A question to Americans: pronunciation of "route"

j   Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:35 pm GMT
How do you pronounce "route"? What word do you rhyme it with?

Webster gives two versions:

Pronunciation: 'rüt, 'raut

Thank you
Uriel   Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:59 pm GMT
Both pronunciations are common in the US. You will even hear the same person use either. I've used both.
Pabz   Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:06 am GMT
Recently I heard someone point out that "root" is more common in the eastern US and "rowt" more common in the west. I think that's true -- I grew up in the east and it was always root.

Also -- the networking device called a "router" is always "rowter" in the US and "rooter" in the UK.
j   Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:10 am GMT
Thank you, Uriel and Pabz.
Tiffany   Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:40 am GMT
I think it's not true, Pabz. I grew up on the east coast and say "root" as much as I do "rowt". Anyway, this nay be pointless as our friend j seems to have settled this matter in his mind already.
Brennus   Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:20 am GMT
As Uriel said, both pronunciations are used in the United States. Even in Seattle where I live, I hear both of them with almost equal frequency.

Yet, to me "rüt" is the unassimilated French pronunciation of the word while "raut" is the more assimilated native English (or Anglo-Saxon) pronunciation. A somewhat similar example exists in Spanish with the use of both "pitcher" and "picheo" for a baseball pitcher; one unassimilated - the other assimilated.
j   Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:34 am GMT
'this may be pointless as our friend j seems to have settled this matter in his mind already'.
Actually I have not.What's confusing me it's the similarity in pronunciation of route and root. As a foreigner I particularly don't like when different words sound the same. I'm most likely to see it as a trap.
Lazar   Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:24 am GMT
I'm from Massachusetts and I always pronounce it as [r\ut], or "root".

I could be wrong, but I've gotten the impression that "root" [r\ut] may be more common here in New England, while "rowt" [r\aut] may be more common in the NYC area.
Lazar   Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:30 am GMT
(minor correction: [r\aut] should be [r\aUt] above)
andre in usa   Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:32 am GMT
It's always "root" for me here in the Philly area. Take a look at this dialect survey map concerning "route." http://cfprod01.imt.uwm.edu/Dept/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_26.html
Johnathan Mark   Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:35 pm GMT
For me [r\ut] is only used when referring to a specific road (like Route 66) while [r\aUt] is for a course of travel, i.e., paper route, or "I tried a new route today to get to the cabin." I'm from Minnesota.
Guest   Sat Jul 22, 2006 5:13 pm GMT
>> (minor correction: [r\aut] should be [r\aUt] above) <<
What's the difference between [r\aUt] and [r\aut]?
Lazar   Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:07 pm GMT
<<What's the difference between [r\aUt] and [r\aut]?>>

To be honest, not that much really. It's just the general convention for English to transcribe that diphthong as [aU]. (I guess the offglide is a bit laxer than [u], so [U] is used.)
Kirk   Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:53 pm GMT
I use both. I use "root" for specific routes like "Route 66" and "rowt" for the fixed phrase "paper route." I have either one for a generic route.