Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Skein" or "skein?"

How do you pronounce "skein?"

I've always pronounced it "skeen."  I have no idea why.  If you think about the "i before e" rule*, then I should have pronounced it "skane."

According to Merriam-Webster, you pronounce it \'skān\ ("skane," to those of us not fluent in linguistics).

Maybe you pronounce skein completely differently, and if so, let us know in the comments!

*(I before E except after C, or when sounded like A as in neighbor or weigh)

Image:  Make hay while the sun shines, merino/cashmere fingering weight yarn, by Skein Yarns


Kekumukula said...

"Skane" for me :O).

Orion Designs said...

I've always said 'skane', mostly because that's how the owner of my local yarn store says it.

Riin said...

I've always said "skane". That was the only way I ever heard it pronounced until I was in my late 20's, when I heard a woman from another part of the country say "skeen". I figured it was just a regional difference. I've since heard locals say "skeen" but only people who don't know anything about yarn.

Brenda said...

So interesting! I grew up hearing "skeen" and still hear "skeen" amongst many knitting friends. I've been trying to reteach myself to say "skane" for the last few years ... I'll continue my efforts!

Summer said...

I think that the "I before E" rule has recently been demoted as there are too many exceptions...can't remember where I heard it, but it was within the last couple of months I think. :) Haha...I'm a bit random...and I don't know how the heck I've pronounced it skein! :D

Sharon said...

I'm with Websters and have always pronounced the word skein as"skane" to rhyme with a fisherman's seine "sane" (not like the river Seine in France which sounds like it rhymes with "when".)

Sometimes, I accidentally drop a skein and it gets tangled like a seine.

As a former English teacher, I remember having many smart Japanese students find exceptions to the "i before e" rule and ask me why there were some exceptions. That led to a lecture on the eclectic development of the English language and why it is such a soup of contradictions.

Brenda said...

You have led such an interesting life, Sharon! :D

Sharon said...

Yes, Brenda, I've had a real variety of jobs. Hated all of them until I started teaching, which I loved. I taught college for 12 years before reaching burn out after my vocal cords were damaged by a virus. They are better now, but don't rely on me to yell for the waiter.

I should someday write a blog post about all the jobs I've had that now help me in my business. Lots of serendipity!