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Answers.com pronounces it nitch. That's what I hear about 80% of the time.
Neesh comes off as affected dimestore French, at least here in the central USA.
Well, you Americans were never very good at pronunciation anyway. ;)
Toolips, Toosday, Aluminum, etc :)
Here in the UK we have no problem with using the original and correct pronunciation, which really is "neesh". Over here it tends to be the less "well read" or those who don't have the nous who use the Anglicised pronunciation.
Talking about "nous" do you say "nowse" or "noo" and what about "Art nouveau"? Do you say Art Nowvo or Art Noovoh? And what about the name "Jacques". Do you pronounce this as Jack with a soft J or Jackwes?
The reason I ask is that I find it strange that some people think they are a bit "affected" when they use French pronunciation on some words but not others - strange.
:) ;) ;) ;) :)
[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 6:21 pm (utc) on Dec. 31, 2007]
I say "nitch" myself, and I've been accused of speaking Mid-Atlantic English on occasion.
If you are British, however, please keep saying "neesh." We Americans just can't get enough of those cute accents of yours.
Does Chaucer rhyme with saucer or Sha-sayr? Do you say Vagner or Wagner? Is Julius Caesar pronounced Yoolius Kaiser or Julios Seezer? Forums or fora? See-ment or Suh-ment for cement?
Much more comes into play than education. Regional dialects. The desire not to sound like a pompous ass, getting your dipthong in a knot... ;)
The word is from Old French
From modern French too ;) In French the pronunciation is "neesh". I suspect the "nitch" came from comparing the written word with similar ones in English such as "rich".
I say niche in the French way, but then again I live in a French-speaking province so I'm more likely not to deform French words imported into English. :)
> A few years back, I met someone from the UK (no doubt in that) who pronounces 'Bus' just the way it is written, being such a senior person you wouldn't expect him to not be serious to someone he just met. After a while, whenever I mentioned the word 'bus' (well the right way ;)), he asked me why I can't say things the way they are written.
Does what this person said make sense to anyone?