Realtor pronunciation

From Merriam-Webster.com

Main Entry:
\ˈrē(-ə)l-tər, -ˌtȯr, ÷ˈrē-lə-tər also rē-ˈal-tər\
collective mark
–used for a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors


This seems to be saying that “re la tor” is a correct pronunciation of this word.  I grew up saying it this way, but I’ve been trying to change to “real – tor” because I feel dumb pronouncing it with an extra syllable when there isn’t one.  I wonder if this is a case of enough people pronouncing a word incorrectly that it becomes a correct way of saying it.

Did you know that not all real estate agents or brokers are realtors?  Only those that belong to National Association of Realtors.  According to Wikipedia there are 1.3 million realtors and 1 million licensed real estate agents.

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  • Reply BOB Backherms October 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I was told years ago that both YAH and TEE endings were correct Cincy is the city of Cincinnatus Genitive Singlar would be used Cincinnati. But many recognized that loads of cities in Italy—Roma, Genoa etc. and so favored AH pronunciation. A but snobbish for us?

  • Reply Justin December 3, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Irrespective of local dialect and custom, the term REALTOR® has but one pronunciation:
    REAL’ tor
    This is according to NAR.

  • Reply Landon November 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Justin, you have fallen victim to a marketing ploy by NAR. The word is three syllables and webster has the correct definition and pronunciation. NAR has recently attempted to separate those realtors who are members of NAR by marketing a campaign pronouncing the word differently: “REAL-tor”. This is the wrong pronunciation as it’s made up by NAR in an annoying branding attempt.

  • Reply LaCrosse March 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Landon, I’m not sure what past experience in your life has caused you to be so bitter against the NAR brand, or other respective brands in general, but perhaps you’re missing the point of this small forum question. There is not a single word in the English language, where if the spelling of the word has the letter ‘l’ followed by the letter ‘t’, and does not have any of the letters ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’, ‘u’, – or any other letter or combination of letters for that matter -inbetween them, that the consonants “lt” are not said together, as a single syllabic sound. It is absolutely due to the inherent altering of a language caused by enough people pronouncing this word incorrectly that caused our good friends Merriam and Webster to include the pronunciation of this worth with more than two syllables. Sorry, but Merriam-Webster pronunciations very intentionally include these kinds of pronunciations for our sake, when they feel it is necessary, to give us definitive pronunciations. You may have noticed, however, that M-W usually gives the most correct pronunciation(s) first. By the way, The word “does not have” three syllables – not, as you put it, the word “is” two syllables. Words contain and have, not are letters and syllables. And furthermore, NAR hasn’t “recently” been trying to assist the general population with how to pronounce this word correctly…. This is obvious because Merriam-Webster even had to include this erroneous pronunciation of the word.

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