father, bother ... different: don't even rhyme ... [fa:TH..] verses [br^TH..]
due, do ... different ... [dZu:] verses [du:]
pour, poor ... same ... [po:]

I'm using

I pronounce the "eah" in "yeah" with a long vowel rather than a diphthong. It's like the "e" in "pen" but longer. There is no long [e] in the Antimoon transcription, there is only the diphthong [e..] so I used [ee].

When I say I pronounce "mary" as [meeri(:)] I mean /me..ri(:)/ but the /e../ is a long vowel not a diphthong ... or at least this is how I think I'm pronouncing it.
A.S.C.M.   Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 01:41 GMT
Well, at least the dictionaries can do all of us a favour by including:
1. Received Pronunciation
2. Estuary English Pronunciation
3. Standard American Pronunciation(s)
4. Standard Canadian Pronunciation(s)
5. Standard Australian Pronunciation(s)
(New Zealand is negligible, as its population is only 3.68 million.)

I think that there are no more than seven pronunciation variations for the vast majority of words amongst the varieties of English listed above.
Tremmert   Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 18:46 GMT
I'm sure New Zealanders would love your comment there...

I'm South African and I pronounce 'cot' and 'father' with almost the same vowel sound - just longer in 'father'.