Colonel

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4321
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Colonel

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:34 pm

Colonel: the military rank. Why, also, is it pronounced with the
letter "r', when there is none in the word.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3333
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA
Contact:

Re: Colonel

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:41 pm

I second that motion. I do have the impression that somewhere in the British Empire at sometime the word Was pronounced with three syllables including the L. I may be wrong.
pl

User avatar
call_copse
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Colonel

Postby call_copse » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:17 am

Normally the villain in a bad spy movie pronounces it tri-syllabically, in a bad foreign accent. Not sure why.

'Ahh, Col-oh-nell, I've been expecting you.'

Good choice, if not as inexplicable as lieutenant.
Iain

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Colonel

Postby Audiendus » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:03 am

Here is etymonline's explanation:
https://www.etymonline.com/word/colonel

It seems the English could not make up their minds between the French 'r' and the original Latin/Italian 'l'.

It is an interesting question how spelling and pronunciation can go different ways like this, and why some languages (notably English) are especially prone to such mismatches.

User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4321
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Colonel

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:46 pm

Thanks, you all. I appreciate your feedback.
We could piggy-back "lieutenant", probably 'place-holder'
or some such. But the British 'leftenant (?) has me
baffled as well.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

User avatar
call_copse
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Colonel

Postby call_copse » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:29 am

Lieutenant is the word I was referring to, it's spelled the same in British English, but pronounced correctly (if inexplicably).
Iain

User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4321
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Colonel

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:33 pm

So British English spells the word "lieutenant", but pronounces
it as "leftenant"? Am I understanding you correctly?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

User avatar
call_copse
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Colonel

Postby call_copse » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:33 am

Yes, that's right :D :roll:
Iain

David Myer
Lexiterian
Posts: 489
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Colonel

Postby David Myer » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:27 am

Yes, perhaps lieutenant as a place-holder is a rank held in an 'acting' role while the serious officers are away. In the British army anyway, lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank so presumably a sergeant or similar was co-opted to the role after the captain had been shot?

User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4321
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Colonel

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:55 pm

Yup, your thoughts make perfect sense to me, exactly the
way I'd picture it, know as little as I do of the military.

Thanks too, Iain for clearing up the lef business for me.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 6260
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Colonel

Postby Slava » Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:06 pm

Here's what the good Dr. has to say on the subject.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.


Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 22 guests