Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

This section is dedicated to the new studio album and the Dublin concert video
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Hartmut » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:46 am

I'm quite confused about the pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in the song 'Nevermind'.

The High Indifference 
Some call Fate 
But we had Names 
More intimate


He pronounces it in a way that rhymes with 'fate'. I always thought this pronunciation was correct only for the verb 'to intimate'. For the adjective and for the noun the pronunciation should rhyme with 'met'. And all the sources I could find agree with this.

So, native speakers, what's up? Just poetic license? Or a seldom used but nevertheless correct pronunciation variation? A Canadian peculiarity? Or am I simply ill-informed?
Last edited by Hartmut on Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Mabeanie1
Posts: 2608
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:03 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Mabeanie1 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:20 am

I agree with your analysis Hartmut and I don't think you are missing anything. But then I could be wrong. My pronunciation is the common variety with short northern syllables - bath, not baaath, garage, not garaaage etc. Other Brits will know what I mean

Wendy
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Hartmut » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:27 am

Thanks, Wendy.
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25339
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:17 am

I agree, too, Hartmut. I've not had a chance to properly listen to the album and won't be able to until after the 23rd. From what you've said, however, I'd put it down to poetic license.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Jean Fournell » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:09 am

inti-mate

(the mate / to mate)
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
Maj
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:56 pm
Location: Iisalmi, Finland

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Maj » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:43 am

Or is it pronounced in french?
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Hartmut » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:25 pm

Thank you for your suggestions, Lizzy, Jean, and Maj.
Tchocolatl
Posts: 3781
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Tchocolatl » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:58 pm

There is a light difference here in th e sounds:

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.c ... intimate_1

Maybe it is like for the colours. (Or the colors.) When you put a same colour beside different ones, this changes the perception of the color. I like bizarre explanations. :D
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
holydove
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby holydove » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Good question, Hartmut. It's a very interesting subject & here are my thoughts thus far:

The placement of the word, "intimate", in the context of the song, would make it an adjective, which would be pronounced as you have indicated. But Leonard pronounces it as though it's a verb. I wonder if perhaps the intention is for the word to function as an adjective & verb simulataneously (which I would see as a form of poetic license).

We all know what the word means as an adjective, & that meaning would suggest the deeply personal significance of the "Names" referred to in the song. The verb form of "intimate" can mean to hint or imply, & it can also mean to make known or to proclaim - & that is the really interesting part, because that meaning would suggest that the Names were active, living entities which had the power to make known, or proclaim, the deepest & truest nature of that which was named, be it an object, person, phenomenon, etc. The Jewish tradition teaches that Hebrew names do have this kind of power. The Hebrew names for objects & people are considered conduits of divine energy. The essence of a person's nature & a person's destiny are intertwined with his/her Hebrew name.

The following verse seems to support this interpretation: "Names so deep and/ Names so true/ they're blood to me. . ."
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Hartmut » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:16 pm

holydove wrote:because that meaning would suggest that the Names were active, living entities which had the power to make known, or proclaim, the deepest & truest nature of that which was named, be it an object, person, phenomenon, etc.
Very interesting idea, Mrs. Dove!
holydove wrote:I wonder if perhaps the intention is for the word to function as an adjective & verb simulataneously (which I would see as a form of poetic license).

I had also thought about the possibility that 'intimate' might have the function of a verb in this sentence. But, well, grammatically it doesn't work.

But, much as you said, maybe you could look at it like this: 'intimate' has the grammatical function of an adjective here, but the pronunciation of the word also suggests the meaning of the verb. Which is quite neat. You have to be someone like Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan, however, to pull off something like this.

I have to say, though, that all of this confusion could have been avoided easily by simply omitting one letter - the letter 'e' of the word 'fate'. It would go like this then:

The High Indifference
Some call fat
But we had Names
More intimate


I really wish Mr. Cohen would consult me on things like these ...
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Jean Fournell » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:29 pm

Hartmut, I couldn't agree more. Mr. Cohen really should!

But the world is a bad place. Full of popular problems like this...

:D

Thank you very much, holydove. My first impression is that your idea might turn out to be quite helpful. (Unless I'm off-track, that is. English is not my mother tongue.)

"But we had Names / more intimate."

And if we considered this to be intimate as a verb in "Saxon" syntax?

[Edit: Like in "When hatred with his package comes..."?]

(The "Anglo" syntax being: But we had Names / intimate more.)

[Edit: Like in When hatred comes with his package]

Would that work?
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Hartmut
Posts: 1241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby Hartmut » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:59 pm

Jean Fournell wrote:Would that work?
I don't really think so, Jean. :-(

But let's see what the others say.
holydove
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby holydove » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:12 pm

Hartmut wrote:
But, well, grammatically it doesn't work...

But, much as you said, maybe you could look at it like this: 'intimate' has the grammatical function of an adjective here, but the pronunciation of the word also suggests the meaning of the verb. Which is quite neat. You have to be someone like Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan, however, to pull off something like this.

I have to say, though, that all of this confusion could have been avoided easily by simply omitting one letter - the letter 'e' of the word 'fate'. It would go like this then:

The High Indifference
Some call fat
But we had Names
More intimate


I really wish Mr. Cohen would consult me on things like these ...
It doesn't have to work grammatically. . .not exactly, anyway. . .(what a silly idea! :) )

Yes I agree, it is very neat, & one would have to be a Leonard Cohen to pull it off, & fortunately, it IS Leonard Cohen who has pulled it off. . .And yes, I meant that maybe the word is meant to function as both adj. & verb, & thereby have a dual meaning.

"fat" wouldn't work, because that wouldn't rhyme with the adjective form of "intimate" either. It would have to be "fit". And I thought Leonard Cohen WAS consulting with you. . .
holydove
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby holydove » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:18 pm

Jean Fournell wrote:
"But we had Names / more intimate."

And if we considered this to be intimate as a verb in "Saxon" syntax?

[Edit: Like in "When hatred with his package comes..."?]

(The "Anglo" syntax being: But we had Names / intimate more.)

[Edit: Like in When hatred comes with his package]

Would that work?
Thank you for your response, Jean. I'm not 100% sure what you are saying, but I think that if "intimate" is still pronounced as the verb, in what you're suggesting, we would still have the same issue. Nice try, though! :)

Editing: Jean, I think I just realized what you were saying, & it makes some sense, but I think, to actually work, then it would have to be: "but we had Names/ WHICH more intimate (pronounced as verb)" - (but now maybe I'm getting too concerned with grammar, after I just said it doesn't have to work grammatically!). But the problem with that suggestion is that it would take away the dual meaning, & I still think it's possible, & also like the idea, that it's meant to have both meanings (sorry - I'm kind of stubborn that way :) )
Last edited by holydove on Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
cohenadmirer
Posts: 1026
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:44 pm
Location: wirral, uk

Re: Pronunciation of the word 'intimate' in 'Nevermind'?

Postby cohenadmirer » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:54 pm

i'm sure it's purely and simply about stretching the language and pronunciation to keep things rhyming!
The master of this was Mr Dylan

Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles

to cite but one

'vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme'
Leonard's work resonates
Brighton 1979; Dublin , Manchester june 2008; glasgow, manchester Nov 2008; Liverpool july 2009 ; Barcelona Sept 2009 ;marseille, lille september2010: Ghent August 2012;Barcelona October 2012;Montreal x2 November 2012: 2013; Saint John NB April 2013; Brussels June 2013;Manchester August 2013; Leeds , Birmingham September 2013; Amsterdam September 2013

Return to “2014 releases: Popular Problems & Live in Dublin”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests