He is going to marry merry Mary

mjd   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 07:52 GMT
I definitely distinguish between ferry/fairy and Derry/dairy. For me "ferry" rhymes with "merry" and "fairy" rhymes with "Mary"...."Derry" rhymes with "ferry" and "merry" and "dairy" rhymes with "Mary" and "fairy".

...it all gets confusing after a while.
Jim   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 03:51 GMT
For me it's basically the length of the vowel. "Mary", "fairy" and "dairy" have long vowels whilst "merry", "ferry" and "Derry" have short ones. Except for their lengths the two vowels sound quite similar in my accent.
Might Mick   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 06:46 GMT
I think all Australians generally distinguish the 3 spellings with different pronunciations. What do you think Jim?
Might Mick   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 06:48 GMT
Well it's really a matter of "merry" and "Mary".
Forget "Marry" - it's too different.
Jim   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:25 GMT
By the 3 spellings you mean:

1) "Mary", "scary", "fairy", "dairy", &c.
2) "merry", "Terry", "ferry", "Derry", &c.
3) "marry", "carry", "Barry", "Harry", &c.

You're not distinguishing "Mary", "scary", &c. from "fairy", "dairy", &c. I assume. I mean, the first two are spelt with an "-ary" and the second with an "-airy" so they're different spellings but the same sound (at least for Aussies).

Yeah, 1), 2) & 3) are all different:

1) /e..ri(:)/
2) /eri(:)/
3) /@ri(:)/

As far as I know it's the same for all Aussies. This is why I'm surprised to read that "merry" and "Mary" are the same for Kiwis.
Damian   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:40 GMT
Mary is a scary fairy and I get quite merry when I have those hairy moments down in the dairy and think I might even ask her to marry me which might annoy Barry who comes from Derry and who arrived here on the ferry with his mates Harry and Terry as they both nibbled on a cherry or some weird kind of berry which could have made them very......sweary??

It would great to hear an Aussie or a Kiwi say that. I know this is really bad, but i would not know the difference. Now I have lost any friends I had down under. :-(
Might Mick   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:47 GMT
Yip, yip and yip as the Kiwis would say Jim to each thing you said.

Damian: Listen to our local radio stations on your computer.
Jim   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:50 GMT
No, Damo, mate, you haven't lost any friends down under: we never liked you anyway ... just kidding. There is a difference but it's like me I wouldn't be able to tell a Scottish highland accent from a Scottish lowland one to say nothing of the variations within the two groups.
Might Mick   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:56 GMT
Have another listen to the American pronounce them each differently.
Damian   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 07:56 GMT
That's good to know! :-) Thnx Mick I will do so...cheers! Wow, I really love this forum. I must go now guys and have a shower...looks like another lovely day.. the sun is up, the birds are twittering (like me) and my toast is burning :-(
Damian   Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 18:16 GMT
Jim: the difference between Highland Scottish and Lowland Scottish is..well, about 1000 metres! :-) Couldn't resist that..sorrry. You would notice the great difference if you heard it. The Highland accent does not roll rhe R as much as Lowland, and it is softer and more lilting. In the Islands (the west coast) there is a touch of Irish in it. I have not looked up any sites yet on the Scottish accent, believe it or not as it is only quite recently that I discovered this forum. I am going to listen to the links Mick mentioned, for which thanks again, Mick. I am off out for the evening now...well, I did get paid last Friday! Slaving over a hot checkout till....pays off in the end (sort of!) Bye
to Jim   Monday, June 21, 2004, 04:59 GMT
(its me blah/vn23)

Yes I pronounce ferry/fairy and Derry/dairy the same. I am aware of how they can be sounded differently, but then 'fairy/dairy' would sound very 'english' too me.

It might not be the whole country because I grew up in the south of the south island where a different (rhotic?) accent still exists.
to jim #2   Monday, June 21, 2004, 05:07 GMT
I was just thinking of how australians pronounce ferry/fairy and yup, you guys do make a difference that we don't.

I think i pronounce fairy and ferry, the same way you pronounce ferry. Your fairy doesn't exist in NZ (as far as I can tell, don't take my word for it!).
Ghoti   Monday, June 21, 2004, 05:46 GMT
To all, That was not me that posted that message.
Ghoti   Monday, June 21, 2004, 05:48 GMT
Evidence that that wasn't me that posted that message, ''forrest''. I know how to spell ''forest''. And I don't go by the name ''goat guy''.