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I find it very interesting that we all made the same incorrect
assumption about the pronunciation of "sluice".  I wonder what it is
that prevents the eye-rhyme with "juice" from guiding the
pronunciation?  It was precisely this phenomenon which triggered my
message.  For the umpteen hundred and umpteenth time I was driving
near Bull Sluice Lake, saw it go by on my GPS map display and thought,
for about the umpteen hundred and umpteenth time, that it was a funny
name that was very close to being obscene.   But this time, for no
readily apparent reason - maybe I'd been thinking about etymological
spelling or something -  I realized that I'd never heard the word
pronounced and became unsure that it was at all close to the
obscenity.  In fact, I began to suspect before I ever looked it up
that it might be pronounced to rhyme with "juice".  Hence my question.

Someone pointed out "suit"=/sut/ as another example of <ui> = /u/, and
contrasted it with "suite"=/swit/.  That brings up an interesting
YAEPT point (sorry): when I was growing up in Middle Georgia, there
was a three-way opposition among /sut/ spelled "suit", an item of
clothing; "suite" pronounced /swit/, a set of connected rooms; and
"suite" pronounced /sut/, a configuration of furniture (e.g. a
"bedroom suite").  Somewhere along the way that last word began to be
pronounced /swit/ also - presumably because it was always so in other
parts of the country and the regional speech was moving toward
conformity.

--
Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>