A Graduation Day Challenge

The big day is approaching—the AGME Graduation ceremony!

Whether you are attending the event because of your music studies or your speech studies, due to your participation in public examinations or tertiary courses, whether you are a teacher, examiner or concert performer, if you are our youngest excited audience member or our proudest family member, an award recipient or a graduand …

Speech teachers are challenging everyone on Graduation day to correctly pronounce the word ‘ceremony’.

In the American pronunciation of ceremony, stress is placed on the first syllable, but also on the second last syllable. The word ends with the sound ‘moany’. This also occurs in other words such as territory, category, ordinary and military.

Listen to the American stress patterns for these words:


The current Australian pronunciation of ceremony places the stress on the first syllable only.

Listen to the Australian pronunciation of ceremony, territory, category, ordinary and military:


How we pronounce words changes over time, and the American style is increasingly being used by Australians. It may well, in time, become our standard pronunciation.

But until then, we challenge everyone at the Graduation ceremony to pronounce the word using the Australian pronunciation. We know you can do it!


(The image above shows Alessandro, Samuele and Eva Vaccaro, students of Jan Skinner. They will be presenting Speech and Drama items at this year’s Graduation ceremony.)


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