In English, Spelling is a funny thing. There are plenty of words that are pronounced the same but spelt entirely differently. Such as red and read, pawn and p*rn, tee and tea. Most of this is because English isn’t really its own language but a collection of many different and primarily dead languages.
Today, we’ll look at how to spell the word pronounced “my newt”. The three most common contenders are “minoot”, “minute”, and minuet.
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Minoot vs Minute vs Minuet
“Minute” can either be pronounced as “my newt”, meaning small or “min it”, implying 60 seconds.
“Minuet” is pronounced “min you et”, and it’s a kind of dance.
“Minoot” can be pronounced however you want it to be because it isn’t a real word.
To understand why “minute” can be pronounced either “my newt” or “min it”, let’s look at the etymology.
The word “minute” comes from the Medieval Latin word “Minuta”, this comes from the original Latin “Minutus”, meaning “short piece”. This makes sense when you consider that a minute is a short piece of time.
“Minutus” comes from the Proto-Indo-European word “mei”, which means small. It’s actually surprising, considering how long humans have been around, just how recent the idea of a minute actually is.
Because “Minutus” means small, you might not be super surprised to learn that the etymological root of minute (min it) is the same as for minute (my newt).
And this is something slightly odd about the English language. Some words sound similar because they come from the same root words, but others have entirely different roots. However, with these words, both of them happen to stem from the same origin.
If you see the word written down, it can even be challenging to tell if it ought to be “my newt” or “min it”. Context is the only way to know for sure.
Why are minute and minute pronounced differently? There isn’t really a reason.
At first, I thought it might make sense so that people would be able to tell them apart when they’re written down. However, we don’t have the same rules for other homophones such as cool, cup, high, etc.
At the end of the day, when it comes to any “whys” of English, the answer is 99% of the time, “that’s just the way it is”.
A Minuet is a kind of dance
One word that looks a bit similar to minute and minute but pronounced differently is “minuet”. A minuet is a kind of ballroom dance.
This dance will usually be done by the upper classes in a fancy ballroom. The kind of place where daughters of rich men go to find the sons of other rich men to marry. The minuet is a slow dance, and it’s the kind of thing you need to be taught how to do.
Personally, I probably wouldn’t recommend busting out a minuet in the nightclub. But if you choose to, I’m not one to judge.
A minute minuet in a minute
What’s quite funny is that it is technically possible to have a minute minuet in a minute.
When something is minute, this means it’s small. So you could have a minute minuet- which could either be very short or danced by tiny people.
So, let’s say the borrowers decide to do the minuet, but their dance only lasts for sixty seconds. Their whole dance would have been a minute.
Should this ever happen, what you will have just seen would have been a minute minuet in a minute.
I don’t know how much use this information will be to you, but it’s fun to think about.
How to pronounce minoot, minute, and minuet
The word spelt “minute” has two different pronunciations.
When you mean small, it’s “my newt”, or you could say it like “mine out”, but say the “out” with a Scottish accent.
The dance “Minuet” is pronounced as “Min you et”. The “et” is pronounced the same as it is at the beginning of “etiquette”.
It could be argued that knowing how to pronounce a word is more important than knowing how to spell it. But perhaps that can be a debate for another time.
Minute (min it) examples
“Never post an 8 minute video.”
“I lived in an apartment with a laundry mat on site, and it sucked because people would always take your clothes out if you’re one minute late and toss them aside.”
“If I got here 25 minutes early, and only took a 25 minute lunch, shouldn’t I get to leave 30 minutes early????”
“We’re gonna go fight till the last minute!”
“Also haven’t seen an Ezuri Claw deck in a hot minute. As long as I’m not hyper focused on tokens and counters, it could be a fun deck where I can go wide AND tall. No extra turns with that one counters dude.”
Minute (my newt) examples
“I had added no other observations made on this minute Animal, being prevented herein by many excellent ones already published.”
“Indeed, there is a minute chance that these types of events will be correlated.”
“There is only a very minute chance that you will ever hold one, but if enough people conducted the test, one or more would be almost certain to do so.”
“A minute thing not consisting of these degrees would be nothing.”
“Now, this minute thing is a true plant, hence the excuse of the botanist for telling the story in this place.”
“When we re- turned to the lesson, another loud student commanded, ‘Ms. Baer, I think we need to do that minute thing again!'”
And hopefully, the differences between minute, minuet, minoot, and minute are clear. Minute is either pronounced “min it” and means 60 seconds, or “my newt” means small.
“Minuet” is pronounced “min you et” and is a kind of dance. And “minoot” can be pronounced “hyperinflation” for all I care because it isn’t a real word.
The reason why minute and minute are spelt the same way is that they both come from the Latin word “Minutus”. A minute is a short piece of time, whereas when something is minute, this means it’s small.
And next time they remake the borrower’s film, hopefully, they’ll do a minute minuet in a minute.