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As I am from New Zealand, I keep all the vowels in father, bother/cot and caught separate, so I am not useful in that respect. I have however never heard conch as anything other than /kOntS/ (which for me has the same vowel as bother/cot) by anyone here and definitely never with a /k/ even by older speakers or by people from other parts of the English speaking world.

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On 13/02/2013, at 8:22 AM, Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Tue, 12 Feb 2013 11:10:56 -0800, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> I looked it up in several online dictionaries and apparently everyone
>> else pronounces it /k/. All I can say about that is that clearly
>> everyone else is wrong! ;-)
> 
> Yeah, that's sò not my reaction when I discover a (historical) spelling pronunciation in my own usage.  My reaction is more like "kill the mutant with fire!  restore my lect to a state of righteousness!".  It should be no surprise that for me "conch" is /kANk/; I don't remember if I ever had /tS/ there.  (I merge cot & caught, so am not a data point for And.)
> 
> Alex