Denis and I have long had a battle about the word “forte” and how it is pronounced. When I was in college I took a speech course and the professor made a great deal out of how the mass population mispronounced the word, saying it as “for-tay”, as opposed to the proper pronunciation, “fort”. Ever since then I’ve made a point of pronouncing the word properly. “For-tay” is a musical term, “fort” (with the silent e) is a strength. Everytime Denis hears the word forte used incorrectly (according to my definition), he laughs and pronounces it my way – the correct way.

Well, how thrilled am I to finally be proved right??

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  1. It irks me when servers at a restaurant offer the rasberry “tortay” for dessert. I don’t know how they pronounce it on the Food Channel, but to me, it should be “torte”, with the e silent.

  2. Actually, you’re both right! They musical term is for-tay but the other is pronounced both ways according to the dictionary. It’s the classic tomato/to-maato debate.

  3. Kara, this is what I found at dictionary.com:

    Usage Note: The word forte, coming from French fort, should properly be pronounced with one syllable, like the English word fort.

  4. I agree with Kara, and I don’t even have to look at the dictionary. We’re both right. Can’t we all just get along?

  5. Uncle Bill, I don’t know what restaurants you’re going to, but I’ve never heard tor-tay. That is hilarious.

  6. I don’t care, I like saying “for-tay”. I rarely, if ever, use the word in general conversation, I mostly save it for mocking effect and the “tay” gives it so much more of an edge then.

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