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View Poll Results: How do you say "milk"?
"Milk", rhymes with "silk" or "ilk" 322 85.41%
"Melk", rhymes with "elk" 49 13.00%
Other 6 1.59%
Voters: 377. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-28-2010, 07:59 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,051,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
LOL.

And now we can start with the people who pronounce words like "pen" and "pin" the same way?

Drives me NUTZ when I hear someone on TV say "And now for the Tin O'Clock News!"

You'd think they'd have to have diction lessons to be an anchorperson.
Yes, me too. When I lived in Iowa, many people I knew pronounced it that way. A phrase I heard there I had never heard before was "ink pen". I thought perhaps given the dominance of agriculture there they were just trying to distinguish between a writing pen and a pig pen. But I heard an alternative explanation from an Iowa teacher who was originally from another part of the country. She thought they were trying to distinguish a pen from a pin. Made sense to me. I love the English language and long been fascinated by what we do to it!
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Yes, me too. When I lived in Iowa, many people I knew pronounced it that way. A phrase I heard there I had never heard before was "ink pen". I thought perhaps given the dominance of agriculture there they were just trying to distinguish between a writing pen and a pig pen. But I heard an alternative explanation from an Iowa teacher who was originally from another part of the country. She thought they were trying to distinguish a pen from a pin. Made sense to me. I love the English language and long been fascinated by what we do to it!
"Ink pen" is a Southern expression. It reflects their love of adjectives i.e., baby doll, ball cap, ball bat...
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
No, not a "Great Lakes thing". As I pointed out earlier, Western NYers don't pronounce it that way. Neither do northeastern MN'ns. It appears to be more localized than you think. Based on responses here, primarily northern OH and MI (perhaps lower peninsula only?)
That is generally where the vowel shifting is stongest, it also is in the Chicago area to an extent.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
"Ink pen" is a Southern expression. It reflects their love of adjectives i.e., baby doll, ball cap, ball bat...
Milk rhymes with silk. Native Texan. .

Of course, exactly how either comes across is subject to interpretation. As someone else said, I can easily see how my own might sound to a northerner more like "me-ulk. But then again, the same could be said of "se-ulk" Not quite, but close to being, two-syllabled. By the same token, I have met northerners who claim they prononce milk and silk as rhyming...but what comes across to me is actually more LIKE melk and selk. LOL Go figure!

As to the above, I think you are correct in some ways as concerns the use of "ink pen" in the South. But at the same time, as another posted noted, the expression probably came into being in order to distinguish between "pin" and "pen", as we tend to pronounce them the same (I know I do!).
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Yes, me too. When I lived in Iowa, many people I knew pronounced it that way. A phrase I heard there I had never heard before was "ink pen". I thought perhaps given the dominance of agriculture there they were just trying to distinguish between a writing pen and a pig pen. But I heard an alternative explanation from an Iowa teacher who was originally from another part of the country. She thought they were trying to distinguish a pen from a pin. Made sense to me. I love the English language and long been fascinated by what we do to it!
Same here--

If you haven't read it yet, I suggest The Power of Babel by John McWhorter. Very interesting stuff!

I have also heard the term "ink pen", and the first time I did it came from a coworker who had asked me for a pin. I'd replied, "you mean like a safety pin?" She said, "No, an ink pin."
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imperialmog View Post
That is generally where the vowel shifting is stongest, it also is in the Chicago area to an extent.
Correct. But the "melk" pronunciation is not prevalent over the entire Great Lakes region, as the poster had suggested.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:47 PM
 
Location: West LA
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I was born in DC, spent my formative years in Columbus Ohio, and now reside in LA. Never heard anyone pronounce it "melk."
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,569,024 times
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I've heard "ink pin" in Ohio and Indiana, too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:52 PM
 
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I say "milk" but my Australian friend says it sounds like "melk". To me, Canadians sound like they drink "baygd melk."
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:07 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,512,585 times
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Milk as in Silk.
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