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votary

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votary

Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:02 pm

There must be something I am missing in Dr Goodword's explanation of the conditions under which, in English, a «t» is vocalised and its aspiration removed : «In most dialects of English, [t] becomes [d] between consonants.» I find a «t» «between consonants» in a word like «strange» (where it is not, at least in those dialects with which I am familiar, pronounced as a «d»), but the «t» in «votary» strikes me as surrounded by two vowels in very good standing, viz, those represented by «o» and «a», respectively....

Henri

• votary •

Pronunciation: vo-dêr-ee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: No, today's word does not refer to a polling booth (but see History). It has two meanings: 1. Someone who is bound by vows to a particular kind of life, as a monk or nun. 2. A person who is obsessed by something, a single-minded fanatic.

Notes:
Notice that we used a [d] in the pronunciation of the T in this word. In most dialects of English, [t] becomes [d] between consonants. That is why it is often difficult to tell a good writer from a good rider even though the difference between them is great. Remember to replace the [y] with [ie] before the plural [s]: votaries. The adjective accompanying this word is votive, often heard in phrases like votive candles "candles commemorating vows" and votive prayers "prayers that are a part of vows".

In Play: This Good Word is most commonly associated with religion: "As a devout votary of Catholicism, Hadley felt that she had to send her children to the same St Mary's Academy that she attended." However, we may expand this word's meaning to cover obsessions: "To say that Jack Potts is greedy puts it too mildly; he is a votary of money."

Word History: Historically, this word is related to vote. Like vote, it comes from Latin votum, the neuter past participle of vovere "to vow". The same root emerged in Greek as euxe "vow, wish" and Sanskrit vaghat-"someone who offers a sacrifice". If it made it to English, today it is the verb to woo, from Old English wogian. (Today we thank one of the word fanatics of our Agora, Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, Brazilian Dude, for suggesting this Good Word.)

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M. Henri Day
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:09 pm

Of course he means vowels. Let's cut the poor Doc some slack.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:41 am

Brazilian dude wrote:... Let's cut the poor Doc some slack.


For my part, I'd gladly cut him all the slack he wants or needs. Cautious as I am, I merely wanted to be sure that I had not missed a subtle point....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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