How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

If you feel that your question or comment doesn't fit into the categories above, feel free to post it here.
Post Reply

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by William Barclay » Thu May 12, 2005 3:43 am

Nothing serious here. I'm just looking for some authoritative advice on the pronunciation of the word ‘confirm’.

Several years ago I had a supervisor who pronounced it as you would the word ‘conform’. It drove me crazy, and I would have corrected him except that he was my supervisor and the type of person that didn’t take well to criticism, no mater how constructive.

Just yesterday I ran across another person who pronounced ‘confirm’ like ‘conform.

Is there any chance that they’re right, and I’m wrong?

(kn-fûrm or kn-fôrm)

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu May 12, 2005 5:38 am

I know someone who is perfectly literate, but still tends to say 'acrost' instead of 'across'. Beats me why -- the spelling is perfectly unmistakable.

Now imagine a scene that might have taken place when Rodgers and Hammerstein were collaborating on South Pacific:

Rodgers: We need some more romance here, I think.
Hammerstein: Richard, I'm positively dripping with romance. Do I have to keep on proving it?
Rodgers: Of course I know that, Oscar. What I'm saying is, it's time for another song.
Hammerstein (Sighs): You know, I'm beginning to get rather fed up with all this 'boy meets girl' stuff. We seem to be ploughing the same ground over and over.
Rodgers: If you flunk the songwriting, I'll be sure to remind you not to take up farming.
Hammerstein: But if you flunk the composing, I could always find a job for you tuning pianos.
Rodgers: People say we're neck-and-neck with Mussolini.
Hammerstein: Not more talk of necking! – Anyhow, Richard, what kind of thing have you got in mind?
Rodgers: I was thinking – something along the lines of 'boy meets girl'.
Hammerstein: Jesus.
Rodgers: We’ve got to follow the money, Oscar.
Hammerstein: Ha! Mother was right about you: “A pimp with a piano”.
Rodgers: Not that hoary old chestnut again!
Hammerstein: Oh well! (Sighing) ...Give me a rhythm!
Rodgers (Accompanies himself on the piano): Dum-dee-dee-dum-dee-dee-dum-dee-dee-dum.
Hammerstein: Is that the Kentucky Derby, or the U.S. cavalry coming to the rescue?
Rodgers: OK... Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum-dee... Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum-dee... How’s that?
Hammerstein (Long pause) (Sings sotto voce): "Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger..." (Pause).
Rodgers: Go on. And try and hit a good note now and again!
Hammerstein (Ignoring Rodgers): "You may see a stranger... Why cross a crowded room?"
Rodgers: Oscar – is the fellow trying to escape?
Hammerstein: Richard, you know how I've always been shy with women.
Rodgers: Well, I really don't think that's going to cut it here. Make our hero put the moves on her!
Hammerstein: OK... (Pause) "You may see a stranger... acrost a crowdy room."
Rodgers: I thought we'd finished with those hicks from Oklahoma!
Hammerstein: Goddammit – just habit, I guess. "You may see a stranger... across a crowded room."
Rodgers: Now we're getting somewhere.
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by Phil White » Thu May 12, 2005 2:33 pm


To ignore Erik's witterings (one of my favourite things), is there any chance that he may have been of Northern Irish descent?
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by dalehileman » Thu May 12, 2005 3:48 pm

I've always heard it as knFRM, with which my old Webster's Collegiate agrees, (but uses schwas)

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by Bobinwales » Thu May 12, 2005 4:03 pm

CONFIRM looks like a phonetic spelling to me, although Phil may just have something with his Northern Ireland question, but wouldn't that be CON FURIM? Any Irish people out there reading this?
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by Phil White » Thu May 12, 2005 4:52 pm

To expand a little, my own accent is by and large RP with a smattering of South-East London, both easily explained by my social and (in important formative years) geographical background. For no apparent reason, I regularly use a northern "A" ("kassel" for "castle") and "U" ("look" for "luck") in certain words, in particular "daft" and "mucky". My guess is that I associate these words with my much-loved Lancashire-born grandmother. Presumably she regularly used the words "daft" and "mucky" in my presence...
I suddenly realize that I also pronounce "bugger" with a northern "U". Perhaps I should drop that line of thought.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by JANE DOErell » Thu May 12, 2005 5:09 pm, and perhaps others, have a feature where you can hear their pronunciation(s) if your computer has speakers. With m-w there is a tiny speaker icon by the word. You can click on this and hear the pronunciation. You may have to hold down the control and click on the icon. BTW, the m-w link to their pronunciation of confirm is

Post Reply