When saying an acronym, like HBO or CVS, stress the last letter.
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Today, a quick lesson in word stress. Did you know, when you’re saying a series of initials, that it’s the last one that’s stressed. For example, the UN. The UN. Standing for the United Nations. Also, CNN. CNN. That is the Cable News Network, a popular news source here in America. a Let’s look at some more examples in Praat.
Here in Praat we have the letters CVS. The first time I’m saying it with the stress on the last letter, and the second time, incorrectly, with the stress on the first letter. CVS, CVS. And in the speech analysis software Praat, you can see the bump in tone here where the stress happens. So, the first time it has the stress at the end. And the second time it has, incorrectly, the stress at the beginning. Listen again. CVS [x4]
Other examples: MD, PhD. These you might find behind someone’s name as their title. MD for Medical Doctor, PhD for Doctor of Philosophy. These are initials stating the degree that someone has that you might say after their name when introducing them. I’d like to introduce to you Stan Smith, MD.
And a couple businesses: CVS. I’m not actually sure what that stands for, but it’s the name of a popular chain pharmacy there in the United States. Then there’s IBM, a computer company. IBM. Then there’s NPR, which stands for National Public Radio, a great source for podcasts that you may use in studying English. PBS, PBS. The Public Broadcasting System. Also, their website has lots of good videos for English practice. So, it’s not a complicated topic, but just like every topic in American English pronunciation, mastering it will help you sound more like a native speaker. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.