The Great Scone Debate!

Scone or Scone?

Scone

Image from Google.

Ok, let me type that better

Scon or Scown?

“What is that Ritu on about?” I know you are wondering.

Well, I am just settling down with a lovely cuppa, and a buttered scone, and I felt obliged to post.

It’s all about the pronunciation, isn’t it?

What do you say?!

What is the right way?

I definitely have been brought up to say the long-vowelled scown rather than the short, sharp scon!

But what is right?

Is it a North-South divide?  Well, that places me nowhere specific, I was born and brought up in Birmingham, the Midlands, so slap bang in the middle! The funny thing… an article I read on this actual issue says that the Americans say it my way more, over 75% of those that answered a survey, yet in the UK a mere third say it ‘properly’! (Sorry about that whole Malteasers debate, y’all! I forgive you, you and me,  we are true scown lovers!)

It’s like Barclays. I say I worked in Barclays Bank, and yet I get giggled at because I should say Barclees apparently!

Am I speaking ‘posh’? I don’t think so… From a decent family, of Indian origin, I should really be saying all these things with an ethnic jiggle of the head! But no, this is how I say these words!

A little aside here but this video explains the Indian Head Shake is a great way!

Sorry, back to the matter at hand!

Yes, I went to private school so there were certain things that were frowned upon, like dropping your ‘haitches and tees’ and not wearing your hat, or eating in uniform, but I don’t remember anyone beating these pronunciations into me!

But thinking now to my present, and the whole phonic word breakdown, and how we are expected to teach children how to read, the way I say it appears correct!

Scone has what is known as a split diagraph, which is essentially a vowel with an e tagged on after the consonant that follows it.  This e stretches the vowel sound. So o becomes ow.  Make any sense? (Don’t ask me why we say one as we do, that is just the English language and all its peculiarities!)

And as for Barclays, the ay is taught as just that, a long ay sound. In fact, the lovely Ruth Miskin, who is responsible for the Read Write Inc scheme of reading and writing that many schools use, has the mnemonic “ay – May I play?” to help children remember the sound!

So, this is what Ritu sits and ponders on over a cup of tea and scone!

What do you think? Which is the ‘right’ way? ScON or scOWn?

( The article I read was actually from the Oxford dictionary’s blog, and they are none the wiser either! )

65 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thebeasley
    Apr 20, 2017 @ 16:45:10

    I have been meaning to read this post for ages. I’m team “scowne”, but then I am soft southerner (you can imagine the amount of flack I get for pronouncing it properly here in Yorkshire). So very pleased (and smug) that I’ve been saying it the right way all my life. Though, I do pronounce it Barclees!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Ruth Daly
    Mar 31, 2017 @ 03:24:35

    Just as long as there’s jam and clotted cream 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Diana Frajman
    Mar 30, 2017 @ 23:25:10

    Great! Now I have a caving for a Scone (here on Vancouver Island, we say “scon”, sorry)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Trudy
    Mar 30, 2017 @ 17:44:00

    Americans say Scown. And I loved the video about head nods but I doubt I’ll remember all of them, I need to keep it as a favorite. Watching Bollywood movies makes more sense now!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. josypheen
    Mar 30, 2017 @ 12:58:22

    I’m in the South East and I always say scon. I don’t mind if anyone says scown. They are both correct innit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Em Linthorpe
    Mar 30, 2017 @ 11:40:50

    It’s scon.
    Scon scon scon. Virtually nobody I know pronounces it with the long scooown vowel apart from my family in West Sussex. I think it sounds rather glamorous when I do hear it pronounced that way however!
    Oh, and it must be a freshly baked, still warm cheese scon, none of this fruit or date malarkey.
    Ah-ha! Scone rhymes with none …we must he saying it right up here 😉😚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Ann GrubbsnCritters
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 16:18:26

    Scon..scown…don’t matter because the head shake video takes the cake! It’s a great video that – never realise there’s so many different ways. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. itsathought2
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 15:31:52

    Local word pronunciation is a funny thing. And you will never convince people from that location that they are saying it wrong.
    What I find funniest is names of cities.
    In the US – the people in a city will pronounce the city a particular way, while the rest of the country will (ignorantly?) pronounce it differently.
    In the case of a location – surely the people who live there are RIGHT, but often its in defiance of how it is spelled. And it makes the rest of us cringe.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Lisa A.
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 14:11:34

    It’s scone here in Texas. Mmm that sounds so good for breakfast! Maybe I’ll go to Starbucks again! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. lbeth1950
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:05:36

    I am from US and pronounce it to rhyme it with but he.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Hugh's Views and News
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 09:15:24

    I’m just wondering why you are sitting down at 10pm and eating a buttered scone? lol. Isn’t it a teatime treat? Or should that be an after snack? Or should that be dinner? Or should it be tea? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:23:08

      Lol! I was browsing my Facebook and a friend posted that she was having a cuppa and it sounded like a good idea… then I spotted the scones… and so a post was born!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  12. Erika Kind
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 09:00:36

    Ok, first to the video. You are really having a bloomy language. I had to practice hard to overcome my seasickness. Then I checked my leo.org for the translation of scon/scown….. there was no translation found for both words…. only for scone! Even grammarly doesn’t know both words. I stick with “Weckerl” (the Viennese word… lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. neelwritesblog
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 05:02:01

    Yeah, this scone- scon tiff looks like the family riff between two scions!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. syl65
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 03:41:11

    Scown 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. Julz.......artist, blogger, photographer, graphic designer
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 00:26:21

    here in Australia I think it goes both ways but I have always known them as Scons…………we always giggled at scowns, sounds so posh! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Donna
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 00:19:34

    I have not had one in many years but we pronounce it scown

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Kat Myrman
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 00:11:22

    Being an American I learned to say “scown”. As a Midwesterner transplanted in the South there are a few pronunciation issues that make me crazy! Aerial, which I would pronounce in 3 syllables “air-real” is pronounced in one syllable here as “earl”…Buchanan my way “b’you-cannon”…here they say it “buck -cannon”!!! Oh my! Don’t get me started!!!! Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. FrankandBob
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 23:25:36

    I’m a bagel man myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  19. trentpmcd
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 22:39:34

    In the US scone = scown. I never heard it another way.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Chris White
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 22:38:11

    What is the fastest cake on the motorway ? Scone.
    Hopefully that will clear the matter up.
    Either way, they are delicious. Either or either …. that’s another one to worry about.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  21. Jim
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 22:29:37

    I don’t care who anyone pronounces it as long as they eat good. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. Silver Threading
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 22:28:38

    And Americans say… scone. LOL! Now, if I can find a gluten free recipe I will be happy! LOL! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  23. colinandray
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 22:21:34

    Scone is the “normal” way…. I have only heard “scon” when somebody was trying to impress. Normal, to me, is 60miles North of London and to the North, so London and South is ?????? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 28, 2016 @ 22:25:36

      I shouldn’t say anything, Sseeing as I now live in the Garden of England, in the South East!!!
      I think our normal ‘scone’ sounds much posher than ‘scon’!

      Like

      Reply

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