Write the number dow-uhn
February 24, 2012 9:08 AM Subscribe
Why the two-syllable pronunciation of "nine" for the telephone?
posted by activitystory to Writing & Language (12 answers total)
Does anyone have an explanation of why, in the Nichols and May comedy bit "Telephone"
, Elaine May (in her role as a telephone operator) pronounces "nine" as "ni-uhn"? Walter Mathau also uses this pronunciation on the telephone in Plaza Suite
to incredible comic effect.
May uses this two-syllable approach for "down" and "dime" in the bit as well.
Also, for bonus points, where else is there recorded evidence of this pronunciation?