How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

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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)
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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.
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How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

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

William,

To ignore Erik's witterings (one of my favourite things), is there any chance that he may have been of Northern Irish descent?
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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)
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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?
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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.
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How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

Post by JANE DOErell » Thu May 12, 2005 5:09 pm

M-W.com, 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 http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?confir01.wav=confirm.
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