Dogged and Doggedly
Any uncertainty about the pronunciation of the adjective dogged and the adverb doggedly usually centers on whether to pronounce the -ed as a separate syllable, so I was surprised the other day to hear an announcer on a classical music station have trouble with the double g.
The announcer, a young one, judging by his uncertain delivery and the sound of his voice, was reading a program note about a composer who had “worked doggedly” on some composition. The announcer pronounced doggedly–with some difficulty–as [DOJ-ed-ly].
Doggedly [DOG-id-lee] is an adverb corresponding to the adjective dogged [DOG-id].
dogged (adjective): having the persistence or tenacity characteristic of some breeds of dog; obstinate, stubborn, resolute.
doggedly (adverb): With the persistence of a dog; obstinately, stubbornly; resolutely.
Most English words spelled with double g followed by ed are pronounced as one syllable, for example:
The hunter bagged a deer.
Her husband nagged her to lose weight.
The cook plugged the holes in the kitchen baseboard with aluminum foil.
The children rigged a tent with bed sheets.
In each of these examples the double-g word is the past tense of a verb.
A few double-g words–like dogged–are adjectives. In these words, the ed is pronounced as a separate syllable:
The garment was ruined by a jagged cut down the center.
rugged, ragged [RUG-id, RAG-id]
Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.
The stereotypical cowboy is bowlegged.
Here are some examples of the usage of dogged and doggedly:
Those born on March 19 have the dogged persistence needed to achieve their ends and know how to use their charm and allure to help them.
The same dogged determination that drove tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs to control every aspect of Apple’s products […] might have also led to his personal downfall.
Suzanne Spaak worked doggedly to save the lives of Jewish children who were facing deportation to the German death camps.
The Queen Mary battered her way through the storm with her decks awash. Lily Pons, clutching a rope, sang doggedly through the night.
Because the words dogged and doggedly are synonymous with stubborn and stubbornly, it’s redundant to talk about “dogged stubbornness,” but people do it:
The shy, childlike appearance of Pilar Primo de Rivera belied her dogged stubbornness.
It is also pertinent that although he wasn’t physically strong, he was endowed with such dogged stubbornness that he achieved what he wanted.
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