How do you say scone?


Q.    Why do you care how we say scone?
A.    Despite how often it is hotly debated, there is no hard evidence about what kind of people say /skɒn/ or /skəʊn/.  I am investigating this for my dissertation by asking some simple questions about yourself, and seeing if certain groups of people favour one pronunciation over the other - e.g. is there an north / south divide?

Q.   What are those strange letters you just used?
A.   Those are symbols from the international phonetic alphabet.  They are a universal way of describing pronunciation, which is much more reliable than simply trying to spell a word in the way we say it.

Q.   I'm embarrassed in case I'm saying it wrong...
A.   There is no 'right' or 'wrong' when it comes to pronunciation.  Most dictionaries list both pronunciations for scone.  The important thing to remember is that the questionnaire is totally anonymous, so you can be honest in your answers.

Q.   How dare you ask about my salary etc.  How is this relevant?!
A.   Firstly, the survey is totally anonymous, so I have no way of knowing who has answered the questions.  Secondly, I am asking a range of questions about your background so that I can categorize people and see if there are any patterns with pronunciation.  Without these questions, the only data I could collect is how many people say /skɒn/ or /skəʊn/ - This has already been done, and I would like to know more: i.e. if there is any relation to gender, age etc.  Please, if you do not want to answer all the questions honestly, do not take part in the survey

Q.  I can't answer one of the questions because there is not an appropriate answer for me to choose.
A.  I carried out a pilot study, and as a result have made some adjustments.  This should mean there are no gaps in the answers.  If you think you cannot answer accurately, then please do not fill in the survey.  I would urge you to get in touch with comments, feedback and any other issues if you have a problem.

Q.   I'd like to know what results you find, is that possible?
A.   Of course!  I will be updating the "News" page as and when I have something to share.  Full info will be available from June 2009, after the hand-in date for my dissertation :)

Q.   What degree is this for?
A.   Ba English Language at the University of Sussex.

Q.  OK, so... How do you say scone?
A.  However you like :) Check back on the news page in June to see detail on who uses each pronunciation.