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I should have written, The only people **apart from me** who say "peeahno forrrtay" for "pianoforte" are music teachers in my experience.

Ah, you mean the trilled "r". Your statement had me puzzled, because I've never heard anyone say "pianoforte" with a silent "e".

Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org

Please note the changed e-mail and web addresses. The domain eepjm.newcastle.edu.au no longer exists, and I can no longer receive mail at my newcastle.edu.au addresses. The optusnet address could disappear at any time.
Ah, you mean the trilled "r". Your statement had me puzzled, because I've never heard anyone say "pianoforte" with a silent "e".

That's why I wrote, "If I were saying eg "pianoforte" I would pronounce it
all'italiano, trilled 'r' and all, and damn the funny looks. "
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Ah, you mean the trilled "r". Your statement had me puzzled, because I've never heard anyone say "pianoforte" with a silent "e".

And I wrote first of all, "piano fortay" with the "ay" (I hoped) signifying a non-silent 'e'...
The various pronunciations of "forte" have been discussed before in these newsgroups, of course, but I'd like to ask a ... each term, using the following pronunciations spellings (based upon the entries in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). "fort" "FOR-tay" "for-TAY" "FOR-tee"

"FOR-tay" in all cases (BrE speaker).
Mike M
Do any of you distinguish by pronunciation between the Italian-derived ... entries in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). "fort" "FOR-tay" "for-TAY" "FOR-tee"

"FOR-tay", always.

Years ago I learned to distinguish between "fort", one's strong point or the strong part of a sword blade, and "FORtay", a musical descriptor. I think that distinction used to be more strictly observed then than it is now.

I believe the pronunciation "FORtay" for the strong point was originally an error and it was repeated so frequently as to become accepted.
My preference is to observe the distinction my teachers taught me to observe: "fort" for the strong point, "FORtay" for the antonym of "piano". When I hear "FORtay" for the strong point, I can't help feeling that it's an error.

The New Shorter Oxford has the two pronunciations for the "strong point" meaning, and it also has "FORtee" for that meaning:
forte /"f:teI, "f:ti, f:t/ n.1
Orig. fort.
It has only "FORtee" for the musical term.
The 1930s Webster's New International Dictionary Second Edition Unabridged agrees with my long-ago teaching; only "fort" for the "strong point meaning"; only "FORtay" for the musical term.
Note that the "strong point" "forte" is from French "fort", while the musical term is from Italian "forte".
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The various pronunciations of "forte" have been discussed before in these newsgroups, of course, but I'd like to ask a ... entries in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). "fort" "FOR-tay" "for-TAY" "FOR-tee" (If you have other pronunciations, by all means include them.)

I distinguish without thought when I hear them pronounced differently; but my own pronunciation of both words is non-rhotic "FOR-tay".

(I would, in fact, use the noun, in speech or writing, only if forced in some way: it's in my active vocabulary, but stored at the back.)

Mike.

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The French noun meaning the same as the English "Fort" (Fort William, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, etc) is... "fort". (Ndjamena in Chad used to be called Fort-Lamy.) Forteresse and citadelle are allied words. The t is silent. "Forte" is the feminine form of the adjective "fort" and the t is sounded.
On Apr 16, 9:54 pm, "jerry [email protected]"

(snip)
French strong point: /fOrt/ or /'fOrteI/, partly depending on who I'm talking to. Italian adjective, adverb, or noun: /'fOrteI/.(snip)

An extensive AUE thread on the same subject, also started by Raymond, in Dec 2002:
http://tinyurl.com/32l6yb

Aloha ~~~ Ozzie Maland ~~~ San Diego
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The French noun meaning the same as the English "Fort" (Fort William, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, etc) is... "fort". (Ndjamena ... allied words. The t is silent. "Forte" is the feminine form of the adjective "fort" and the t is sounded.

What I find interesting is that the French noun "fort" had exactly the right meaning back in the 1600s, when it was borrowed into English. Here are some notes I saved from past discussions:
The 1694 "Dictionnaire de L'Académie française" has "fort" as a masculine noun, meaning both "the strong point, the strong part" of anything, and "the strong part of a blade" in particular.

Fort, subst. masc. L'endroit le plus fort d'une
chose. Mettre une poutre sur son fort. le fort de la voute, le fort de la balance. gagner le fort de
l'espée. le fort de la boule.
The Oxford English dictionary shows the term being used in fencing in 1648, and the general sense in 1682, both spelled without an "e":
1648 A Foyle hath two Parts, one of which hecalleth the Fort or strong, and the other the Foyble or weak
1682 Shadwell Medal Epil. A b, His Fort is, thathe is an indifferent good versificator."
Then it shows it being spelled with an "e" in the next century:
1768 Goldsm. Good-n. Man Epil., Those things are not our forte atCovent Garden.
In French, "forte" is of course the feminine form of the adjective "strong," and it's the musical term borrowed from Italian between 1798 and 1832.
So the English spelling of the noun with an "e" did not come directly from French. It was borrowed as "fort" and changed to "forte".

As to how it's been pronounced, that's another discussion.

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