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"Put" is either /put/ or /pUt/ - I can never remember which is which.

"Putt" is /pVt/.

Peter Moylan, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. http://www.pmoylan.org For an e-mail address, see my web page.
When I met relatives named Erbs, they swore they were French. However, they spoke no French and were fluent in German. They'd been born in America, where their parents had met, but each parent had come from Alsace-Lorraine.

Puzzle no more, Al; the explanation is simple:
1) Your relatives consider themselves to be Frenchies because theirparents were French citizens.

2) However, they and their parents are ethnic Germans.
3) For this reason they speak German and have the German surname"Erbs," which is a syncopated version of German Erbse meaning "pea."
4) If they were real French Frenchies, they would speak French, andtheir surname would be "Pois" (pea), correctly pronounced "pwa" (i.e., not rhyming with "toys").

5) Remember their German admonition "Kacke!"? If they were realFrenchies, they would have used "!"
As you know, the region "Alsace-Lorraine" (sic) is a mishmash of ethnic French, Germans, and Jews and has belonged to Germany or France during various epochs. Currently, *Elsaß-Lothringen* which the French had de Gaulle to misname it "Alsace-Lorraine" is under French occupation but will soon again be part of Germany. At that time, the name Straßburg (stressed on the first syllable SHTRAHSS-boork) will be restored and that hideous, sissified French Strasbourg (mispronounced and misstressed as "strahz-BOOR") will be verboten!

~~~ Reinhold {Rey} Aman ~~~
"El hombre es tantas veces hombre cuanto
es el número de lenguas que ha aprendido".
Carlos I (Rey de España)
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
I think you added confusion by using the word "cup" as your example of how it is pronounced. Most people pronounce cup as a short ah sound, but not everyone.

Really! Cup with a short ah sound?
Well, the sound I meant was as in I"ll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down. Huff and puff and cup and the way he said Hoffman all have the same vowel IME.
Here are three similar words: look, lock and luck. The last two have the long "aah" sound and short "ah" sound.

Oh, you don't mean Open your mouth and say Ah. You mean a, like in balloon, right? Reading further, maybe not.
The first one (look) is a short "u" sound. If it were pronounced like Luke that would be a long ... short "ah" sound but not a long "uu" or long "aah" sound which would turn it into coop or cop.

I've only heard cup with a short "u".
Hoffman is often pronounced with either a short "ah" or long "aah", but would not likely to be pronounced with any "u" sound as if it were spelled Hoofman.

Hoffman, I think you mean.
That's why I noticed it. Because he pronounced it with a short "u". as in huff and puff and buffalo.
Yeah, I'm sure. It sounded like the u in "cup" ... Chicago 6 years Brooklyn, NY 12 years Baltimore 26 years

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
Duplicate?
Really! Cup with a short ah sound? Well, the sound ... mean a, like in balloon, right? Reading further, maybe not.

I gave 3 examples with 3 different vowel sounds. Do any two of the 3 words " look, lock and luck" sound the same to you?

No, but I didn't say otherwise.
You said that luck had the 'short "ah" sound, and when I first read that, I thought you must mean "a" like in balloon. Because I have never heard "luck" with any other "a" sound. Reading further, I decided maybe that's not what you meant..
I've only heard cup with a short "u".

Then you are not listening carefully.

How do you know what I've heard?
Do you hear a difference in the words "put" and "putt"?

Yes.
the second one is a word used in the game of golf. "pot" is also another word with yet another vowel sound. You have not been clear as to which of those 3 vowel sounds you are referring to.

I thought huff and puff and buffalo and cup were enough. But the u in putt is the same as those four. That's what it sounded like.
Hoffman, I think you mean.

I missed the word "as" in your sentence. So my line above makes no sense. Sorry.
No, I meant what I said.. If it had a "u" sound it would sound as if the spelling were hoofman.

Like the hoof of a horse? I see. Right, it's not likely to be pronounced that way.
-jim

That's why I noticed it. Because he pronounced it with a short "u". as in huff and puff and buffalo.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
Except for those of us who don't pronounce them that way.

I gave 3 examples with 3 different vowel sounds. Do ... " look, lock and luck" sound the same to you?

It can be more than a little confusing, given an audience with multiple dialects - and especially where the original ... or "aah" sound. There are places in England where "cup" is pronounced with the same vowel as "look" and "luck".

There are places in England - I come from one - where the response to that is "what same vowel?". My accent has softened in 20 years and I can't quite check, but I think my native Wigan accent would use three vowels. "luck" and "cup" are somewhat similar, although pretty close; I use something else entirely in "look".

Online waterways route planner > http://canalplan.eu Plan trips, see photos, check facilities > http://canalplan.org.uk
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Having had discussions here recently (on AUE) about some vowel ... into the "u" of "cup", in either of your examples.

From a non-American perspective, I frequently hear a quickly-spoken American "o" as being more like "u" than "a". So, for ... avoid IPA, so forget the "r" - I just mean the vowel sound in "air" which I think is (ae).

Thinking again about that, the "air" vowel isn't right either - it's more open than that.

Rob Bannister
(snip question about Wisconsin vowels, of which I know little) You got any figures on that?

According to this web site there was a peak in German immigrants in the 1880s:
http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Du-Ha/German-Americans.html Because the 1848 revolutions in Europe failed to bring democracy to Germany, several thousand fugitives left for America in addition to the nearly 750,000 other Germans who immigrated to America in the following years. While a mere 6,000 Germans had entered the United States in the 1820s, nearly one million did so in the 1850s, the first great influx from Germany. Despite annual fluctuations, especially during the Civil War period when the figure dropped to 723,000, the tide again swelled to 751,000 in the 1870s and peaked at 1,445,000 in the 1880s.

Read more: German Americans - History, Modern era, The first germans in america, Significant immigration waves, Settlement http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Du-Ha/German-Americans.html#ixzz0mOeM3ADN

(and further on, touching more on language matters:)

To supply teachers for these many schools, German Americans maintained a teachers' college while the Turner gymnastic societies developed their own teacher preparation institute for the production of scholars who would educate pupils. After the turn of the twentieth century, a special three-million-strong organization, the German American Alliance, actively promoted the cause of Germans. It did so in part to preserve their culture and in part to maintain a clientele for German products like newspapers, books, and beer. In 1903 the Alliance urged in its German-American Annals, "Only through the preservation of the German language can our race in this land be preserved from entire disappearance. The principal aim should be the founding of independent parochial schools in which the language of instruction would be German, with English as a foreign language."
Elementary German language school enrollments reached their zenith between 1880 and 1900. In 1881 more than 160,000 pupils were attending German Catholic schools and about 50,000 were in Missouri Synod Lutheran schools. Of the roughly one-half million people attending school with a curriculum partly or all in German, as counted by the German American Teachers Association around 1900, 42 percent were attending public schools, more than a third were in Catholic schools, and 16 percent were in Lutheran private schools.However, when World War I broke out, the German element was so discredited in the United States that when Congress declared war in April 1917, within six months legal action was brought not only to dampen considerably German cultural activities but also to eliminate the German language from American schools. The flagship case was the Mockett Law in Nebraska, which anti-German enthusiasts repealed. Eventually, 26 other states followed suit, banning instruction in German and of German.

When the Missouri Synod Lutherans of Nebraska brought the test case, Meyer v. Nebraska, the ban on German was reconfirmed by all the courts until it reached the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 4, 1923, the Supreme Court held that a mere knowledge of German could not be regarded as harmful to the state, and the majority opinion added that the right of parents to have their children taught in a language other than English was within the liberties guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Nevertheless, as a language of instruction in schools, during church service, and at home, German gradually drifted into oblivion as assimilation accelerated.
(end quotes)
Similar things happened in Australia. At the time of the First World War, a lot of the German place names around the Adelaide area were changed.

Regards
John
for mail: my initials plus a u e
at tpg dot com dot au