Pronunciation of "mega".

Guy   Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:40 am GMT
I've recently come to a somewhat interesting realization of my pronunciation of the word "mega" and words that start with first three letters. I've found that I usually pronounce words such as this as /meɪgə/ instead of /mɛgə/. I hear words like this being pronounced both ways by different people. Yet I do pronounce all other words with a short e sound the same as everyone else in the US. It seems like when I say these words it just comes out too fast to really tell the difference, so it's not like it's really stressed or anything. I do realize that the south have a thing about turning short e sounds in to almost a long a sound... but I don't know. Thoughts? How do you pronounce these words, and does this really have anything to with accents?
Levee44   Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:02 am GMT
Maybe this is the effect of a dialectal phenomenon characteristic of the Western Upper Midwest and adjacent areas of Canada.
Skippy   Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:18 pm GMT
In Southern California there are a lot of people who say "keg" like /keg/ and "leg" like /leg/.

For someone's birthday party my friend told me to get a /keg/ and I thought he said cake. It all worked out in the end :-P but this is a feature of several dialects.
Bill in Los Angeles   Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:55 pm GMT
<<In Southern California there are a lot of people who say "keg" like /keg/ and "leg" like /leg/.>>

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, my grandparents changed the "e" in leg to match the vowel sound in the word "lake" as well. For them, Beg rhymed with vague. "Also, "egg" rhymed with Alexander Haig's last name. That vowel shift was consistent with the other odd things they said, like making the word "bush" sound like "boosh", and "fish" sound like "feesh". I noticed it when I was about 4 years old and my parents didn't talk that way. It kind of annoyed me to hear the older generation speak with what I perceived as old fashioned vowels! Now I live in Socal and haven't heard what you referred to but I will keep my ears open and I'll also do an informal survey here at the office.
Skippy   Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:01 pm GMT
One of my roommates was the first one that I noticed saying /keg/ and /leg/ and she was born and raised in Westchester near LAX. Her mom is originally from Indiana though, so that may have had some influence.