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Don't say "controVERsy," say "CON-TROV_ersy"

Don't say that: 

controversy

(emphasis on the first syllable)

Do say this: 

controversy

(falling emphasis on the final two syllables.)

Say it like "controversial"

Why?: 

The moving of emphasis in this word began in the 1970s and spread in the 1980s. In part, it was popularised by a fashion amongst the broadcast media to create a kind of sing-a-long presentation.

But the change in emphasis breaks up the flow of a sentence, influencing where emphasis comes elsewhere and, therefore, affecting the sense of the entire sentence, even though the word itself does not alter the sense.

Often the word "controversy" and the related "controversial" introduce a topic. The word "controversial" has not been drawn into the mispronunciation net. The misuse makes it more difficult to follow the rest of the sentence and therefore is an impediment to comprehension.

As a guide to the pronunciation and emphasis of "controversy", think of "controversial"

 


 

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