Want and wont

Mike   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 04:48 GMT
Do you pronounce the words ''want'' and ''wont'' the same?
Alice   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 05:02 GMT
Almost, but for me the vowell in "wont" is slightly more closed. I speak what is generally considered to be unaccented american english.
Jim   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 05:22 GMT
I don't believe in such a thing as "unaccented american english". Everyone has an accent there exists no unaccented variety of English. Perhaps you mean "General American", Alice.

I pronounce "want" and "won't" quite differently. The "a" in "want" is, for me, a short vowel and the "o" in "won't" is a diphthong.

By the way, there is no such word as "wont", "won't" is a contraction of "will not" not a word.

I speak what is generally considered to be unaccented Australian English ... now, how does that strike you? Of course I'm joking but mine's a typical North-East Sydney accent.
mjd   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 05:29 GMT
"Wont" is a word besides the contraction "won't," but it's just rarely used.

Jim   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 05:43 GMT
Well, this smarty-pants is put in his place. Okay, sorry Mike, "wont" is a word. I'd still pronounce it the same as "won't".
Alice   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 05:57 GMT
"Wont" is a word that is seperate from "won't", and this was the word to which I was refering. I pronounce "won't" very differently from both of these words, with a long "o" sound whch dipthongs slightly into an "oo" sound.

Sorry for the confusion about my accent! I didn't mean to suggest that I don't have one. I meant that as far as American English goes, I do not speak any particular regional or cultural dialect. It is the accent most news anchors have, for example. So, as far as American English goes, it is considered unaccented.

I wouln't be surprised to hear someone speak of unaccented Australian English if one spoke whatever the standard form of Australian English is. For example, if when you're in Australia, & you meet someone for the first time, they would't be able to identify your place of origin within Australia by your manner of speech.

Perhaps "general", or "standard" would be a better term.

Thanks for the comment!
Simon   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 09:52 GMT
I pronounce wont and want the same because, for want of a better word, it is my wont. People like Jim are wont to want me to prounce it won't but I won't because I am not wont to do so and what is more I don't want to and won't ever.
all the sheep   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 09:57 GMT
"wont " comes probably from the dutch word "gewoonte" a habit
Mike   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 17:44 GMT
I just looked up the word ''wont'' in my dictionary and it listed the pronunciation ''wunt'' or [w^nt].
Wonted   Thursday, December 04, 2003, 11:45 GMT
Wont is one of those many words that are at the edge of my vocab. I've never used it in speech, but have seen it occasionally in fiction and Newspapers. I have a vague idea of what it means but if I were to say it out loud I would say it the same as 'want'.

Is it used like this...?

eg Henry was wont to do something.
Simon   Thursday, December 04, 2003, 12:29 GMT
It describes something done habitually.

Henry was wont to pilfer the odd chocolate as they passed down the conveyor belft in front of him.
Jim   Friday, December 05, 2003, 01:06 GMT
I won't say I'm wont to want anyone to prounce "wont" like "won't" rather than "want". If it anyone's wont to pronounce "wont" like "want", I won't want them not to.

Truth be told it's not my wont to use the word. The situation where I'd want to use it has never really cropped up and I guess it won't ever again. It's therefore a bit meaningless for me to say how I pronounce the word because I don't.

In other words, when I wrote "I'd still pronounce it the same as 'won't'." I really hadn't been giving it much thought. The dictionary (to which mjd provides the link above) said one thing and I just went along with that like a sheep.

However, come to think of it, pronouncing it like "won't" seems a little more familiar (though it's hard to compare because the word is a little unfamiliar anyway). Perhaps my vocabluary is a little wanting.
mjd   Friday, December 05, 2003, 01:14 GMT
The word is a bit archaic, but if I were to use it, I'd pronounce it like "want."