While perusing Not Always Right the other day, I came across a post entitled The Rule Deep-Ends On How Cute You Are. I was nonplussed; deep-ends? Certainly I'm familiar with the deep end of a pool, but as a verb? It took me the entire reading of the post to realize they were playing on the (in my opinion, mostly orthographic) similarity of "deep end" to "depend".
I think the main reason for my confusion is that I always, even in careful speech, pronounce "depend" as dǝ.ˈpʰɛnd, rather than di.ˈpʰɛnd. "deep end", on the other hand, is ˈdip.ˌɛnd. Thus, even if we treat both as single phonological words, "deep end" is different in stress, aspiration, and vowel quality. I can't tell if the assumed transparency on the part of the author is due solely to orthographic similarity, or if most people (or at least the author) have the unreduced vowel quality in the first syllable.
Writer’s Craft # 121 Realistic dialogue
1 week ago