Saturday, June 09, 2007

Brought vs Bought - Again

I had an interesting conversation about the who Bought vs Brought confusion last night.
The two American girls I discussed it with were both very surprised to hear that the words are confused. It seems to be quite a divided issue. One guy I talked to said he used to use brought for bought, but now that he has been working on that has started to catch himself saying bought for brought!

So I thought I'd follow up with a couple of pieces of literature I've found on the topic.

This from Blooming English by (Kate Burridge, 2002) She seems to be convinced that the use of bought is becoming 'entrenched'. It seems she is an Australian, so much for the UK connection to bought...

An American (Michael A Covington) seems to say that people tend to use the words interchangeably blaming the fact that there is only one phoneme difference and any errors are unlikely to be noticed more than a simple slip of the tongue.

Personally I think Michael has probably got it right, we often accidentally mispronounce the words, and because our brain works the way it does, automatically translate the word to the correct one. People like me who grew up around mumblers naturally tend towards one pronunciation or the other.

BTW: Blooming English looks like quite an interesting book, if you are a keen on Linguistics. As a for taste, have a look at this blog post from "Semantically Challenged".

Labels: , ,