I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say "puberty" as POOberty. I and that calm fellow at www.m-w.com would say PEWberty. Is the PEWberty pronunciation common and I've never noticed it before, or is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

SML
 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 13
I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say "puberty" as POOberty. I and that calm fellow at ... PEWberty pronunciation common and I've never noticed it before, or is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

I say PEWberty and this is the way I am used to hearing it.

BTW, the guy (well one of them. I think his name is Ian) from "Globe Trekker" on PBS says "FOO" instead of "FEW".
I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say "puberty" as POOberty. I and that calm fellow at ... PEWberty pronunciation common and I've never noticed it before, or is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

/'***/ is the usual pronunciation by far.
I suppose /'***/ may gain currency in the future, since that is the general trend in AmE as compared to BrE, but "the future" can cover quite a long period of time. Right now, /pju/ is pretty firmly entrenched: puberty, puce, pew, pusillanimous, puny, computer, etc.

Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Sara Lorimer wrote on 28 Aug 2004:
I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say "puberty" as POOberty. I and that calm fellow at ... PEWberty pronunciation common and I've never noticed it before, or is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

He's in outer space with "pooberty". Bertie is a character in Thomas the Tank Engine stories.
I've always had a problem deciding whether words such a "new" should be pronounced as (nju) or (nu), and I'm inconsistent in my pronunciation. Too many BrE films as a kid, I suspect.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say ... is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

/'***/ is the usual pronunciation by far.

As M-W's Collegiate will tell, literally, anyone without having to resort to funny-looking, obscure, unhelpful symbols.
I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say "puberty" as POOberty. I and that calm fellow at ... PEWberty pronunciation common and I've never noticed it before, or is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

Not off in outer space, but in a decided minority. I haven't noticed any regionalism or ethnic background to it either. I do wonder if there isn't just a hint of discomfort with discussing sex either with the speaker or in the speaker's family one or two generations back (hence a lack of familiarity with the word), but the pronunciation is rare enough for me to only wonder and not form a firm conclusion. (I would guess that this could apply to high school biology teachers as well.)
Jon Miller
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
As M-W's Collegiate will tell, literally, anyone without having to resort to funny-looking, obscure, unhelpful symbols.

I use the IPA for the same reason.

Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
Not off in outer space, but in a decided minority. I haven't noticed any regionalism or ethnic background to it either. I do wonder if there isn't just a hint of discomfort with discussing sex ...

That may be. In some cases, the person may simply have never said the word aloud before. I met a woman once who pronounced "penis" as /'pEnIs/; she had never said it aloud or heard it pronounced correctly before.

Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
I just heard Scott Simon (obTWIAVBP: American radio host) say ... is this Scott Simon going off into his own world?

Not off in outer space, but in a decided minority. I haven't noticed any regionalism or ethnic background to it ... form a firm conclusion. (I would guess that this could apply to high school biology teachers as well.) Jon Miller

Johnny Carson (the Tonight Show) says pooberty. Jarred me a bit the first time I heard it as I use the more common pronunciation. He was born in Corning, Iowa and raised in Norfolk, Nebraska. His background (small Midwest towns) may have something to do with the pronunciation, to carry through with your theory.
Nell
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more