the schwa? or the shwuh?

the latest video from the #englishpractice vlog on the richyrocks youtube channel is about the schwa, a phonetic symbol that looks like this

u can hear it pronounced at 2:50 in the video.

like the vid says, i don’t operate in the academic world.  my job is coaching professionals, many of whom have been thrown into the fire. listen at :11 and again at :30 to hear a reduced version of the idea i.e. have is eliminated. given the context, it’s implied that these professionals have been thrown into the fire (put in an uncomfortable situation) at work, so passive voice (have been thrown) is typical to use here.  reach out means they are requesting assistance or asking for helptoasty (:37) means warm.

god reaching out to and creating adam
god reaching out to adam and vice versa (wikipedia)

at :42, notice the pronunciation of the noun knowledge. though it is related to the verb know, knowledge sounds like college. listen at 1:25 and 1:55 for the rhyme of college and knowledge in this cool cut (song) by basement jaxx

on top of that  (at :48 in the schwa video) means additionally.

kinda in the phrase kinda abstract at :58 is not precise. it means a little or more or less.

fun english practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

arbitrary  in the phrase totally arbitrary (used at 1:30) means random. i did select the number arbitrarily, but to feel completely comfortable with the concepts of english phonetics, 100 hours might not be a totally unrealistic estimate.

in the sentence professional people ain’t got 100 hours to learn the sound alphabet, spoken on the video from  1:30-1:36, ain’t got is an informal phrase that replaces haven’t got, the structure that can replace the verb have.  the title of this song by david lee roth is another example of ain’t got.

at 7:27 there is another example of ain’t u wanna tell yourself that it ain’t. in this sentence, ain’t replaces isn’tain’t can also replace present perfect in the negative.

embrace in the line embrace the beauty of our times (at 2:00) means accept with enthusiasm.

at 2:10 the observation is that dictionaries don’t even agree. they got different phonetic spellings for the same word. they got is a reduction of they’ve (they have). the reduction of the “v” sound in english is common.

in frank zappa’s song criticizing the california work ethic, he calls bad workers flakes, which is also the title of the song.  flakes has multiple examples of they got, including the lines swear to god they got the most, at every business on the coast which are repeated 4 times in the first 1:20 of the song.

there is another example of ain’t at 2:15 in the phrase i ain’t naming no names, which means i’m not going to say exactly who i’m talking about. a few seconds later i do in fact name the names of the online dictionaries i use most often.

the expression all over the place at 3:00 means everywhere. like this kids’ tv show produced by the bbc that films in various locations around the world.

in the sentence you’re not gonna know what actual vowel, what actual letter is making that sound at 3:02,  actual means in reality or in fact. it has nothing to do with time and does NOT translate into spanish as actual.

possibly the most important points of the video are mentioned from 3:10 to 3:30. the schwa should be called the shwuh  to reflect the sound it represents; and the schwa looks like a lowercase e turned upside down (inverted).

richyrocks & the schwa
the shwuh looks like a lowercase e turned upside down

u can find all the words that are mentioned in the video from 3:50 to 5:45 in these posts….

summit, thus   2 famous lines from the warriors—shakespeare rewrite

finger, footage, kinda, struggle, whatever sergio dipp’s english debut on monday night football

juxtapose  chris cornell, soundgarden & black hole sun

fucked up present perfect continuous in songs u know

love nba 2k18 hilarious glitch: kd celebrates with okc

venus doesn’t appear anywhere else on it was just spontaneous divine inspiration 😀

cover art for venus by shocking blue

they were probably not thinking about the schwa when they wrote venus

at 4:03 there is an example of the has got structure from the song venus, she’s (she has) got it

are not to be found at 5:47 is another example of passive voice. the tallest man on earth uses the same structure in the title of this song, but in the future.

english teachers or coaches reading lists of words in a video are definitely not entertaining, thus (for that reason) the sarcasm graphic at 5:55 in the schwa video.

at 6:30, definition is the word being pronounced.  all words that end with -tion are  pronounced with the schwa sound. this video should help u remember.

nothing would make me happier (7:05 in the schwa video) is a standard expression but i have to admit, there are probably a few things that would make me happier than everybody calling the schwa the shwuh.

finally, compare the lines if the sound of that little guy is uh, then goll dang, it’s the shwuh. (7:33) and i’ve been saying schwa sound the whole goddamn time! (6:23) goll dang is a softer, nicer version of goddamn. both are used to emphasize frustration.

richyrocks talking about how to pronounce the word "schwa"

goll dang, it’s the shwuh.

do u have questions about the schwa or this fun schwa video?  share them under leave a reply


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