Wednesday 26 March 2014

An(a)esthetists and hospitals

As far as I know (please, correct me if I'm wrong!), my book on English for medical science is the only published work to contain the following pronunciations for GB:

1) an(a)esthetist əˈniːθətɪst (p. 155)
2) hospital ˈhɒspɪdl̩ ~ ˈhɒspɪdəl (p. 30)

As you all know, traditional GB pronunciations for the term an(a)esthetist are əˈniːsθətɪst ~ æˈniːsθətɪst, but əˈniːθətɪst appears now to be becoming more common. Same thing with hospital, which alongside the usual ˈhɒspɪtl̩ ~ ˈhɒspɪtəl, now also seems to have acquired the variants indicated in 2) above. 

Listen to this Hardtalk podcast of the 23rd October 2013. In it British surgeon David Nott can be heard to say əˈniːθətɪst at 8:52 and 8:55, and ˈhɒspɪdl̩z at 7:15.

Anestesisti e ospedali

Per quanto ne so, il mio libro è l'unico testo pubblicato a contenere le seguenti pronunce per il GB:  

1) an(a)esthetist əˈniːθətɪst (p. 155)
2) hospital ˈhɒspɪdl̩ ~ ˈhɒspɪdəl (p. 30)

Come saprete tutti, il termine an(a)esthetist ('anestesista') è tradizionalmente pronunciato in GB əˈniːsθətɪst ~ æˈniːsθətɪst; tuttavia sembra che la variante əˈniːθətɪst stia diventando più frequente. Stessa cosa per hospital ('ospedale'), solitamente pronunciato ˈhɒspɪtl̩ ~ ˈhɒspɪtəl, ma ultimamente anche ˈhɒspɪdl̩ ~ ˈhɒspɪdəl, come indicato al punto 2) sopra. 

Ascoltate questo podcast della trasmissione della BBC Hardtalk con Stephen Sackur del 23 ottobre 2013: il chirurgo inglese intervistato, David Nott, utilizza la variante əˈniːθətɪst al minuto 8:52 e 8:55, e ˈhɒspɪdl̩z al minuto 7:15.


  1. Interesting observation if it's not just a handful of people who try to cut corners. OED in its online version, by the way, stresses the penultima.

  2. I wouldn't recommend foreign language learners to use either of those pronunciations -- even if some Brits use them.

    1. As you probably know, my book is not only about English pronunciation but it also deals with listening comprehension. A pronunciation like, for example, əˈniːθətɪst, might be difficult for some Italians to understand, and that's why I list it as a possible GB variant besides the usual əˈniːsθətɪst ~ æˈniːsθətɪst.
      Also, I give əˈniːθətɪst and ˈhɒspɪdl̩ ~ ˈhɒspɪdəl because I find them increasingly common in GB.