Artwiculate-Twitter logo (Tweeting as @TSupercargo)

Diphtong: A complex vowel sound that begins with the sound of one vowel and ends with the sound of another vowel, in the same syllable; Joined vowels, pronounced as one, such as a and e in æ, or o and e in œ.
What follows is not the actual diphthong RT round-up, but a version edited into a script for the Salon Artwois. Hear a recording on the Salon at http://www.salonartwois.com/2010/10/podcast-11-diphthong-by-supercargo.html.

This is an exclusive podcast from John Nixon, TheSupercargo, for players of the Twitter-based Word of the Day game Artwiculate, and for habitués of the Salon Artwois refuge for tweetworn Artwiculati.


On Monday 18th October the Word of the Day on Artwiculate was Diphthong.

Greetings, honourable listeners. Here I am again, TheSupercargo and his diphthong, offering another RT round-up.

In respect of today’s word, As @mazpowles observes …

Dear Artwiculate, Diphthong is going to be much more fun as a podcast.

I feel challenged and will be selecting tweets I think I have a hope of pronouncing successfully too.

Before we plunge into the vocal undergrowth, however, there are a few opinionated tweets to share. For example this from @tylercrea

There should be a diphthong in the word ‘diphthong.’

I agree! And I agree also with Hilary @helacious when she writes.

Tonight we honor paradoxical “diphthong,” who uses a mouthful of consonants to denote a mouthful of vowels.

Can we first agree with Silia @SJHatzi that, from one aspect at least, we’re looking at a grammatical function?

“Dialectal distribution of compensatory diphthongization is dependent on the velar/palatal dorsal plosive.” Grammar is SO sexy!

Yes, well, we’ll be back to visit the sex a bit later. But sticking to the grammar here’s a haiku from @cyberbonn

The Grammarian / alone with his diphthong / having a private moment.

Of course, I suppose you could argue that pronunciation is less a matter of grammar, more a matter of the mouth. Don’t you agree @drchavi?

The right use of the tongue, the jaws and the lips are all you and I need to make a diphthong click

Yes – um – there’s that sex thing again.

Some people narrowed in on the second element of the word. @I2Haiku for example …

Diphthong: a guy who wears a thong bathing suit because he thinks he looks good in it.

And @LucasWarwillow seems to have very strange taste in – er – food.

Definition of diphthong: Thong you dip in chocolate sauce when you get tipsy and can’t p-ph-phronounce anymore.

But of course, tipsy, who knows what one might find oneself doing. Not that I think @eilonwya10‘s lady is drunk necessarily

I’m just a beeyotch going for a swiiiium, she squealed when men admired her diphthong.

Well, we’re on the beach, so how about some geology? This is @TiddK‘s tweet:

Deep within the vowels of the earth is a diphthong.

And @pranavmukul‘s tweet has a geological touch too:

Diphthong : He came, he saw, he burst..he’s Eyjafjallajökull.

Also – now I think about it – a touch of sexual innuendo there too. No. no, not yet!

Geology to geography. Here’s @Eridanus:

A mere diphthong? The USA tried harder and founded the first and only Four-Letter Pentaphthong State: A-EE-O-OO-A — ah, Iowa!

Quick, get on @harrarp‘s train!

To get away from this consonant strive, we took the Diphthong Railroad to Ouénouaou, and let its vowels tickle our weary feet.

But, oh no! disaster threatens from @Tralala56

As the train rolled into Diphthong, there was a loud twang and a screeching aaaaaaeeeeeee as it came to an abrupt halt!

Phew, no harm done. But where are we? @ten_ten_ten?

In ‘ertford, ‘ereford and ‘ampshire, dip’thongs ‘ardly ‘appen @lagadu123

(In parenthesis, the ref to Jane @lagadu123 was a nod of thanks to her reminding certain players of the correct spelling – two hs. Let me take the opportunity to slip in Jane’s own tweet referring to her daughter who’d hijacked Jane’s account the day before

My daughter describes herself as an artwiculorphan. See how she put the “l” in to avoid an awkward diphthong? #maternalpride

Back to the script – ‘ertford, ‘ereford and ‘ampshire – )

Ah! Somewhere in England? Let’s check into @osmarjardim‘s hotel.

Diphthong Hotael . Vacancy.

Not that the receptionist sounds terribly British. Must be an immigrant. Accent combined with diphthongs can be a give-away as @rashasman observes:

The Diphthong is to Strine what a drawl is to the deep South, as mandatory as a warm evening breeze

I really doubt whether I can imitate either, though I fear I shall have to try at least once with Australian. Are you ready? Please forgive me Tracy @Squawkingalah

I’ve got a diphthong slap bang in the middle of my name (Tracy).

Whenever I try to imitate Strine, I tend to drift into Cockney. Anyway, here’s something even more difficult – the nasalised tilde

No, I’m sorry, @marcosarroyos I’m not going to attempt to combine Texan AND psuedo-Portuguese

Portuguese has a nasalized diphthong: Hõ nõ brõ cõ.

There are some more difficult to pronounce tweets coming up, but let me just share @19ish‘s short and sweet:

Meow! Diphthong! ‘Nuff said.

@gourenina had a nice definition.

Diphthong. Talking without any contact twixt upper and lower lip. “E-o! O a ou?”

@trtzbass approached languages I know something about in this one

Seaside tombstone: he was looking for the diphthong in maelstrom, but the ocean knows no mercy or phonetics.

(And by the by, some of these monickers don’t obviously seem invented to be spoken aloud! trtzbass)

@runheidi gave some advice for the actors’ studio

When modernizing tragedy, the diphthong is such fuss. Don’t call the old man Oedipus; just call him Eddy Puss.

And @BurningHawk1969 shared a moment from his kitchen.

Monday morning diphthong / epiphany’s two-toned scream / drowned by coffee’s buzz.

But there’s no getting away from it, an awful lot of today’s tweets had to do with sex. And Love, to be sure.

Here’s @kado56 being very subtle

Diphthong vowels lie side by side/ but dipthong vowels can oft elide/ quite distinct they combin-ate/ daemons to pronounci-ate

And @Wifsie, not by any means outdone.

For the ring of it all ~ two sounds converge ~ marriage by diphthong ~ breath taking fusion ~ a word is born.

@lyncon5 goes more to the point

My love and I are like a diphthong – back to back, together, not easy, but inseparable.

While @MaxRaunchiness is, well, Max.

Let’s try putting my diphthong together with your consonant cluster and see what sounds we can make.

@ariandalen takes us to meet

Ah, Mistress Diphthong: she’ll tell you the difference between “ae,” “ei,” and “ie.”

But the crowning tweet in this bunch must be the following from @Ysabeluna

\his soft silky sighs \in diphthong -s \ oy, oi, oui, oui, oui ! \ at peak ecstasy \sweet music to me, cheri\

There you have it, friends – @faelora screams …

Aiiiiiii, a diphthong! RUN FOR YOUR LIEEEEVES!

Erm. Now. There you have it! A breathless round-up.

There were SO MANY good tweets today. Several especially from @helacious, @harrarp and @19ish

Greetings to @tylercrea who doesn’t yet have a profile page, to @trtzbass @faelora & @lyncon5 all new players.

Greetings also to @gourenina @rashasman & @LucasWarwillow who’ve all been playing on and off for a while but only now debut in the round-up.

And, finally just for @osmarjardim – “Beowulf”


Thank you for listening. And thanks to everyone whose words I borrowed. That was an exclusive podcast from John Nixon, TheSupercargo, for players of the Twitter-based words game Artwiculate, and for habitués of the Salon Artwois refuge for tweetworn Artwiculati.


Artwiculate is a game played on Twitter. Visit http://artwiculate.com for more information. The winning tweet and the most popular runners up for today’s word are listed at http://www.artwiculate.com/words/diphthong (And, for addicts, don’t forget Salon ArtWois at http://www.salonartwois.com/ )

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