Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The repertoire entered the language in the 16th c., ultimately from L. for “index, list”, which came in turn from the same root as parity, “to give birth”. Repertory, or stock theatre, is one in which a series of plays are given, in alternation. They often use a stock of sets. The idea that they are repetitive, or that your repetoire includes those pieces you know well and can repeat from memory, is rampant on the web. Wordnik has conveniently compiled a list of examples, .
Then again, it could be just a dropped letter.
Last edited by burred (2011-07-03 00:24:03)
According to the OED, Brits pronounce “repertoire” and “repertory” without the second “r” sound (/ˈrɛpətwɑː/ and /ˈrɛpət(ə)ri/)
I don’t pronounce the second r and I didn’t think other Americans did. But MW’s pronouncing dictionary clearly sounds it (though the accompanying phonetic transcription puts the r in parentheses). The sound sample sounds like a “book pronunciation” to my ear, but now I’ll be listening for the word in conversation for months to come.
I do pronounce the second r in “repertory theater”—perhaps the subtle shift in stress explains the difference. Dunno.