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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: kittypye on August 14, 2013, 03:12 PM

Title: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: kittypye on August 14, 2013, 03:12 PM
My husband and I are from the Northeast, but my daughter, who has lived her whole life in Minnesota, ridicules me for my belief that these two words rhyme. I'm curious about other regions of the country! (I also can't say the word "Missouri" without her rolling her eyes and saying "Really, Mom? Misoooori?")
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: MysteryRobin on August 14, 2013, 03:14 PM
Not when I say them. :) (Seattle girl)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Christine B. on August 14, 2013, 03:15 PM
I love words and different pronunciations!

In California, sure and poor do not rhyme. For us (well, for me at least--California is a big place!), sure rhymes with fur, and poor rhymes with door.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: CarrieLee on August 14, 2013, 03:16 PM
Not for me either... ex-Michigan girl now living in Florida. Regional differences make rhyme work so much fun, don't they? (lol... and sorta not)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: DianaM on August 14, 2013, 03:23 PM
I grew up in New York City. Sounds like a rhyme to me.

Curious to hear how others pronounce it.  :eh2

In my opinion, you're probably OK to use that. There are always regional differences, so it kind of depends on who's reading it. I think you have to go with what sounds right to you.

Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: DianaM on August 14, 2013, 03:28 PM
On the other hand, if enough people pronounce it differently, then….hmmmm. Maybe consider other options and see.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: ChristineSarmel on August 14, 2013, 03:48 PM
To my ear they do not. 

I once heard an author from the Dakotas talk at a conference about the challenge of submitting a rhyming PB to her editor who was a native of Boston and insisted that certain words did not rhyme. She learned to read with a fake Boston accent to root them out ahead of time. :)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Anne Marie on August 14, 2013, 03:52 PM
Not for me in Virginia.  SHER and PORE.

:)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on August 14, 2013, 04:01 PM
They work for me, but...I live in MA. :)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: writerhoo on August 14, 2013, 04:12 PM
Not in Texas either :). I'd go for poor and shore though.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: JonathanMaberry on August 14, 2013, 04:31 PM
They sure do...but I'm a poor judge.

(Yes, you may now throw things)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: mrh on August 14, 2013, 04:47 PM
Wisconsin agrees with neighboring Minnesota. They don't rhyme. 
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Artemesia on August 14, 2013, 04:58 PM
Where I am on the West Coast of Canada they don't rhyme.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: TH on August 14, 2013, 05:10 PM
And...I'm a New Yorker and here they absolutely  rhyme! But I'm in the Hudson Valley close to NYC and the people in Buffalo have very different pronunciations.

As others have said, I wouldn't worry about it right now.

Ordinarily, whether you are writing in verse or prose, it's the voice that readers are responding to...if you say y'all, they'll get it and read it the way you've meant it to be read.

We accept British pronunciation in poetry here in the US all the time...
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: dinalapomy101 on August 14, 2013, 05:38 PM
In Western NY they do not rhyme.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Larissa on August 14, 2013, 05:45 PM
Shoo r is a valid pronunciation according to Dictionary.com: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sure

If I'm pronouncing it in conversation, like, "Sure, I'll go." I say shur. If you were to put it in a rhyming PB after using the word poor, and it was clearly meant to rhyme, I would pronounce it accordingly.

For the record, as a former vocal performance major, it would be pronounced shoo r when sung, too.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: AnneB on August 14, 2013, 05:51 PM
Wisconsin-but-originally-from-Central-Ohio sez they're sure not a poor rhyme.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: amberturner on August 14, 2013, 06:16 PM
Not in Tennessee. Sure and pure. Poor is more like poe-were.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Vijaya on August 14, 2013, 06:45 PM
Not to my ears and I come from all over ...
Vijaya
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Jaina on August 14, 2013, 06:55 PM
I'm in NC and they don't quite rhyme here, either.  Like Anne Marie said, sher and pore.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Buffy on August 14, 2013, 07:06 PM
I grew up in western Massachusetts and now live in Michigan--and they don't rhyme for me.   But in trying to make these words rhyme, I could hear my dad who grew up in Maine and said sho-ore which rhymed with po-or. 
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: dewsanddamps on August 14, 2013, 07:17 PM
Michigan's Upper Peninsula stands with Minnesota and Wisconsin. No rhyme.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Franzilla on August 14, 2013, 07:39 PM
Michigan's Upper Peninsula stands with Minnesota and Wisconsin. No rhyme.

I don't want to hijack, but the UP! I lived in the UP for two years (Houghton). Love that place.

As for sure and poor - they rhyme for me, but I'm British. Which probably doesn't help you much... but you could always sub in the UK!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: olmue on August 14, 2013, 08:32 PM
Not in Arkansas/Michigan/Utah/Idaho/California/North Dakota! I'm thinking that the area where it does rhyme is a very localized part of the country (perhaps rather populated, but limited in geographic scope).
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Aimee W. on August 14, 2013, 09:18 PM
I didn't even have to read the responses...I cracked up the minute you said you were from the Northeast and I actually heard the words the way you might say them in my head. But another no here for this native Midwesterner.

I'm with Larissa, though--check the pronunciation from the dictionary when something like this crops up.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: LeslieG on August 14, 2013, 09:57 PM
I say "sure" like "shore," so for me that would make it a yes. But then I think of the line from the movie "Airplane," when one actor says, "Surely you can't be serious," and the other replies, "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." So maybe not.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Andrea B on August 14, 2013, 10:02 PM
Well, I'm a linguistic mutt, then. At first, in my mind, sure and poor do rhyme. But not all the time. I say both "shur" and "shore," depending on who I'm talking to and what the context is. At least I think so? Now I'm curious.

I guess this is what I get for being raised in Western MA, Southeastern PA, Eastern TN, and now living in Mid-TN.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Sianey on August 14, 2013, 10:04 PM
A definite rhyme in the UK - plenty of British publishers you could submit to!  :)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Christine B. on August 15, 2013, 06:13 AM
(Addendum to my previous post: if I read this in a rhyming book, I would know to pronounce them as a rhyme. I've certainly heard both pronunciations, even though it's not how I say them.)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: JodyJS on August 15, 2013, 07:31 AM
Nope, not to my ear.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: ButterflyGirl on August 15, 2013, 08:02 AM
Nope, not to my ear.
Ditto. Sorry. Even Rhyme Zone offers few choices. The closest I could find is "oor" words, like "door," or "floor."
http://www.rhymezone.com/
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: kittypye on August 15, 2013, 08:54 AM
Thanks, everyone! I had no idea this pronunciation was confined to such a small area. I am glad a few people from my neck of the woods chimed in so I know I am not insane (TH, I'm from Poughkeepsie). The weird thing is that I have lived in Minnesota for 25 years and never noticed that I pronounce them "wrong" until my darling daughter pointed it out repeatedly.

Interestingly, my print rhyming dictionary includes all of the words that rhyme with "poor" in my world. British influence, perhaps?

Just out of curiosity... Do the rest of you pronounce the surname "Moore" (as in Lorrie Moore) the same as "More" (Thomas More). And what about moor? My head is spinning!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: AnnH on August 15, 2013, 09:18 AM
On TV westerns the cowboys always said "shore" for "sure," but otherwise I don't think they usually rhyme (and I grew up in CT).
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Dionna on August 15, 2013, 09:31 AM
NO way do "sure" and "poor" rhyme.  UNLESS... you're a country and western singer... :music: He SHO is PO. :music:
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Kell on August 15, 2013, 09:46 AM
I'm from Philadelphia, and they rhyme here -- SHORE and PORE.  MOORE and MORE and MOOR are all the same, as are Moorestown and Morristown, NJ. DOOR, FLOOR, WORE, TORE, NOR.  TOUR and POUR are pretty close but a slightly longer O and R sound -- TOORR, POORR.


Haha, Dionna!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: DianaM on August 15, 2013, 10:36 AM
Quote
Just out of curiosity... Do the rest of you pronounce the surname "Moore" (as in Lorrie Moore) the same as "More" (Thomas More). And what about moor? My head is spinning!

For me, no. Moor, moore, poor, tour, sure --same vowel sound, a tighter "oo". More, shore, four, pour, for --same vowel sound, kind of an "aw".

Funny enough, I just had my husband pronounce them, and they ALL sound like they rhyme!

Anyway, does it matter that most publishers are in the NYC area? :)

Seems like you might have enough reason to change it. On the other hand, you could always call it a near rhyme.

I would probably look for alternatives and see if I liked anything better, just to avoid the whole issue.

LOL, Dionna!

And Jonathan, above, I sure am a poor judge, too.  ;D
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Dionna on August 15, 2013, 11:01 AM
Diana M!!!

Do "More, shore, four, pour, for" really sound like "paw" where you are???? WHOA, horsey!! I cain't believe it!

I don't think I would use words that only rhyme in the vernacular unless the story's setting or narrator is from a particular place and maybe you spell the words phonetically???

Y'all  sur' are po'!

But I've heard that vernacular spelling (like in Br'er Rabbit) is not the thing to do these days.

HAPPY RHYMING!!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: kittypye on August 15, 2013, 11:07 AM
For those of you who like this sort of thing, this is fascinating:
http://www.businessinsider.com/22-maps-that-show-the-deepest-linguistic-conflicts-in-america-2013-6?op=1 (http://www.businessinsider.com/22-maps-that-show-the-deepest-linguistic-conflicts-in-america-2013-6?op=1)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: DianaM on August 15, 2013, 11:23 AM
Diana M!!!

Do "More, shore, four, pour, for" really sound like "paw" where you are???? WHOA, horsey!! I cain't believe it!

I don't think I would use words that only rhyme in the vernacular unless the story's setting or narrator is from a particular place and maybe you spell the words phonetically???

Y'all  sur' are po'!

But I've heard that vernacular spelling (like in Br'er Rabbit) is not the thing to do these days.

HAPPY RHYMING!!


Dionna, actually, no. I didn't mean exactly like the "aw" in "paw". Hmmmmm. I'm not quite sure how to write what I mean by the sound. This is how shore is written on dictionary.com: [shawr, shohr]
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: DianaM on August 15, 2013, 11:28 AM
(so said the lady from New Yawk)

By the way, anyone read "The Wicked Big Toddlah"? Funny stuff.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: TMarie on August 15, 2013, 11:40 AM
My Pocket Rhyming Dictionary says NO they don't. DOOR is under -or, with FOUR, and SURE is under -oor with TOUR. Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: 217mom on August 15, 2013, 11:45 AM
They do to me, but I'm a half-deaf "furrenehr."

I'd go with what all them natives^ say.  :grin3
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Dionna on August 15, 2013, 11:52 AM
By the way, anyone read "The Wicked Big Toddlah"? Funny stuff.

Sounds wickedly funny!!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on August 15, 2013, 12:33 PM
Hey! Hey! What's wrong with "wicked" as an adverbial intensifier?  :nanana:

I love those maps, kittypye--and totally fit within my geographic region.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: RaeE on August 15, 2013, 01:46 PM
Moor, moore, poor, tour, sure --same vowel sound, a tighter "oo".

Yes! My "sure" is more like "sher", though. But my MN accent is so strong that I make the actors in "Fargo" sound like national news broadcasters.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Dionna on August 15, 2013, 02:35 PM
Hey! Hey! What's wrong with "wicked" as an adverbial intensifier?  :nanana:

Do tell!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Kell on August 15, 2013, 03:39 PM
Those maps are great and 100% accurate for what I say. I was amazed that there was even a debate about some of them...
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: mrh on August 15, 2013, 03:52 PM
Just out of curiosity... Do the rest of you pronounce the surname "Moore" (as in Lorrie Moore) the same as "More" (Thomas More). And what about moor? My head is spinning!

Just to add a little interest here, my mother's maiden name is Mohr. It is pronounced "more."  "Moore" and "moor" are also pronounced the same (as each other), with the vowel sound more like "moon." My mother said she was sometimes mistakenly referred to as "Moore," so for her there was a definite pronunciation difference. It's possible it might be subtler to others. In casual conversation, the difference can be hard to hear.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Marcia on August 15, 2013, 04:17 PM
I agree with Andrea, sometimes I say shur and sometimes I say shore depending on context. Shur, I'll go. I'm not shore. All the 'mores' sound the same to me here in New England. Fun stuff!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Jaina on August 17, 2013, 06:34 AM
I love these fascinating pronunciation discussions.  (I also love how there's a huge pocket of "brew-thru" around Virginia Beach on one of those maps!) I found my pronunciation did not go along with the color for my area most of the time, but that's not a shocker.  NC has a wide variety of people and your pronunciation/word choice depends on a lot of things--how "rural" your lifestyle is, if you or your parents are native, your education level, and what region of the state you live in, etc.  I was born here, but my parents weren't.  I don't speak like a stereotypical native, but I'll argue all day that I sound a lot like a "typical" North Carolinian--almost everyone I know/hang out with/went to school with sounds just like me.  But there's a big part of the population that speaks in a very "country" way--and these rural accents also greatly differ within the state.  I can also hear a NC/SC accent on professional actors who are speaking "standard" English, as I'm sure other people around the country can detect their own locals.

I'm fascinated with this stuff--have you ever watched those YouTube videos where people attempt to X number of different accents in 2 minutes or whatever?  And then everyone else comments about how "accurate" or not they were.  Fun!

I also love actors and actresses who can cross over between accents and fool my ear into thinking it was native.

Back on topic, the names "Moore" and "More" sound the same to me, I think--I had no idea there was a different pronunciation.  The word "moor" is said differently to me--it sounds a bit like "moo-er" (but not quite as exaggerated as that!).  Moore and More sound like poor, while moor sounds more like pure.  I can say sure like "shoo-er" but I feel a little pretentious/fakey doing that--like saying "humor" "yew-mer."

This thread reminds me of these marvelous electronic flashcards I got my daughter on our i-devices.  Daughter is autistic, so these "cards" with their realistic photos of objects plus the written word and a woman's voice pronouncing the word out loud were just perfect for her language acquisition.  The only thing was that the person doing the pronouncing was from . . . well, I don't know--somewhere in the midwest?  It was only apparent for words like "measuring cup."  How do you say that?

For everyone I know, it's MEH-zuring cup.  But flashcard lady says "MAY-zuring cup." 
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: ChristineSarmel on August 17, 2013, 06:43 AM

For everyone I know, it's MEH-zuring cup.  But flashcard lady says "MAY-zuring cup." 

I think you're correct about the Midwest because flashcard lady would fit right in in Nebraska.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: JodyJS on August 17, 2013, 11:38 AM
I say MEH-zuring cup, and I'm from Missouri (which ends with an i, by the way, and not an a).  :yup
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: LeslieG on August 17, 2013, 03:48 PM

For everyone I know, it's MEH-zuring cup.  But flashcard lady says "MAY-zuring cup." 

Flashcard lady could be from Idaho. People here say MAY-zure, and think we live in the TRAY-sure Valley. I've got to admit, for this girl who grew up in the Northeast, it makes me a little  :hairpull .
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Lill on August 17, 2013, 04:59 PM
My mother was from Ohio, and they would have rhymed for her. When I was a kid she was always trying to get me to say it that way ... I always said "pore."
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Michael Sussman on August 17, 2013, 06:23 PM
I concur that here in MA, poor does indeed rhyme with sure (pronounced as shoor, and also rhymes with tour.)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Ev on August 17, 2013, 07:44 PM
Nope, not to this KY gal's ear.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Lill on August 17, 2013, 08:02 PM
Yes ....  my mother pronounced poor to rhyme with tour. Pour rhymed with shore. Pure would rhyme with sure.
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Adia Molloy on August 17, 2013, 08:35 PM
I'm from Texas and I'd say they don't rhyme, but my hubby is from Philadelphia and he says they definitely rhyme. We've now been debating this for ten minutes.  :haha
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Beth S on August 18, 2013, 03:44 AM
Rhymes for this Australian :) Sounds like I have more linguistic allies in the Northeast!
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Barbara Etlin on August 18, 2013, 04:16 PM
I think they rhyme.

(Southern Ontario)
Title: Re: Do "sure" and "poor" rhyme?
Post by: Kell on August 18, 2013, 05:05 PM
In the Moon Unit Zappa song "Valley Girl," they don't rhyme. In the Beastie Boys song, "Sure Shot," they do. Pick your linguistic expert! :)