February 22nd, 2005

Rain - leaves

F'Nancing and other sports

Poll #442359 F'Nancing or FY-nancing?

How do you pronounce "financing"?

Used to say "FY-nan-sing" but now say "fih-NAN-sing"
Used to say "fih-NAN-sing" but now say "FY-nan-sing"

Where are you and your dialect from?

I ask because lately, out here in the West, I've heard an increase in the number of commercials that advertise "3.5% f'-NAN-sing." Didn't we used to say "FY-nancing"? You know, like "finance" with an "ing" at the end, which is, curiously, the word we're pronouncing here? (And none of you pronounce it "fi-NANCE," right? Or...do you?)

I have a totally unfounded linguistic theory that the reason people in advertisement voice-overs are now saying "fih-NAN-sing" is that they think it sounds fancier and less Texan/Southern/Western. Texan/Southern/Western American dialects tend to have syllable-initial stress on words that do not have syllable-initial stress in other English dialects. (Some friends of mine were in stitches over a Texan gal referring to the "BAL-lay" [ballet] rather than our Frenchified "bal-LAY".) My unfounded linguistic theory suggests that people do not want to sound anything remotely like a Texan or Southerner, for stereotyped and stupid reasons. Only, as a linguist, I couldn't call them stupid for their reasoning and maintain my academic objectivity. I would, however, secretly think it a very stupid motivation for changing one's pronunciation.

Now, if you've always pronounced it "fih-NAN-sing," then that's another matter. And I'm curious if such is the case.