Choon! Or Toon! Or Tune!

I was listening to BBC Radio 3 on the way back from the school run (the children had been listening to their Times Tables CD in the car and I needed to erase the earworm!) and I was very surprised to hear the presenter pronounce tune as ‘toon’. When you check the phonetic transcription for the word in the dictionary you find that it should be pronounced tju:n, which becomes t-yeeeeooooo-n, in slow motion, that is! So, a nice sharp t, then a yeeoo sound before the closing n. You will hear people say toon and indeed choon for this word, but try and use the correct tju: sound.

Which other words use this sound? Here are some examples: 

  1. Tuba
  2. Tube
  3. Tudor 
  4. Tuesday
  5. Tuition 
  6. Tulip 
  7. Tumid 
  8. Tumour
  9. Tumultuous 
  10. Tuna
  11. Tunic
  12. Tutee 
  13. Tutelage
  14. Tutor
  15. Tutorial

Tu can also sound like ter as in turn / Turkish / Turkey, or tuh (t followed by short u or schwa) as in tuck, tuff or tuppence. 

Enjoy the sunshine today, UK people, this might be our brief Summer! Let’s enjoy it!


Script List Mania!

Using scripts is a great way to practice correct intonation and emphasis with another victim, sorry, willing person. My daughter and I enjoy reading scripts together and she’s only 7, so there’s no age limit to it. If there are more parts than people you can either assign parts, or just take it in turn to read a line, either way works. Try different tones or pitches for different characters and different speeds to reflect different people’s ages. If you’re able, do use different accents, practice extending vowel sounds or shortening consonants. Read at different volumes to experiment with effectiveness of this. If you’re on your own use monologues or comedians stand up sketches.

Here is a list of some sites I like to plunder when I read scripts with my students:

  1. this site has a huge collection of one-liners and short jokes. They’re great for practising emphasising the right words in a sentence.
  2. this site has a HUGE resource of scripts including some very funny Victoria Wood sketches.
  3. here is a fantastic site filled with scripts and lyrics from musical theatre and straight theatre
  4. Monty Python scripts are a very amusing, if surreal, experience
  5. this is where I found Downton Abbey scripts – great to read aloud!

Right, must go, Parents Association meeting at the children’s school! See you all later!