[QUOTE=coolchinchilla;462661]You're right. Bet-uh does sound a bit more yankee than bay-ta. LOL
Regardless, for many of us the way this is prounounced is almost a preference rather than a pursuit of phonetical correctness (pc
Though I do think there is a "correct" way to say things even across accents! -- --- linguistics major here
). Maybe we've kind of beaten ("BEE-ten") this to death about betta fish?
For us interested folks and for the sake of fun
, AshlyNicole, there is a way to test if your "bayta" is a genuine difference in dialect or if it isn't. (well, sort of test... it's like the difference between a poor dip test and a master test kit "chemistry" style test -- so not to be taken as extremely accurate :P ) Anyway, are there other words where you say it with a long "a" (as in "say") rather than a short "e" (as in "head")? If so, then you are correct.
Is weather = wethr or wayther?
Is bed = bed or is it bay-ed?
Is better = bedr or betr or baydr?
Is fester = festr or faystr?
Is guest = gest or gayst?
Is pecker = pekr or paykr? (as in wood pecker)
I always said "bay-ta" myself because the fish was always labeled "beta" (as in the 2nd letter of the greek alphabet). In my dialect (midwest accent) though "betta" and "beta" have different pronouniations (short "e" vs. long "a"). So I learned it wrong and I'm trying to get myself changed over.
I'm heavily influenced by my Japanese major to use Japanese pronunciations on everything, so lets just pretend we're exotic when we say bay-ta. (The extra t is just a gloital stop. bayt-ta)