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I'm not finished with these scones!

Well, last Friday's poll about scones did nothing to help me understand where each of the two main pronunciations is most common, or even whether the choice between 'skoan' and 'skon' is a matter of geography, or class, or what. Some people apparently believe that 'skon' is northern and 'skoan' southern, and some the complete opposite. The only mild points of agreement were a belief that people in Scotland are more likely to say 'skon' than anyone anywhere else and apparently also a marked preference overall for pronouncing the word as 'skon'.

On this latter issue, I believe that you are all Wrong. But while I'm not really bothered about 'right' and 'wrong' pronunciation in this case, I've still got a bee in my bonnet about what exactly it is that distinguishes a 'skoan'-sayer from a 'skon'-sayer.

So I am now presenting TWO separate new polls, in an attempt to find out what's at the bottom of this. This time, I am not asking about what you believe people in other parts of the country say, but only about what you say.

This is how it works: the top poll is for anyone who grew up, for the most part, north of Birmingham. Do not answer it if you grew up south of Birmingham. For you, there is the bottom poll.

Birmingham is a good point at which to divide the country in half, because I was born there, so clearly it is Very Important. If you actually grew up in Birmingham (like me), you may decide for yourself whether you feel that, on balance, you are more of a southerner or a northerner. If you grew up in Scotland or Northern Ireland, I'd say you're pretty definitively northern. The Welsh, like the Brummies, will have to make their own minds up, though, as a line drawn due west of B'ham probably doesn't have much meaning once it hits Wales.

You can also use your own judgement to decide what constitutes 'growing up' somewhere. E.g. if you were born in Newcastle, of local parents, but moved to Devon at the age of 4, you will have to decide whether your parents or your schoolmates had a greater influence on your pronunciation of the word 'scone'. Once you have decided, though, stick with your decision.

DO NOT ANSWER BOTH POLLS. I WILL BE CHECKING!

Here we go, then:

Poll #389615 Poll one: for people from OOP NORTH

Tick this box:

'I have read and understood the Terms and Conditions associated with this poll (above), and agree that I grew up NORTH of Birmingham.'
30(100.0%)

How do you pronounce the word 'scone'?

With a long 'o', like 'skoan'.
10(34.5%)
With a short 'o', like 'skon'.
19(65.5%)

Which do you consider to be the poshest way to say 'scone'?

With a long 'o', like 'skoan'.
19(65.5%)
With a short 'o', like 'skon'.
10(34.5%)


Poll #389616 Poll two: for people from DAHN SARF

Tick this box:

'I have read and understood the Terms and Conditions associated with this poll (above), and agree that I grew up SOUTH of Birmingham.'
28(100.0%)

How do you pronounce the word 'scone'?

With a long 'o', like 'skoan'.
13(46.4%)
With a short 'o', like 'skon'.
15(53.6%)

Which do you consider to be the poshest way to say 'scone'?

With a long 'o', like 'skoan'.
18(69.2%)
With a short 'o', like 'skon'.
8(30.8%)


UPDATE: I've just realised that LJ's default method of displaying a poll is to display the questions until a person has answered them, and after that to display the answers (assuming the person remains logged in, of course). This means that no-one can see the results in the poll they didn't vote in, unless they actively click on it and go to look. I was wondering for ages why southern people seemed so much more inclined to vote that northern people... until I realised that northern people had been voting - it's just that, as a self-defined southerner, I couldn't see them.

If you're keen to see the results in the half you didn't vote in for now, you can go directly to the northern results here or the southern results here. Meanwhile, I will probably summarise them both in a separate post in the end anyway, assuming they reveal anything at all.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
ex_kharin447
Nov. 22nd, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
Well, the study I cited on the last post didn't find any geograpaphical differences on usage of this word:

"Does scone rhyme with John or with Joan?

There are many words in English whose pronunciation is uncertain or controversial. For scone, some speakers say 'skon', rhyming with con, while others say 'scoan', rhyming with cone... British dictionaries have usually preferred skon, while recognizing the existence of 'scoan'. (The Scottish proper name Scone, though, is 'scune'.) The polling figures show that 'skon' is generally preferred, although there is a slow yet significant swing towards 'scoan.' Four (=2%) of the under-26 respondents voted for 'scune', perhaps in jest; so did one in the age group 46-65. Regionally, there was no important difference except that Scots overwhelmingly (99%) prefer the vowel of John."
strange_complex
Nov. 22nd, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
Ah: I think I attempted to click on the study you mentioned at the time, but something went wrong with it, and then I forgot about it, so I hadn't actually seen this before. Actually, this probably settles the matter, but we'll give my new poll a while yet, just to see what happens.
(Deleted comment)
strange_complex
Nov. 22nd, 2004 01:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't worry - we British love nothing more than discussing each other's eccentricities!
purple_peril
Nov. 23rd, 2004 03:34 am (UTC)
You haven't seen the argument about the jam and cream yet!
dua
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:00 am (UTC)
But surely with the jam and cream it doesn't matter that much as long as they're on it?
(Deleted comment)
purple_peril
Nov. 28th, 2004 12:21 pm (UTC)
What???!!!
There have been WARS over whether the jam or the cream goes on first.
Well, there have in my house anyway ;)
neilh
Nov. 22nd, 2004 01:10 pm (UTC)
Having grown up in a household where this was a perpetual argument I decline to say the word these days, it therefore has no pronounciation.
bloodnok
Nov. 22nd, 2004 05:00 pm (UTC)
*hover... hover... hover...*

No, can't do it. I'm from dahn sahf, in your terms, but as my family didn't hit these shores until the 1940's onwards, scones never really featured in my life until I left home. As such I a) don't care for them, and b) have no idea how the word "should" be pronounced, and c) therefore just avoid the subject.

You say "skon", they say "skoan", I say fsck the lot of you, whose round is it? Just make sure that you get the apostrophe's in the right place *cough*.
pne
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:20 am (UTC)
UPDATE: I've just realised that LJ's default method of displaying a poll is to display the questions until a person has answered them, and after that to display the answers (assuming the person remains logged in, of course). This means that no-one can see the results in the poll they didn't vote in, unless they actively click on it and go to look.

True, though you can simply click on 'Submit Poll' without filling in any of the boxes -- then you'll see the results next time you reload the page, but no votes will appear in the results.
pne
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:21 am (UTC)
BTW, while I didn't grow up in England at all, and I think my father (from whom I got my British accent) has a neutral upper-middle-class (or something) non-regional accent, he was born in Leicester, which is just north of Birmingham, so I picked 'oop North'.
strange_complex
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:23 am (UTC)
Fair logic. And thanks for your observation about getting round the poll-display problem. That certainly makes life easier for me, because I obediently followed my own rules, and hence was unable to see all the results for my own poll in one place before!
pne
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC)
That certainly makes life easier for me, because I obediently followed my own rules, and hence was unable to see all the results for my own poll in one place before!

*nods* Annoying :) It comes in handy on polls in my own journal (or in others, for that matter) where I don't want to vote but where I want to see the results next time I reload my friends page.
sarcaustik
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:43 am (UTC)
Having been born in London and still condsidering myself a southerner despite spending most of my life in Yorkshire I decided to be awkward and fill in both polls.
strange_complex
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC)
Tut-tut! No jam for you, then.
sparkofcreation
Nov. 25th, 2004 07:13 am (UTC)
I'm American and was sent to this post by pne, and will send my (Scottish) husband over to vote in it when he gets home.

I wanted to let you and your readers know that to see the results of a poll one has not voted in, one can also just click "Submit Poll" without answering. So if you click the "Submit Poll" button for the southern poll (while not answering any of the questions), you should then see the results.

Hope that helps! :-)
sparkofcreation
Nov. 25th, 2004 07:14 am (UTC)
And now I see that pne himself has already told you that. Sorry. :-(
strange_complex
Nov. 25th, 2004 07:27 am (UTC)
No worries! It's nice that you wanted to be helpful anyway.
sparklielizard
Nov. 25th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC)
fyi - if you click "Submit Poll" and make sure nothing is ticked, you will be able to see the results every time. No voting will be registered and your name won't appear anywhere. Tis very useful when wanting to see the results of polls you don't particularly want to participate in! :-)
sparklielizard
Nov. 25th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC)
Bah - didn't notice others had posted on the bit I linked to! Ignore me ;-)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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