Pronunciation Dialogue

Muses
Want to eavesdrop on a recent Wench discussion behind the scenes?  We get very intense about really important things like how to pronounce "marquis" and whether that and "marquess" are pronounced the same way.
Loretta: OK, I’m stumped.  My OED has two different pronunciations for marquis/marquess.  What am I missing?

Jo (the native English speaker): Both for the title, Loretta? They are considered alternate spellings of the title Marquis/Marquess, but pronounced the same. A marquis, markee, is the French version or a tent. In my universe, at least!

Loretta: OED has marquis as mar kwis, marquess as mar kwes. For the title–both for the same definition. I’m translating phonetically because I can’t make the funny little symbols.

Jo: True, but in effect it’s so subtle as to be hardly noticeable. They say that
they standardized on marquess because so many people were pronouncing
marquis as markee. That’s what I was talking about.

Pat:  I’m trying to do research so I’m easily distractible, and it just suddenly
occurred to me why Americans have this differentiation.  Besides the fact
that I prefer the sound of mar kee (sorry, Jo <G>) and markwis makes me
shudder, I think we have different enuciations.  I say mar KEE and mar
KES (that hard "qu" thing is hard to beat back), which is why the difference is not subtle to the American ear.  It’s painful.

  If I’m not mistaken, Jo, you say MAR kwes, which alleviates the pain
considerably and does make the whole more subtle.

Loretta: Understood.  The trouble is, most American readers are going to read "marquis" as "markee."  If they look in an American dictionary, they get a choice of "markee" or "markwess" or "markwiss."   That’s why I use marquess, at any rate.  I’m an
American, too, and my first instinct is to pronounce "marquis" as "markee."
I really have to think about it, to change to British pronunciation.   For
an American, saying "markee" is as natural as pronouncing "vitamin" with a
long i first syllable or "herb" without the "h."

Jo shudders:  Though I have switched to aluminum rather than aluminium. When
the spelling is different, it’s irresistible. Pat, markwiss and markwess sound 
howlingly different to you?

Of course I have the people who love my Company of Rouges.

Loretta:  Viscount is another tricky one for readers.  Many people read it "viss-count".  I’ve never figured out how to clarify the pronunciation, so I mention it on my website in one of my Random Notes.

Jo: Want to talk about buoy?

Pat: Nope. I’ve been permanently confused ever since we moved to KY and learned
"pen" and "pin" were the exact opposite of what I’d learned.  I’m not
touching anything more complicated.  <G> I’m amazed any of us can understand each other

Edith: My first book (a regency) had a character who was a markee, spelled:
Marquis.

My second book had the same character as hero.  And the title was: "The
Disdainful Marquis."

Then sometime later, I got the new official word.  No more Marquis.  They
had to be "Marquess."

So I said what about the Marquis of my first two books?  What if I bring him
back for  a cameo?
No matter.
The word was MARQUESS.
Which just sounds wussy to me.
So I wrote about Dukes, and Earls, and Viscounts.

I always get the English pronounciations wrong.  The hero of said first book
was the Duke of Torquay, which in my ignorance, I thought was pronounced:
"Tor- quay."
Imagine my horror later, to hear an English friend pronounce it: "Torkee" –
which made it sound like "Turkey."

I visited it next time I went to England.  Nice town, awful name… that is,
in English.

Mary Jo: LOL!  I swear the Brits deliberate warp their pronounciation in order to
make foreigners feel like idjits. <g>  When I lived there, I learned that
swallowing syllables was a good start to sounding British.  <g>

JO: LOL! It happens everywhere. In The Rogue’s Return, I had to use a real and
famous character as he was the C of E minister in York at the time, Reverend
Strachan. I was talking to a friend who’s expert in Canadian history and she
gently said, "Straun, Jo. Straun."

I haven’t yet had to say the name to anyone else, but I’m glad to know!

Susan K:
Maybe that’s the English pronounciation?  I know it’s sometimes spelled
"Strawn, Straun," but it’s all under Clan Strachan.  It’s a Scottish Gaelic
name, and in Scotland, where it’s both a place and a surname, it’s usually
"Strakhan" — the "ch" as in "loch."  I’ve heard it said there myself. In
SK: Gaelic, a "ch" with an "a" before and/or after has the "ch" pronounced. So
Strachan has two syllables. It’s subtle, a soft airy "ch" and on to the
second syllable.

But in England, I don’t know, it may be different there, and Canada as well.
So Jo, you were probably right in your original pronunciation, particularly
given an 18th c. setting. Unless Rev. Strachan’s family had been in England
for a long while, or were Lowlanders by then.

Jo: Right, Susan. Strachan is correct. I was even using the softer loch
pronunciation. I haven’t been able to find out why it’s Straun, but it
probably was originally more like Strawch’n and drifted from there.

Then there’s Goethe. I went through one university course reading about
Go-eth and wondering when I’d get to this gerte guy was the lecturer kept referring
to.

SK:    LOL!  Or in art history, there’s Van Hhhhhhhoocchhhhhhh. With lots of
spit. Otherwise known as Vincent.

Jo :
Re Strachan, I was just consulting the peerage pronunciation and it give
Strachan as Straun, so perhaps it’s the aristocratic usage. Not that I’m
sure the future Bishop Strachan was aristocratic, but he might have upgraded the
pronunciation when he moved to the New World,

What about character names, which is where we started this, with
Darius and Cynric. Given the variety in pronunciation, we can choose the way
it’s said and then try to make it clear, but I often assume people know  how to
pronounce a name when they don’t. I’ve had people ask how to  pronounce
Malloren. I can’t imagine stressing the middle syllable,  but
clearly some people can. And I assumed everyone would know how to  pronounce
de Vaux. But then, sometimes Vaux is pronounced Vox.

I wonder if any of you wenchlings have stumbled over in name pronunciation, and
how it can affect youl enjoyment of a book. Come to think of it, most Dorothy
Dunnett readers seem to have pronounced Lymond Li-mond until they heard her and
found out it was Lie-mond. That took a bit of adjusting to, even though Lie-
mond is rational. I’d been reading and re-reading for years before I realized
that Buccleuch was B’clue. My enjoyment survived

Susan S: I always wondered how to pronounce the doctor’s name in the Patrick O’Brien books, since in interviews he made such a big deal of it being a special Spanish pronunciation.  Other people must have wondered, too, because I remember getting all excited by the promised heading in a print interview — "At last, Mr. O’Brien reveals how Stephen’s name is pronounced!" — yet the (print) interview was like this:
     Q: "How do you pronounce Maturin?"
     A: "It is pronounced Maturin." 
Yeah, yeah, so the joke’s on me……

______________________________________________

126 thoughts on “Pronunciation Dialogue”

  1. >>> “I wonder if any of you wenchlings have stumbled over in name pronunciation, and
    how it can affect your enjoyment of a book.”
    Hi All
    What a wonderful conversation! So all one needs to worry about is pronunciation of foreign words in order to become a world famous Word Wench… I’ll never make it.
    Ya know, they say ignorance is bliss. When it comes to the pronunciation of the names of my favorite characters… I’d rather be ignorant. For example, in HP, I always pronounced Sirius as ‘sigh-rus’. Then, in the movie they said ‘serious’ (as in not kidding). It was a real let down for me. Sirius Black will always be ‘sigh-rus’ to me.
    But, on the other hand, the proper pronunciation of my characters’ names is vital to me. My heroine’s name is Amadeus. Blaze, one of the male characters, calls her Deus. I have a reader who pronounces this ‘duce’. I always correct her. “It’s ‘day-os’ (short ‘o’),” I say. “But I like ‘duce’, better,” is her response. What can one do? The reader is always right.
    So here’s a question… Susan/Sarah, how do you pronounce your hero’s name in THE SWORD MAIDEN? He was ‘lay-thum’ to me throughout the entire book.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  2. >>> “I wonder if any of you wenchlings have stumbled over in name pronunciation, and
    how it can affect your enjoyment of a book.”
    Hi All
    What a wonderful conversation! So all one needs to worry about is pronunciation of foreign words in order to become a world famous Word Wench… I’ll never make it.
    Ya know, they say ignorance is bliss. When it comes to the pronunciation of the names of my favorite characters… I’d rather be ignorant. For example, in HP, I always pronounced Sirius as ‘sigh-rus’. Then, in the movie they said ‘serious’ (as in not kidding). It was a real let down for me. Sirius Black will always be ‘sigh-rus’ to me.
    But, on the other hand, the proper pronunciation of my characters’ names is vital to me. My heroine’s name is Amadeus. Blaze, one of the male characters, calls her Deus. I have a reader who pronounces this ‘duce’. I always correct her. “It’s ‘day-os’ (short ‘o’),” I say. “But I like ‘duce’, better,” is her response. What can one do? The reader is always right.
    So here’s a question… Susan/Sarah, how do you pronounce your hero’s name in THE SWORD MAIDEN? He was ‘lay-thum’ to me throughout the entire book.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  3. >>> “I wonder if any of you wenchlings have stumbled over in name pronunciation, and
    how it can affect your enjoyment of a book.”
    Hi All
    What a wonderful conversation! So all one needs to worry about is pronunciation of foreign words in order to become a world famous Word Wench… I’ll never make it.
    Ya know, they say ignorance is bliss. When it comes to the pronunciation of the names of my favorite characters… I’d rather be ignorant. For example, in HP, I always pronounced Sirius as ‘sigh-rus’. Then, in the movie they said ‘serious’ (as in not kidding). It was a real let down for me. Sirius Black will always be ‘sigh-rus’ to me.
    But, on the other hand, the proper pronunciation of my characters’ names is vital to me. My heroine’s name is Amadeus. Blaze, one of the male characters, calls her Deus. I have a reader who pronounces this ‘duce’. I always correct her. “It’s ‘day-os’ (short ‘o’),” I say. “But I like ‘duce’, better,” is her response. What can one do? The reader is always right.
    So here’s a question… Susan/Sarah, how do you pronounce your hero’s name in THE SWORD MAIDEN? He was ‘lay-thum’ to me throughout the entire book.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  4. GREAT job of editing all those emails, Pat! It’s fun to see the conversation posted so cleanly, without all the email garbaaahhjj (a French pronunciation ).
    Nina, the hero of SWORD MAIDEN is not Laythum, but Lachlann.
    It’s pronounced sort of like “Lakhh-lan” (I can’t do those funny symbols here either), with the same soft “ch” as described in our Wenchie pronunciation discussion.
    I didn’t realize people would have trouble with it, sorry — it’s a lovely heroic name that pops up a lot in Scottish historicals!
    ~Susan

    Reply
  5. GREAT job of editing all those emails, Pat! It’s fun to see the conversation posted so cleanly, without all the email garbaaahhjj (a French pronunciation ).
    Nina, the hero of SWORD MAIDEN is not Laythum, but Lachlann.
    It’s pronounced sort of like “Lakhh-lan” (I can’t do those funny symbols here either), with the same soft “ch” as described in our Wenchie pronunciation discussion.
    I didn’t realize people would have trouble with it, sorry — it’s a lovely heroic name that pops up a lot in Scottish historicals!
    ~Susan

    Reply
  6. GREAT job of editing all those emails, Pat! It’s fun to see the conversation posted so cleanly, without all the email garbaaahhjj (a French pronunciation ).
    Nina, the hero of SWORD MAIDEN is not Laythum, but Lachlann.
    It’s pronounced sort of like “Lakhh-lan” (I can’t do those funny symbols here either), with the same soft “ch” as described in our Wenchie pronunciation discussion.
    I didn’t realize people would have trouble with it, sorry — it’s a lovely heroic name that pops up a lot in Scottish historicals!
    ~Susan

    Reply
  7. LOL! This really is a typical writers’ conversation. We take our words SERIOUSLY.
    Susan Sarah, are the characters in that gorgeous painting looking into the distance in the hopes of seeing correct pronounciations? 🙂
    Mary Jo, who suspects that one reason there are more dukes than marquesses in historal romance is because everyone knows how to pronounce “duke.” 🙂

    Reply
  8. LOL! This really is a typical writers’ conversation. We take our words SERIOUSLY.
    Susan Sarah, are the characters in that gorgeous painting looking into the distance in the hopes of seeing correct pronounciations? 🙂
    Mary Jo, who suspects that one reason there are more dukes than marquesses in historal romance is because everyone knows how to pronounce “duke.” 🙂

    Reply
  9. LOL! This really is a typical writers’ conversation. We take our words SERIOUSLY.
    Susan Sarah, are the characters in that gorgeous painting looking into the distance in the hopes of seeing correct pronounciations? 🙂
    Mary Jo, who suspects that one reason there are more dukes than marquesses in historal romance is because everyone knows how to pronounce “duke.” 🙂

    Reply
  10. What a great way to start my day! Too funny, ladies. Discussions like this one always make me thing of the Roan Atkinson wedding bit from FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. If you don’t know that “St. John” is pronounced “Sin-jin” it’s not nearly as funny.
    But the name doesn’t even have to be all that unusual to cause problems. My last name is Hughes (Hews). It’s a fairly common name. But telemarketers call the house all the time and ask for Mr. Hug-hays. WTF?
    I’m always fascinated by the Marquis/Marquess debate. I’m firmly in the “marquis” camp. Hate the look of “marquess” on the page, and hate the fact that it’s basically not period for my books (pretty much all the primary sources documentation I’ve seen for the Georgian and Regency period uses “marquis”). So I’ll have to take Edith’s advice and just never use the (very rare, anyway) title if my publisher insists on “marquess”.

    Reply
  11. What a great way to start my day! Too funny, ladies. Discussions like this one always make me thing of the Roan Atkinson wedding bit from FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. If you don’t know that “St. John” is pronounced “Sin-jin” it’s not nearly as funny.
    But the name doesn’t even have to be all that unusual to cause problems. My last name is Hughes (Hews). It’s a fairly common name. But telemarketers call the house all the time and ask for Mr. Hug-hays. WTF?
    I’m always fascinated by the Marquis/Marquess debate. I’m firmly in the “marquis” camp. Hate the look of “marquess” on the page, and hate the fact that it’s basically not period for my books (pretty much all the primary sources documentation I’ve seen for the Georgian and Regency period uses “marquis”). So I’ll have to take Edith’s advice and just never use the (very rare, anyway) title if my publisher insists on “marquess”.

    Reply
  12. What a great way to start my day! Too funny, ladies. Discussions like this one always make me thing of the Roan Atkinson wedding bit from FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. If you don’t know that “St. John” is pronounced “Sin-jin” it’s not nearly as funny.
    But the name doesn’t even have to be all that unusual to cause problems. My last name is Hughes (Hews). It’s a fairly common name. But telemarketers call the house all the time and ask for Mr. Hug-hays. WTF?
    I’m always fascinated by the Marquis/Marquess debate. I’m firmly in the “marquis” camp. Hate the look of “marquess” on the page, and hate the fact that it’s basically not period for my books (pretty much all the primary sources documentation I’ve seen for the Georgian and Regency period uses “marquis”). So I’ll have to take Edith’s advice and just never use the (very rare, anyway) title if my publisher insists on “marquess”.

    Reply
  13. Yes, Mary Jo, the women in the painting are of course searching for the good ship Perfect Pronunciation to appear.
    (Susan Miranda’s the one with the long, fabulous blonde hair of course!)
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  14. Yes, Mary Jo, the women in the painting are of course searching for the good ship Perfect Pronunciation to appear.
    (Susan Miranda’s the one with the long, fabulous blonde hair of course!)
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  15. Yes, Mary Jo, the women in the painting are of course searching for the good ship Perfect Pronunciation to appear.
    (Susan Miranda’s the one with the long, fabulous blonde hair of course!)
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  16. I love this conversation! My mother was a reading teacher when I was growing up, and I constantly heard, “Enunciate, Susanna! ENUNCIATE!” when I slipped into my eastern KY hillbilly speech patterns. Pronunciation is often a problem for me because a vast percentage of the words I know I come into contact with only in writing. I find that I don’t even say the words to myself a lot of the time – I just see it, absorb the meaning and move on. For example, “deshabille”. I’ve looked it up and still can’t say it. I don’t get caught very often, though, because the people I’m around don’t know them either! I do prefer “MAR-kwes”, though, because “mar-KEE” sounds like a theater sign to me. Pronunciation issues in a book don’t slow me down in the slightest.
    Dialects pose all manner of problems, but can be fun to deconstruct. An example from my birthplace: I grew up hearing people who were disinclined to work referred to as “lazier’n kee-yarn!” You say the “kee-yarn” really fast so it’s almost one syllable. It was only as an adult that I thought, “but what does that *mean*?” I finally decided that “kee-yarn” is a hillbilly corruption of carrion, which makes perfect sense.
    As someone who finds books on word origins and the development of dialects to be fascinating, I’m loving being around other people like you who enjoy figuring out the language.

    Reply
  17. I love this conversation! My mother was a reading teacher when I was growing up, and I constantly heard, “Enunciate, Susanna! ENUNCIATE!” when I slipped into my eastern KY hillbilly speech patterns. Pronunciation is often a problem for me because a vast percentage of the words I know I come into contact with only in writing. I find that I don’t even say the words to myself a lot of the time – I just see it, absorb the meaning and move on. For example, “deshabille”. I’ve looked it up and still can’t say it. I don’t get caught very often, though, because the people I’m around don’t know them either! I do prefer “MAR-kwes”, though, because “mar-KEE” sounds like a theater sign to me. Pronunciation issues in a book don’t slow me down in the slightest.
    Dialects pose all manner of problems, but can be fun to deconstruct. An example from my birthplace: I grew up hearing people who were disinclined to work referred to as “lazier’n kee-yarn!” You say the “kee-yarn” really fast so it’s almost one syllable. It was only as an adult that I thought, “but what does that *mean*?” I finally decided that “kee-yarn” is a hillbilly corruption of carrion, which makes perfect sense.
    As someone who finds books on word origins and the development of dialects to be fascinating, I’m loving being around other people like you who enjoy figuring out the language.

    Reply
  18. I love this conversation! My mother was a reading teacher when I was growing up, and I constantly heard, “Enunciate, Susanna! ENUNCIATE!” when I slipped into my eastern KY hillbilly speech patterns. Pronunciation is often a problem for me because a vast percentage of the words I know I come into contact with only in writing. I find that I don’t even say the words to myself a lot of the time – I just see it, absorb the meaning and move on. For example, “deshabille”. I’ve looked it up and still can’t say it. I don’t get caught very often, though, because the people I’m around don’t know them either! I do prefer “MAR-kwes”, though, because “mar-KEE” sounds like a theater sign to me. Pronunciation issues in a book don’t slow me down in the slightest.
    Dialects pose all manner of problems, but can be fun to deconstruct. An example from my birthplace: I grew up hearing people who were disinclined to work referred to as “lazier’n kee-yarn!” You say the “kee-yarn” really fast so it’s almost one syllable. It was only as an adult that I thought, “but what does that *mean*?” I finally decided that “kee-yarn” is a hillbilly corruption of carrion, which makes perfect sense.
    As someone who finds books on word origins and the development of dialects to be fascinating, I’m loving being around other people like you who enjoy figuring out the language.

    Reply
  19. LOL – great conversation. My mum is English, so I’m “bilingual” so to speak, having been told I MUST pronounce words the “right” way *g*.
    One name that confused me for years was Beaulieu (as in the Abbey). I read and pronounced it in the French way, only to find out the English say it Bewlee.

    Reply
  20. LOL – great conversation. My mum is English, so I’m “bilingual” so to speak, having been told I MUST pronounce words the “right” way *g*.
    One name that confused me for years was Beaulieu (as in the Abbey). I read and pronounced it in the French way, only to find out the English say it Bewlee.

    Reply
  21. LOL – great conversation. My mum is English, so I’m “bilingual” so to speak, having been told I MUST pronounce words the “right” way *g*.
    One name that confused me for years was Beaulieu (as in the Abbey). I read and pronounced it in the French way, only to find out the English say it Bewlee.

    Reply
  22. Love the choice of art, a big fan of Alma-Tadema. Known to the British, and possibly everyone else, as Alma-TADema. My spouse is on a quest to view–in person–every A-T hanging in a museum, no matter where in the world. It’s fun tagging along…so far.
    I live with half my heart and at least one leg in each country, so I’m in constant danger of confusing somebody.
    Most recently I was chatting with a chum who loves the theatre, rattling off which Shakespeare plays we’d seen performed. I mentioned Cor-EYE-a-lanus. From the quizzical looks I got, I’m guessing it’s not pronounced that way in the US. It certainly is–or was–at the RSC.
    And I think none of you Wenches mentioned Don JOO-an for Don Juan. I’ve got used to, in fact that’s how I say it no matter where I am. But it threw my spouse into convulsions of laughter when he first heard it spoken Over There. (But he speak Spanish rather fluently, which probably explains the reaction.)

    Reply
  23. Love the choice of art, a big fan of Alma-Tadema. Known to the British, and possibly everyone else, as Alma-TADema. My spouse is on a quest to view–in person–every A-T hanging in a museum, no matter where in the world. It’s fun tagging along…so far.
    I live with half my heart and at least one leg in each country, so I’m in constant danger of confusing somebody.
    Most recently I was chatting with a chum who loves the theatre, rattling off which Shakespeare plays we’d seen performed. I mentioned Cor-EYE-a-lanus. From the quizzical looks I got, I’m guessing it’s not pronounced that way in the US. It certainly is–or was–at the RSC.
    And I think none of you Wenches mentioned Don JOO-an for Don Juan. I’ve got used to, in fact that’s how I say it no matter where I am. But it threw my spouse into convulsions of laughter when he first heard it spoken Over There. (But he speak Spanish rather fluently, which probably explains the reaction.)

    Reply
  24. Love the choice of art, a big fan of Alma-Tadema. Known to the British, and possibly everyone else, as Alma-TADema. My spouse is on a quest to view–in person–every A-T hanging in a museum, no matter where in the world. It’s fun tagging along…so far.
    I live with half my heart and at least one leg in each country, so I’m in constant danger of confusing somebody.
    Most recently I was chatting with a chum who loves the theatre, rattling off which Shakespeare plays we’d seen performed. I mentioned Cor-EYE-a-lanus. From the quizzical looks I got, I’m guessing it’s not pronounced that way in the US. It certainly is–or was–at the RSC.
    And I think none of you Wenches mentioned Don JOO-an for Don Juan. I’ve got used to, in fact that’s how I say it no matter where I am. But it threw my spouse into convulsions of laughter when he first heard it spoken Over There. (But he speak Spanish rather fluently, which probably explains the reaction.)

    Reply
  25. Pronunciations don’t usually give me a problem because I don’t consciously hear or say the words in my head; I just kind of absorb them. Where they do sometimes give me trouble is with names I can’t begin to pronounce – like Beaulieu – that would definitely interrupt my flow. It occurs to me that the reason I prefer Marquis, “markee”, is because both the proper pronunciation and the spelling of Marquess seem feminine to me – like waitress, seamstress, mistress.

    Reply
  26. Pronunciations don’t usually give me a problem because I don’t consciously hear or say the words in my head; I just kind of absorb them. Where they do sometimes give me trouble is with names I can’t begin to pronounce – like Beaulieu – that would definitely interrupt my flow. It occurs to me that the reason I prefer Marquis, “markee”, is because both the proper pronunciation and the spelling of Marquess seem feminine to me – like waitress, seamstress, mistress.

    Reply
  27. Pronunciations don’t usually give me a problem because I don’t consciously hear or say the words in my head; I just kind of absorb them. Where they do sometimes give me trouble is with names I can’t begin to pronounce – like Beaulieu – that would definitely interrupt my flow. It occurs to me that the reason I prefer Marquis, “markee”, is because both the proper pronunciation and the spelling of Marquess seem feminine to me – like waitress, seamstress, mistress.

    Reply
  28. “I always wondered how to pronounce the doctor’s name in the Patrick O’Brien books, since in interviews he made such a big deal of it being a special Spanish pronunciation.”
    Oh my God, it’s not just me?! I always call them “Patrick O’Brian’s books” instead of “the Aubrey/Maturin series” when speaking aloud out of fear that everyone else knows the proper pronunciation of “Maturin” and that my incorrect version will make me look stupid. (I’ve been saying MAT-yurin.)
    Anyway, I love the Aubrey/Maturin series beyond all reason and even tried and tried to write like Patrick O’Brian before concluding reluctantly that my voice just doesn’t DO that. So stumbling over a character name obviously doesn’t hamper my pleasure in a book.
    Regional pronunciations are good for no end of debate and discussion–whether pen/pin and Mary/merry/marry sound the same or not, whether a pecan is a pik-AHN, a PEE-kin, or a pee-can, etc.
    Random memory from the year I lived in England: I was trying to describe to my hostess where I’d seen something, and I said it was on Belvoir Street. “Where?” she asked. “Bel-vwahr,” I said. “You know, halfway up the hill past the community vegetable garden and on the left.” “Write it down,” she replied. I did, and enlightenment dawned. “Oh!” she said. “Beaver Street.”

    Reply
  29. “I always wondered how to pronounce the doctor’s name in the Patrick O’Brien books, since in interviews he made such a big deal of it being a special Spanish pronunciation.”
    Oh my God, it’s not just me?! I always call them “Patrick O’Brian’s books” instead of “the Aubrey/Maturin series” when speaking aloud out of fear that everyone else knows the proper pronunciation of “Maturin” and that my incorrect version will make me look stupid. (I’ve been saying MAT-yurin.)
    Anyway, I love the Aubrey/Maturin series beyond all reason and even tried and tried to write like Patrick O’Brian before concluding reluctantly that my voice just doesn’t DO that. So stumbling over a character name obviously doesn’t hamper my pleasure in a book.
    Regional pronunciations are good for no end of debate and discussion–whether pen/pin and Mary/merry/marry sound the same or not, whether a pecan is a pik-AHN, a PEE-kin, or a pee-can, etc.
    Random memory from the year I lived in England: I was trying to describe to my hostess where I’d seen something, and I said it was on Belvoir Street. “Where?” she asked. “Bel-vwahr,” I said. “You know, halfway up the hill past the community vegetable garden and on the left.” “Write it down,” she replied. I did, and enlightenment dawned. “Oh!” she said. “Beaver Street.”

    Reply
  30. “I always wondered how to pronounce the doctor’s name in the Patrick O’Brien books, since in interviews he made such a big deal of it being a special Spanish pronunciation.”
    Oh my God, it’s not just me?! I always call them “Patrick O’Brian’s books” instead of “the Aubrey/Maturin series” when speaking aloud out of fear that everyone else knows the proper pronunciation of “Maturin” and that my incorrect version will make me look stupid. (I’ve been saying MAT-yurin.)
    Anyway, I love the Aubrey/Maturin series beyond all reason and even tried and tried to write like Patrick O’Brian before concluding reluctantly that my voice just doesn’t DO that. So stumbling over a character name obviously doesn’t hamper my pleasure in a book.
    Regional pronunciations are good for no end of debate and discussion–whether pen/pin and Mary/merry/marry sound the same or not, whether a pecan is a pik-AHN, a PEE-kin, or a pee-can, etc.
    Random memory from the year I lived in England: I was trying to describe to my hostess where I’d seen something, and I said it was on Belvoir Street. “Where?” she asked. “Bel-vwahr,” I said. “You know, halfway up the hill past the community vegetable garden and on the left.” “Write it down,” she replied. I did, and enlightenment dawned. “Oh!” she said. “Beaver Street.”

    Reply
  31. As a true born Englishman if you wenches really need to flip try pronouncing Featherstonhough. it’s proouncned “Fanshore”
    Good luck
    Robert

    Reply
  32. As a true born Englishman if you wenches really need to flip try pronouncing Featherstonhough. it’s proouncned “Fanshore”
    Good luck
    Robert

    Reply
  33. As a true born Englishman if you wenches really need to flip try pronouncing Featherstonhough. it’s proouncned “Fanshore”
    Good luck
    Robert

    Reply
  34. Man, I relate to the KY hillbilly pronunciations since I moved to KY from NY, The language difference was so radical that I had to learn to speak all over. Must be akin to the Brits moving to the US.
    I, too, never heard many of the words I knew said aloud. I have to be exceedingly careful when I speak because words I’ve heard in my head all these years aren’t necessarily said that way.
    Since a lot of Americans either live near hispanics or take Spanish in school, the Ju-an problem isn’t as prevalent here. But you ought to see how we mangle French!

    Reply
  35. Man, I relate to the KY hillbilly pronunciations since I moved to KY from NY, The language difference was so radical that I had to learn to speak all over. Must be akin to the Brits moving to the US.
    I, too, never heard many of the words I knew said aloud. I have to be exceedingly careful when I speak because words I’ve heard in my head all these years aren’t necessarily said that way.
    Since a lot of Americans either live near hispanics or take Spanish in school, the Ju-an problem isn’t as prevalent here. But you ought to see how we mangle French!

    Reply
  36. Man, I relate to the KY hillbilly pronunciations since I moved to KY from NY, The language difference was so radical that I had to learn to speak all over. Must be akin to the Brits moving to the US.
    I, too, never heard many of the words I knew said aloud. I have to be exceedingly careful when I speak because words I’ve heard in my head all these years aren’t necessarily said that way.
    Since a lot of Americans either live near hispanics or take Spanish in school, the Ju-an problem isn’t as prevalent here. But you ought to see how we mangle French!

    Reply
  37. Pat, I made that move in the opposite direction. I grew up in rural Alabama, hillbilly pronunciations and all, and went to college in Philadelphia. I had to moderate my accent on purpose just to make myself understood. I don’t have a Southern accent anymore–8 years in Philly, 1 in England, and 7 in Seattle have eradicated it–but it comes back in a hurry whenever I go home for a visit.

    Reply
  38. Pat, I made that move in the opposite direction. I grew up in rural Alabama, hillbilly pronunciations and all, and went to college in Philadelphia. I had to moderate my accent on purpose just to make myself understood. I don’t have a Southern accent anymore–8 years in Philly, 1 in England, and 7 in Seattle have eradicated it–but it comes back in a hurry whenever I go home for a visit.

    Reply
  39. Pat, I made that move in the opposite direction. I grew up in rural Alabama, hillbilly pronunciations and all, and went to college in Philadelphia. I had to moderate my accent on purpose just to make myself understood. I don’t have a Southern accent anymore–8 years in Philly, 1 in England, and 7 in Seattle have eradicated it–but it comes back in a hurry whenever I go home for a visit.

    Reply
  40. “Since a lot of Americans either live near hispanics or take Spanish in school, the Ju-an problem isn’t as prevalent here.”
    Maybe not, but how many times am I going to have to endure a newscaster saying “San Josey” when the mean San Jose? That one drives me nuts and I hear it all time.

    Reply
  41. “Since a lot of Americans either live near hispanics or take Spanish in school, the Ju-an problem isn’t as prevalent here.”
    Maybe not, but how many times am I going to have to endure a newscaster saying “San Josey” when the mean San Jose? That one drives me nuts and I hear it all time.

    Reply
  42. “Since a lot of Americans either live near hispanics or take Spanish in school, the Ju-an problem isn’t as prevalent here.”
    Maybe not, but how many times am I going to have to endure a newscaster saying “San Josey” when the mean San Jose? That one drives me nuts and I hear it all time.

    Reply
  43. Pat, I lived in New Jersey for 8 years, in the NYC metro area, so I feel your pain about the difference between KY and NY! And I live in Alabama now, Susan. My favorite examples of the KY/NJ differences were “coffee” and “mountain”. It’s “CAW-fee” (open your mouth wide for the CAW)and “maot-en” in KY, (nearly swallow the “en”). In NJ, it’s “CO-a-fee”, pursing your lips on the CO, and “MAO-ann”, swallowing the t. Someone once pegged me as from eastern KY solely because I pronounce my last name CORN-it, instead of cor-NET. I really don’t have a strong accent anymore, but some things stick.
    Since we Americans can’t say things the same way within our own country, it’s no wonder we get bumfuzzled over pronunciations from other places. And the old country isn’t much better – with public school English and broad country dialects, Gaelic infused or Scottish burred pronunciations. A common name in Alabama is “Farquhar”, pronounced “FAR-qu-har”. I wrote the head of the family in Ireland(?) for the “correct” pronunciation, which he informed me was “FAR-ker”.

    Reply
  44. Pat, I lived in New Jersey for 8 years, in the NYC metro area, so I feel your pain about the difference between KY and NY! And I live in Alabama now, Susan. My favorite examples of the KY/NJ differences were “coffee” and “mountain”. It’s “CAW-fee” (open your mouth wide for the CAW)and “maot-en” in KY, (nearly swallow the “en”). In NJ, it’s “CO-a-fee”, pursing your lips on the CO, and “MAO-ann”, swallowing the t. Someone once pegged me as from eastern KY solely because I pronounce my last name CORN-it, instead of cor-NET. I really don’t have a strong accent anymore, but some things stick.
    Since we Americans can’t say things the same way within our own country, it’s no wonder we get bumfuzzled over pronunciations from other places. And the old country isn’t much better – with public school English and broad country dialects, Gaelic infused or Scottish burred pronunciations. A common name in Alabama is “Farquhar”, pronounced “FAR-qu-har”. I wrote the head of the family in Ireland(?) for the “correct” pronunciation, which he informed me was “FAR-ker”.

    Reply
  45. Pat, I lived in New Jersey for 8 years, in the NYC metro area, so I feel your pain about the difference between KY and NY! And I live in Alabama now, Susan. My favorite examples of the KY/NJ differences were “coffee” and “mountain”. It’s “CAW-fee” (open your mouth wide for the CAW)and “maot-en” in KY, (nearly swallow the “en”). In NJ, it’s “CO-a-fee”, pursing your lips on the CO, and “MAO-ann”, swallowing the t. Someone once pegged me as from eastern KY solely because I pronounce my last name CORN-it, instead of cor-NET. I really don’t have a strong accent anymore, but some things stick.
    Since we Americans can’t say things the same way within our own country, it’s no wonder we get bumfuzzled over pronunciations from other places. And the old country isn’t much better – with public school English and broad country dialects, Gaelic infused or Scottish burred pronunciations. A common name in Alabama is “Farquhar”, pronounced “FAR-qu-har”. I wrote the head of the family in Ireland(?) for the “correct” pronunciation, which he informed me was “FAR-ker”.

    Reply
  46. At least if I mutilate character’s names, I am usually the only one who know that I am doing so. I was mortified to learn that I had been mispronouncing both Heyer and Balogh for years.
    Susan, I teach in Alabama, but I am a Georgian by birth and residence. My colleagues often say in what they pereceive as a compliment, “But you don’t sound Southern.” But, of course, I do. I just speak with a Georgia accent rather than an Alabama accent.
    One of my closest friends is Greek married to a German. They boast that their daughters speak four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.

    Reply
  47. At least if I mutilate character’s names, I am usually the only one who know that I am doing so. I was mortified to learn that I had been mispronouncing both Heyer and Balogh for years.
    Susan, I teach in Alabama, but I am a Georgian by birth and residence. My colleagues often say in what they pereceive as a compliment, “But you don’t sound Southern.” But, of course, I do. I just speak with a Georgia accent rather than an Alabama accent.
    One of my closest friends is Greek married to a German. They boast that their daughters speak four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.

    Reply
  48. At least if I mutilate character’s names, I am usually the only one who know that I am doing so. I was mortified to learn that I had been mispronouncing both Heyer and Balogh for years.
    Susan, I teach in Alabama, but I am a Georgian by birth and residence. My colleagues often say in what they pereceive as a compliment, “But you don’t sound Southern.” But, of course, I do. I just speak with a Georgia accent rather than an Alabama accent.
    One of my closest friends is Greek married to a German. They boast that their daughters speak four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.

    Reply
  49. That’s interesting, Wylene, because I *definitely* perceive Georgians as having Southern accents, though there are different ones within the state–i.e. Jimmy Carter sounds nothing like my nieces and nephews who live about 40 miles from Atlanta. To my ear, it’s not that GA and AL have different accents, but the northern, hilly sections of both states have a different accent from the southern, flat sections.
    My family is from north-central Alabama, and my brother who went to Auburn University, in south Alabama, has a slightly different accent from the rest of the family. Once when I was visiting Scotland I heard some men in a shop in St. Andrews who had my brother’s exact accent. I asked them if they were from anywhere near Auburn, and I was close–they were from Columbus, GA.

    Reply
  50. That’s interesting, Wylene, because I *definitely* perceive Georgians as having Southern accents, though there are different ones within the state–i.e. Jimmy Carter sounds nothing like my nieces and nephews who live about 40 miles from Atlanta. To my ear, it’s not that GA and AL have different accents, but the northern, hilly sections of both states have a different accent from the southern, flat sections.
    My family is from north-central Alabama, and my brother who went to Auburn University, in south Alabama, has a slightly different accent from the rest of the family. Once when I was visiting Scotland I heard some men in a shop in St. Andrews who had my brother’s exact accent. I asked them if they were from anywhere near Auburn, and I was close–they were from Columbus, GA.

    Reply
  51. That’s interesting, Wylene, because I *definitely* perceive Georgians as having Southern accents, though there are different ones within the state–i.e. Jimmy Carter sounds nothing like my nieces and nephews who live about 40 miles from Atlanta. To my ear, it’s not that GA and AL have different accents, but the northern, hilly sections of both states have a different accent from the southern, flat sections.
    My family is from north-central Alabama, and my brother who went to Auburn University, in south Alabama, has a slightly different accent from the rest of the family. Once when I was visiting Scotland I heard some men in a shop in St. Andrews who had my brother’s exact accent. I asked them if they were from anywhere near Auburn, and I was close–they were from Columbus, GA.

    Reply
  52. Don’t you wish you could just go back to “marcher lords”?
    Jo–Company of Rouges? Is that your midevil series? About characters who are going bad but not all the way there yet?
    TONDA wrote: but how many times am I going to have to endure a newscaster saying “San Josey” when the mean San Jose? That one drives me nuts and I hear it all time.
    Are these the same people who give the song title as “Do You Know How to Mosey to San Josey”?
    And practically no one pronounces the name of the author of THE LORD OF THE RINGS correctly–it’s Tul-KEEN.
    This is not relevant to the subject at all, but I did want to share it with you. It was posted on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog by author Robena Grant, an Aussie-in-exile now home for a visit:
    Okay, so I’m in Brisbane, sitting in a coffee shop drinking a flat white and reading the International Express newspaper. Gives interesting happenings in the mother country (England *grin*)
    Decided to check the blog and saw these comments and thought how relevant. The article in the I E that amused me most was by David Robson, title: A Classic Route to Having an Active Love Life. The guy chats on about all types of things to do with romantic interest, books, readers and authors, and then says:
    “New research by the polling organization YouGov reveals that a third of Britons consider flirting with someone because of the book they are reading. I am not entirely convinced by this. I am far from sure a third of all Britons know what a book is – and anyway the research was commissioned by Borders, the bookstore chain.”
    Seems to me this non-reading thing is a universal problem.
    He continues to chat mainly about book clubs, book groups, etc. Then says:
    “Reading used to be a solitary affair, and as for writing … authors, formerly unseen, closeted sorts, now spend most of their time giving readings to panting audiences at bookshops and literary festivals. They have become pole-dancers for the book buying classes.”.
    He signed off with;
    According to the YouGov poll, classics are the biggest aphrodisiac of all. In other words: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of Pride and Prejudice must be in search of a snog.”
    So, here is any Wench at her next signing:
    http://www.dancematrix.com/images/gift_poledancing.jpg
    Nice shoes!

    Reply
  53. Don’t you wish you could just go back to “marcher lords”?
    Jo–Company of Rouges? Is that your midevil series? About characters who are going bad but not all the way there yet?
    TONDA wrote: but how many times am I going to have to endure a newscaster saying “San Josey” when the mean San Jose? That one drives me nuts and I hear it all time.
    Are these the same people who give the song title as “Do You Know How to Mosey to San Josey”?
    And practically no one pronounces the name of the author of THE LORD OF THE RINGS correctly–it’s Tul-KEEN.
    This is not relevant to the subject at all, but I did want to share it with you. It was posted on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog by author Robena Grant, an Aussie-in-exile now home for a visit:
    Okay, so I’m in Brisbane, sitting in a coffee shop drinking a flat white and reading the International Express newspaper. Gives interesting happenings in the mother country (England *grin*)
    Decided to check the blog and saw these comments and thought how relevant. The article in the I E that amused me most was by David Robson, title: A Classic Route to Having an Active Love Life. The guy chats on about all types of things to do with romantic interest, books, readers and authors, and then says:
    “New research by the polling organization YouGov reveals that a third of Britons consider flirting with someone because of the book they are reading. I am not entirely convinced by this. I am far from sure a third of all Britons know what a book is – and anyway the research was commissioned by Borders, the bookstore chain.”
    Seems to me this non-reading thing is a universal problem.
    He continues to chat mainly about book clubs, book groups, etc. Then says:
    “Reading used to be a solitary affair, and as for writing … authors, formerly unseen, closeted sorts, now spend most of their time giving readings to panting audiences at bookshops and literary festivals. They have become pole-dancers for the book buying classes.”.
    He signed off with;
    According to the YouGov poll, classics are the biggest aphrodisiac of all. In other words: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of Pride and Prejudice must be in search of a snog.”
    So, here is any Wench at her next signing:
    http://www.dancematrix.com/images/gift_poledancing.jpg
    Nice shoes!

    Reply
  54. Don’t you wish you could just go back to “marcher lords”?
    Jo–Company of Rouges? Is that your midevil series? About characters who are going bad but not all the way there yet?
    TONDA wrote: but how many times am I going to have to endure a newscaster saying “San Josey” when the mean San Jose? That one drives me nuts and I hear it all time.
    Are these the same people who give the song title as “Do You Know How to Mosey to San Josey”?
    And practically no one pronounces the name of the author of THE LORD OF THE RINGS correctly–it’s Tul-KEEN.
    This is not relevant to the subject at all, but I did want to share it with you. It was posted on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog by author Robena Grant, an Aussie-in-exile now home for a visit:
    Okay, so I’m in Brisbane, sitting in a coffee shop drinking a flat white and reading the International Express newspaper. Gives interesting happenings in the mother country (England *grin*)
    Decided to check the blog and saw these comments and thought how relevant. The article in the I E that amused me most was by David Robson, title: A Classic Route to Having an Active Love Life. The guy chats on about all types of things to do with romantic interest, books, readers and authors, and then says:
    “New research by the polling organization YouGov reveals that a third of Britons consider flirting with someone because of the book they are reading. I am not entirely convinced by this. I am far from sure a third of all Britons know what a book is – and anyway the research was commissioned by Borders, the bookstore chain.”
    Seems to me this non-reading thing is a universal problem.
    He continues to chat mainly about book clubs, book groups, etc. Then says:
    “Reading used to be a solitary affair, and as for writing … authors, formerly unseen, closeted sorts, now spend most of their time giving readings to panting audiences at bookshops and literary festivals. They have become pole-dancers for the book buying classes.”.
    He signed off with;
    According to the YouGov poll, classics are the biggest aphrodisiac of all. In other words: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of Pride and Prejudice must be in search of a snog.”
    So, here is any Wench at her next signing:
    http://www.dancematrix.com/images/gift_poledancing.jpg
    Nice shoes!

    Reply
  55. Duke is simple? Simple?
    So, do you say “dook” or “jook” as it’s supposed to be, as in juke box?
    Jo, now wondering if there are alternate ways of pronouncing juke!

    Reply
  56. Duke is simple? Simple?
    So, do you say “dook” or “jook” as it’s supposed to be, as in juke box?
    Jo, now wondering if there are alternate ways of pronouncing juke!

    Reply
  57. Duke is simple? Simple?
    So, do you say “dook” or “jook” as it’s supposed to be, as in juke box?
    Jo, now wondering if there are alternate ways of pronouncing juke!

    Reply
  58. Love the Alma-Tadema. I have the one of the angels in the rose petals.
    I, too, being an avid reader, learned a lot of words, only to find out I’d been mispronouncing them (in my head).

    Reply
  59. Love the Alma-Tadema. I have the one of the angels in the rose petals.
    I, too, being an avid reader, learned a lot of words, only to find out I’d been mispronouncing them (in my head).

    Reply
  60. Love the Alma-Tadema. I have the one of the angels in the rose petals.
    I, too, being an avid reader, learned a lot of words, only to find out I’d been mispronouncing them (in my head).

    Reply
  61. I had a character named “St. John” in one of my books, but made it clear his friends called him “Sinjun.”
    And as one who lives hard by a city where Houston Street is pronounced “House-ton,” I can’t really complain about English pronounciations, not even when I found out I’d been calling one of my fav authors, Georgette Heyer: “Higher” instead of “Aire.”
    But to tell the truth I never saw a character named “Featherstonhough” written by an American author, or even the correct: “Fanshaw.”
    We’d just call him/her: “Fanny.”
    🙂

    Reply
  62. I had a character named “St. John” in one of my books, but made it clear his friends called him “Sinjun.”
    And as one who lives hard by a city where Houston Street is pronounced “House-ton,” I can’t really complain about English pronounciations, not even when I found out I’d been calling one of my fav authors, Georgette Heyer: “Higher” instead of “Aire.”
    But to tell the truth I never saw a character named “Featherstonhough” written by an American author, or even the correct: “Fanshaw.”
    We’d just call him/her: “Fanny.”
    🙂

    Reply
  63. I had a character named “St. John” in one of my books, but made it clear his friends called him “Sinjun.”
    And as one who lives hard by a city where Houston Street is pronounced “House-ton,” I can’t really complain about English pronounciations, not even when I found out I’d been calling one of my fav authors, Georgette Heyer: “Higher” instead of “Aire.”
    But to tell the truth I never saw a character named “Featherstonhough” written by an American author, or even the correct: “Fanshaw.”
    We’d just call him/her: “Fanny.”
    🙂

    Reply
  64. Are you telling me that Georgette Heyer’s name is pronounced “Aire” Georgette Air? Not Georgette Hay-er?
    On of my all time favorite heroes is Ruark Beauchamp (Shanna). I only learned, after reading Gabaldon, that Beauchamp was pronouced Beecham. I liked him better at Bo-shamp.
    Authors do have to remember that we will make up our own pronunciations if the correct one is not provided.

    Reply
  65. Are you telling me that Georgette Heyer’s name is pronounced “Aire” Georgette Air? Not Georgette Hay-er?
    On of my all time favorite heroes is Ruark Beauchamp (Shanna). I only learned, after reading Gabaldon, that Beauchamp was pronouced Beecham. I liked him better at Bo-shamp.
    Authors do have to remember that we will make up our own pronunciations if the correct one is not provided.

    Reply
  66. Are you telling me that Georgette Heyer’s name is pronounced “Aire” Georgette Air? Not Georgette Hay-er?
    On of my all time favorite heroes is Ruark Beauchamp (Shanna). I only learned, after reading Gabaldon, that Beauchamp was pronouced Beecham. I liked him better at Bo-shamp.
    Authors do have to remember that we will make up our own pronunciations if the correct one is not provided.

    Reply
  67. “Are you telling me that Georgette Heyer’s name is pronounced “Aire” Georgette Air? Not Georgette Hay-er?”
    Hayer is fine, Cathy, or anything close.
    Yes, I agree that authors need to provide pronunciation, but sometimes we don’t realize there’s a problem.
    OTOH, I’m writing a book now where the hero’s family name is Cave, pronounced cahvay as in “beware” in Latin. I’m feeling a need to keep reminding the reader, so I may be overdoing it! At least the title might help. It’ll be LADY BEWARE.
    Of course I fretted about a comma in there. Hey, one day we could riff on punctuation!
    Jo

    Reply
  68. “Are you telling me that Georgette Heyer’s name is pronounced “Aire” Georgette Air? Not Georgette Hay-er?”
    Hayer is fine, Cathy, or anything close.
    Yes, I agree that authors need to provide pronunciation, but sometimes we don’t realize there’s a problem.
    OTOH, I’m writing a book now where the hero’s family name is Cave, pronounced cahvay as in “beware” in Latin. I’m feeling a need to keep reminding the reader, so I may be overdoing it! At least the title might help. It’ll be LADY BEWARE.
    Of course I fretted about a comma in there. Hey, one day we could riff on punctuation!
    Jo

    Reply
  69. “Are you telling me that Georgette Heyer’s name is pronounced “Aire” Georgette Air? Not Georgette Hay-er?”
    Hayer is fine, Cathy, or anything close.
    Yes, I agree that authors need to provide pronunciation, but sometimes we don’t realize there’s a problem.
    OTOH, I’m writing a book now where the hero’s family name is Cave, pronounced cahvay as in “beware” in Latin. I’m feeling a need to keep reminding the reader, so I may be overdoing it! At least the title might help. It’ll be LADY BEWARE.
    Of course I fretted about a comma in there. Hey, one day we could riff on punctuation!
    Jo

    Reply
  70. Robert said: ‘try pronouncing Featherstonhough. it’s proouncned “Fanshore”‘
    Actually, you need to spell that ‘Fanshawe’, because most American pronunciations are rhotic, and they will say ‘fanshaw-uh’ when they see the ‘r’: to BE speakers, the ‘r’ is not pronounced, but simply affects the pronunciation of the preceding vowel. Thus, in BE, ‘door’ is pronounced ‘daw’: most Americans say ‘daw-uh’.

    Reply
  71. Robert said: ‘try pronouncing Featherstonhough. it’s proouncned “Fanshore”‘
    Actually, you need to spell that ‘Fanshawe’, because most American pronunciations are rhotic, and they will say ‘fanshaw-uh’ when they see the ‘r’: to BE speakers, the ‘r’ is not pronounced, but simply affects the pronunciation of the preceding vowel. Thus, in BE, ‘door’ is pronounced ‘daw’: most Americans say ‘daw-uh’.

    Reply
  72. Robert said: ‘try pronouncing Featherstonhough. it’s proouncned “Fanshore”‘
    Actually, you need to spell that ‘Fanshawe’, because most American pronunciations are rhotic, and they will say ‘fanshaw-uh’ when they see the ‘r’: to BE speakers, the ‘r’ is not pronounced, but simply affects the pronunciation of the preceding vowel. Thus, in BE, ‘door’ is pronounced ‘daw’: most Americans say ‘daw-uh’.

    Reply
  73. How is anyone supposed to figure out that Featherstonhough is pronounced Fanshaw? How the heck?
    I MIGHT think it should be pronounced Fe-thir-stin-oh (sounds like Fe-Thurston-oh).
    I could hear an Englishman say Fanshaw a million times, and still would never know it was spelled Featherstonhough. Ridiculous. How is this pronunciation justified? And they think we do not speak English.

    Reply
  74. How is anyone supposed to figure out that Featherstonhough is pronounced Fanshaw? How the heck?
    I MIGHT think it should be pronounced Fe-thir-stin-oh (sounds like Fe-Thurston-oh).
    I could hear an Englishman say Fanshaw a million times, and still would never know it was spelled Featherstonhough. Ridiculous. How is this pronunciation justified? And they think we do not speak English.

    Reply
  75. How is anyone supposed to figure out that Featherstonhough is pronounced Fanshaw? How the heck?
    I MIGHT think it should be pronounced Fe-thir-stin-oh (sounds like Fe-Thurston-oh).
    I could hear an Englishman say Fanshaw a million times, and still would never know it was spelled Featherstonhough. Ridiculous. How is this pronunciation justified? And they think we do not speak English.

    Reply
  76. I sometimes write historical articles for Clan Fraser UK, and last year interviewed an American historian, who then gave me his bio for the credit. He went to school in Wooster, Ohio, and from there to Oxford and St Andrews.
    So the Scottish editor emails me back: We are having a debate in the office as to whether you mean Worcestershire, and just can’t spell.
    –No, Wooster! I replied. Ohio!!
    ~Susan

    Reply
  77. I sometimes write historical articles for Clan Fraser UK, and last year interviewed an American historian, who then gave me his bio for the credit. He went to school in Wooster, Ohio, and from there to Oxford and St Andrews.
    So the Scottish editor emails me back: We are having a debate in the office as to whether you mean Worcestershire, and just can’t spell.
    –No, Wooster! I replied. Ohio!!
    ~Susan

    Reply
  78. I sometimes write historical articles for Clan Fraser UK, and last year interviewed an American historian, who then gave me his bio for the credit. He went to school in Wooster, Ohio, and from there to Oxford and St Andrews.
    So the Scottish editor emails me back: We are having a debate in the office as to whether you mean Worcestershire, and just can’t spell.
    –No, Wooster! I replied. Ohio!!
    ~Susan

    Reply
  79. Cathy said: ‘How is this pronunciation justified? And they think we do not speak English.’
    Well, the relationship between the sound of a word and the letters used to spell it does not have to be ‘justified’. It is the product of a long period – sometimes more than a millennium – of evolution of both sound and ‘diagram’, the visual representation in letters.
    The reasons for an apparent dislocation between spelling and sound are almost invariably historical, and also concern dialect and accent, both of which change over both time and space. The way in which a given word is uttered will therefore be different in, say, 17th-century England and 21st century America. It will also be different in 17th-century England and 21st-century ENGLAND. There may be differences in the same dialect over a period as short as thirty years, and regionally over a distance as small as 30 miles at the same moment. If it were not so, we should all still be speaking Anglo-Saxon – Old English. At least, I shouldn’t be, but the inhabitants of England and much of North America would.
    Spelling, however, can remain more conservative, and frequently preserves earlier forms, revealing aspects of the word’s etymology. The examples that have been given of French borrowings such as Belvoir and Beaulieu make the point: usage has englished the pronunciation while leaving the French spelling untouched. the reception of successive waves of French loan-words into English, from the 11th century onwards, is a fascinating story of assimilation and mutation of sound and meaning.
    And Cathy, what DO you mean when you say, ‘they think we do not speak English’? That sounds as though you may be suggesting that BE speakers consider that AE is not ‘proper’ English. If you do mean that, you are profoundly mistaken. Only the very ignorant, knowing little and caring less about languages, could possibly take such a position.

    Reply
  80. Cathy said: ‘How is this pronunciation justified? And they think we do not speak English.’
    Well, the relationship between the sound of a word and the letters used to spell it does not have to be ‘justified’. It is the product of a long period – sometimes more than a millennium – of evolution of both sound and ‘diagram’, the visual representation in letters.
    The reasons for an apparent dislocation between spelling and sound are almost invariably historical, and also concern dialect and accent, both of which change over both time and space. The way in which a given word is uttered will therefore be different in, say, 17th-century England and 21st century America. It will also be different in 17th-century England and 21st-century ENGLAND. There may be differences in the same dialect over a period as short as thirty years, and regionally over a distance as small as 30 miles at the same moment. If it were not so, we should all still be speaking Anglo-Saxon – Old English. At least, I shouldn’t be, but the inhabitants of England and much of North America would.
    Spelling, however, can remain more conservative, and frequently preserves earlier forms, revealing aspects of the word’s etymology. The examples that have been given of French borrowings such as Belvoir and Beaulieu make the point: usage has englished the pronunciation while leaving the French spelling untouched. the reception of successive waves of French loan-words into English, from the 11th century onwards, is a fascinating story of assimilation and mutation of sound and meaning.
    And Cathy, what DO you mean when you say, ‘they think we do not speak English’? That sounds as though you may be suggesting that BE speakers consider that AE is not ‘proper’ English. If you do mean that, you are profoundly mistaken. Only the very ignorant, knowing little and caring less about languages, could possibly take such a position.

    Reply
  81. Cathy said: ‘How is this pronunciation justified? And they think we do not speak English.’
    Well, the relationship between the sound of a word and the letters used to spell it does not have to be ‘justified’. It is the product of a long period – sometimes more than a millennium – of evolution of both sound and ‘diagram’, the visual representation in letters.
    The reasons for an apparent dislocation between spelling and sound are almost invariably historical, and also concern dialect and accent, both of which change over both time and space. The way in which a given word is uttered will therefore be different in, say, 17th-century England and 21st century America. It will also be different in 17th-century England and 21st-century ENGLAND. There may be differences in the same dialect over a period as short as thirty years, and regionally over a distance as small as 30 miles at the same moment. If it were not so, we should all still be speaking Anglo-Saxon – Old English. At least, I shouldn’t be, but the inhabitants of England and much of North America would.
    Spelling, however, can remain more conservative, and frequently preserves earlier forms, revealing aspects of the word’s etymology. The examples that have been given of French borrowings such as Belvoir and Beaulieu make the point: usage has englished the pronunciation while leaving the French spelling untouched. the reception of successive waves of French loan-words into English, from the 11th century onwards, is a fascinating story of assimilation and mutation of sound and meaning.
    And Cathy, what DO you mean when you say, ‘they think we do not speak English’? That sounds as though you may be suggesting that BE speakers consider that AE is not ‘proper’ English. If you do mean that, you are profoundly mistaken. Only the very ignorant, knowing little and caring less about languages, could possibly take such a position.

    Reply
  82. “most Americans say ‘daw-uh'”
    Is this true? I don’t know much about the different US accents. I’m from Louisiana by way of Texas and North Carolina, and I’ve never said “daw-uh” in my life. I say “d-ore” (as in mining for ore) and would pronounce Fanshore, “Fan-sh-ore.” I was taught to read using phonics rather than sight reading. I wonder if that makes a difference in accents.

    Reply
  83. “most Americans say ‘daw-uh'”
    Is this true? I don’t know much about the different US accents. I’m from Louisiana by way of Texas and North Carolina, and I’ve never said “daw-uh” in my life. I say “d-ore” (as in mining for ore) and would pronounce Fanshore, “Fan-sh-ore.” I was taught to read using phonics rather than sight reading. I wonder if that makes a difference in accents.

    Reply
  84. “most Americans say ‘daw-uh'”
    Is this true? I don’t know much about the different US accents. I’m from Louisiana by way of Texas and North Carolina, and I’ve never said “daw-uh” in my life. I say “d-ore” (as in mining for ore) and would pronounce Fanshore, “Fan-sh-ore.” I was taught to read using phonics rather than sight reading. I wonder if that makes a difference in accents.

    Reply
  85. “most Americans say ‘daw-uh'”
    ***
    Yes – that is the way a BRITISH English speaker hears the way that an AMERICAN English speaker says ‘door’. To you, of course, it is simply the way you say ‘door’. When you hear US say ‘door’ you would probably write it down as ‘daw’ – one syllable only, ‘daw’, no audible ‘r’. In articulating the ‘r’, an American adds a sort of part syllable that we hear as a schwa – ‘uh’. (Scottish ‘r’s and Welsh ones are quite different, of course, often rolled or aspirated, respectively, but I am speaking of standard southern English BE).
    Do you distinguish between the pronunciation of ‘ore’ and ‘awe’? If you do, you are using a rhotic dialect, and to me, the first word would sound like ‘aw-uh’. In most forms of British English, the pronunciation of ‘ore’ and ‘awe’ is absolutely identical.
    How you have been taught to read is irrelevant. It is about the different pronunciations in different English-speaking regions. Let me say again that you should pronounce ‘Featherstonehaugh’ as ‘Fanshaw’, not ‘Fanshore’! To me those two spellings are pronounced the same, but probably not to you.
    Here is a classic accent-exercise:
    ‘When I marry Mary, we shall all be merry’.
    Do the words ‘marry, merry and Mary’ all have different vowels to you? They do to me, but in many American English dialects, two (not always the same two!) are homophones – they are pronounced exactly the same.
    🙂

    Reply
  86. “most Americans say ‘daw-uh'”
    ***
    Yes – that is the way a BRITISH English speaker hears the way that an AMERICAN English speaker says ‘door’. To you, of course, it is simply the way you say ‘door’. When you hear US say ‘door’ you would probably write it down as ‘daw’ – one syllable only, ‘daw’, no audible ‘r’. In articulating the ‘r’, an American adds a sort of part syllable that we hear as a schwa – ‘uh’. (Scottish ‘r’s and Welsh ones are quite different, of course, often rolled or aspirated, respectively, but I am speaking of standard southern English BE).
    Do you distinguish between the pronunciation of ‘ore’ and ‘awe’? If you do, you are using a rhotic dialect, and to me, the first word would sound like ‘aw-uh’. In most forms of British English, the pronunciation of ‘ore’ and ‘awe’ is absolutely identical.
    How you have been taught to read is irrelevant. It is about the different pronunciations in different English-speaking regions. Let me say again that you should pronounce ‘Featherstonehaugh’ as ‘Fanshaw’, not ‘Fanshore’! To me those two spellings are pronounced the same, but probably not to you.
    Here is a classic accent-exercise:
    ‘When I marry Mary, we shall all be merry’.
    Do the words ‘marry, merry and Mary’ all have different vowels to you? They do to me, but in many American English dialects, two (not always the same two!) are homophones – they are pronounced exactly the same.
    🙂

    Reply
  87. “most Americans say ‘daw-uh'”
    ***
    Yes – that is the way a BRITISH English speaker hears the way that an AMERICAN English speaker says ‘door’. To you, of course, it is simply the way you say ‘door’. When you hear US say ‘door’ you would probably write it down as ‘daw’ – one syllable only, ‘daw’, no audible ‘r’. In articulating the ‘r’, an American adds a sort of part syllable that we hear as a schwa – ‘uh’. (Scottish ‘r’s and Welsh ones are quite different, of course, often rolled or aspirated, respectively, but I am speaking of standard southern English BE).
    Do you distinguish between the pronunciation of ‘ore’ and ‘awe’? If you do, you are using a rhotic dialect, and to me, the first word would sound like ‘aw-uh’. In most forms of British English, the pronunciation of ‘ore’ and ‘awe’ is absolutely identical.
    How you have been taught to read is irrelevant. It is about the different pronunciations in different English-speaking regions. Let me say again that you should pronounce ‘Featherstonehaugh’ as ‘Fanshaw’, not ‘Fanshore’! To me those two spellings are pronounced the same, but probably not to you.
    Here is a classic accent-exercise:
    ‘When I marry Mary, we shall all be merry’.
    Do the words ‘marry, merry and Mary’ all have different vowels to you? They do to me, but in many American English dialects, two (not always the same two!) are homophones – they are pronounced exactly the same.
    🙂

    Reply
  88. Dear AgTigress:
    I meant nothing inflammatory, I can assure you. There is a running joke at work (I work with several Brits) that we Americans do not speak English. They are not sladering me, nor am I slandering them. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment with no venom at all.

    Reply
  89. Dear AgTigress:
    I meant nothing inflammatory, I can assure you. There is a running joke at work (I work with several Brits) that we Americans do not speak English. They are not sladering me, nor am I slandering them. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment with no venom at all.

    Reply
  90. Dear AgTigress:
    I meant nothing inflammatory, I can assure you. There is a running joke at work (I work with several Brits) that we Americans do not speak English. They are not sladering me, nor am I slandering them. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment with no venom at all.

    Reply
  91. I think that the Tigress means that we are all dirty rhotten scoundrels…
    We’ve had this discussion several times on the dictionary.com.forum, and I am continually amazed not that people say words differently, but that they actually HEAR words differently!

    Reply
  92. I think that the Tigress means that we are all dirty rhotten scoundrels…
    We’ve had this discussion several times on the dictionary.com.forum, and I am continually amazed not that people say words differently, but that they actually HEAR words differently!

    Reply
  93. I think that the Tigress means that we are all dirty rhotten scoundrels…
    We’ve had this discussion several times on the dictionary.com.forum, and I am continually amazed not that people say words differently, but that they actually HEAR words differently!

    Reply
  94. On Beaulieu… the story goes that Mary Queen of Scots (who lived in France from age 5 until she returned to Scotland at age 19 or so)first saw the priory in the Inverness area, she said “Quelle beau lieu!” what a beautiful place, and so people began calling it Beaulieu, or Beauly.
    Very likely the way it’s said now, BEW-lee, is a result of Scots pronouncing two French words over a very long time, coupled with a phonetic misreading of “beaulieu” in documents by Scots who not only didn’t speak French but didn’t care if it was correct anyway. So in the case of “Beauly” it’s not British English, but Scots, that makes the difference.
    ~Susan

    Reply
  95. On Beaulieu… the story goes that Mary Queen of Scots (who lived in France from age 5 until she returned to Scotland at age 19 or so)first saw the priory in the Inverness area, she said “Quelle beau lieu!” what a beautiful place, and so people began calling it Beaulieu, or Beauly.
    Very likely the way it’s said now, BEW-lee, is a result of Scots pronouncing two French words over a very long time, coupled with a phonetic misreading of “beaulieu” in documents by Scots who not only didn’t speak French but didn’t care if it was correct anyway. So in the case of “Beauly” it’s not British English, but Scots, that makes the difference.
    ~Susan

    Reply
  96. On Beaulieu… the story goes that Mary Queen of Scots (who lived in France from age 5 until she returned to Scotland at age 19 or so)first saw the priory in the Inverness area, she said “Quelle beau lieu!” what a beautiful place, and so people began calling it Beaulieu, or Beauly.
    Very likely the way it’s said now, BEW-lee, is a result of Scots pronouncing two French words over a very long time, coupled with a phonetic misreading of “beaulieu” in documents by Scots who not only didn’t speak French but didn’t care if it was correct anyway. So in the case of “Beauly” it’s not British English, but Scots, that makes the difference.
    ~Susan

    Reply
  97. “Do the words ‘marry, merry and Mary’ all have different vowels to you? They do to me, but in many American English dialects, two (not always the same two!) are homophones – they are pronounced exactly the same.”
    I have to weigh in on this one, since it’s my name. — Merry– short for Meredith. Since I have lived in different parts of the country, I’ve come to accept that in many places people can’t hear the differences, while in New York City, where I grew up, there is no confusion amoung the three. I’ve had many conversations with people earnestly trying to hear the differences and unable to do so. Isn’t the human ability to process language amazing– there is so much variabilty in how we do it. I’ve also noticed that I frequently become familiar with words through reading and then find out that I have evidently made up my own pronounciation– it can be embarrassing at times. Also, since I grew up in New York, but currently live near Boston, when I got here I had to learn how to pronounce Worcester as wooster and Gloucester as Glos-ter.
    On another note– just curious Nina, why is it that you sign yourself as ” the littlest wenchling”
    Merry

    Reply
  98. “Do the words ‘marry, merry and Mary’ all have different vowels to you? They do to me, but in many American English dialects, two (not always the same two!) are homophones – they are pronounced exactly the same.”
    I have to weigh in on this one, since it’s my name. — Merry– short for Meredith. Since I have lived in different parts of the country, I’ve come to accept that in many places people can’t hear the differences, while in New York City, where I grew up, there is no confusion amoung the three. I’ve had many conversations with people earnestly trying to hear the differences and unable to do so. Isn’t the human ability to process language amazing– there is so much variabilty in how we do it. I’ve also noticed that I frequently become familiar with words through reading and then find out that I have evidently made up my own pronounciation– it can be embarrassing at times. Also, since I grew up in New York, but currently live near Boston, when I got here I had to learn how to pronounce Worcester as wooster and Gloucester as Glos-ter.
    On another note– just curious Nina, why is it that you sign yourself as ” the littlest wenchling”
    Merry

    Reply
  99. “Do the words ‘marry, merry and Mary’ all have different vowels to you? They do to me, but in many American English dialects, two (not always the same two!) are homophones – they are pronounced exactly the same.”
    I have to weigh in on this one, since it’s my name. — Merry– short for Meredith. Since I have lived in different parts of the country, I’ve come to accept that in many places people can’t hear the differences, while in New York City, where I grew up, there is no confusion amoung the three. I’ve had many conversations with people earnestly trying to hear the differences and unable to do so. Isn’t the human ability to process language amazing– there is so much variabilty in how we do it. I’ve also noticed that I frequently become familiar with words through reading and then find out that I have evidently made up my own pronounciation– it can be embarrassing at times. Also, since I grew up in New York, but currently live near Boston, when I got here I had to learn how to pronounce Worcester as wooster and Gloucester as Glos-ter.
    On another note– just curious Nina, why is it that you sign yourself as ” the littlest wenchling”
    Merry

    Reply
  100. I’m late to this one, but I agree, fab post!
    I stumble over pronunciations frequently. I know authors don’t want to talk down to their audience, (and that’s a good thing!), but sometimes it is nice to get a little hint!
    Especially if you will be talking about the book with friends, and you don’t like to look like a dolt!
    So it’s MAR kwes then? Or is it mar KESS? Is Viscount, VEE Count? It would be so nice to have that finally set in my mind!
    (btw, Mary, Marry, and Merry are homophins to this northern Yank!)

    Reply
  101. I’m late to this one, but I agree, fab post!
    I stumble over pronunciations frequently. I know authors don’t want to talk down to their audience, (and that’s a good thing!), but sometimes it is nice to get a little hint!
    Especially if you will be talking about the book with friends, and you don’t like to look like a dolt!
    So it’s MAR kwes then? Or is it mar KESS? Is Viscount, VEE Count? It would be so nice to have that finally set in my mind!
    (btw, Mary, Marry, and Merry are homophins to this northern Yank!)

    Reply
  102. I’m late to this one, but I agree, fab post!
    I stumble over pronunciations frequently. I know authors don’t want to talk down to their audience, (and that’s a good thing!), but sometimes it is nice to get a little hint!
    Especially if you will be talking about the book with friends, and you don’t like to look like a dolt!
    So it’s MAR kwes then? Or is it mar KESS? Is Viscount, VEE Count? It would be so nice to have that finally set in my mind!
    (btw, Mary, Marry, and Merry are homophins to this northern Yank!)

    Reply
  103. FWIW, on the O’Brian issue, I say “MATCH-oo-rin”, which is very British-sounding to my ears. Others apparently say “MAT-oo-rin” or “MAT-yoo-rin” (mat urine?).
    The Spanish pronunciation is more likely “mah-too-REEN”, like the Venezuelan city.

    Reply
  104. FWIW, on the O’Brian issue, I say “MATCH-oo-rin”, which is very British-sounding to my ears. Others apparently say “MAT-oo-rin” or “MAT-yoo-rin” (mat urine?).
    The Spanish pronunciation is more likely “mah-too-REEN”, like the Venezuelan city.

    Reply
  105. FWIW, on the O’Brian issue, I say “MATCH-oo-rin”, which is very British-sounding to my ears. Others apparently say “MAT-oo-rin” or “MAT-yoo-rin” (mat urine?).
    The Spanish pronunciation is more likely “mah-too-REEN”, like the Venezuelan city.

    Reply
  106. I’m resurrecting this thread as Doug before me did because I simply must congratulate you all. I’m a total language virgin but some bits here just blew my mind, or popped my cherry as it were. I’m an American, Maryland born and raised (though even that does little to explain. Dundalk to DC is a big leap in pronunciation) and been all over the east coast from hillbilly cultures to big cities, far west coast from Nevada to Oregon, and all about the midwest. And when I heard this…
    AgTigress said: “you need to spell that ‘Fanshawe’, because most American pronunciations are rhotic, and they will say ‘fanshaw-uh’ when they see the ‘r'”
    I was taken aback. I was SURE (“shaw-uh”) that no American dialect I had ever encountered ever pronounced an ‘uh’ sound after their ‘r’ ending words. I’m familiar with the difference (on technical, dictionary definition level anyway) between rhotic and non-rhotic speakers, but that still didn’t explain this apparently obvious misstatement. Yet…
    AgTigress also said: “that is the way a BRITISH English speaker hears the way that an AMERICAN English speaker says ‘door’. To you, of course, it is simply the way you say ‘door’. When you hear US say ‘door’ you would probably write it down as ‘daw’ – one syllable only, ‘daw’, no audible ‘r’. In articulating the ‘r’, an American adds a sort of part syllable that we hear as a schwa – ‘uh'”
    Yep. Blew me away. I’ve thought about dialect differences before, but it really takes an explanation like this from someone who knows. To me, the ‘uh’ sound is something heard in words like “quota” (kwoe-tuh), not in “door”. Yet it seems to be a matter of perspective. To me that ‘uh’ sound in “door” was so soft it might as well be silent, yet the perspective of a different English speaker just showed me something new and amazing. Everyone’s comments and questions here gave me some interesting things to think about collectively, so kudos. Sorry for digging up this grave, and I’m probably pointing out something banal to you linguists, but to me it’s been worth every minute of the time I spent writing it. Ignorance or not, I felt it should be pointed out. And AgTigress: you rule. Thanks.

    Reply
  107. I’m resurrecting this thread as Doug before me did because I simply must congratulate you all. I’m a total language virgin but some bits here just blew my mind, or popped my cherry as it were. I’m an American, Maryland born and raised (though even that does little to explain. Dundalk to DC is a big leap in pronunciation) and been all over the east coast from hillbilly cultures to big cities, far west coast from Nevada to Oregon, and all about the midwest. And when I heard this…
    AgTigress said: “you need to spell that ‘Fanshawe’, because most American pronunciations are rhotic, and they will say ‘fanshaw-uh’ when they see the ‘r'”
    I was taken aback. I was SURE (“shaw-uh”) that no American dialect I had ever encountered ever pronounced an ‘uh’ sound after their ‘r’ ending words. I’m familiar with the difference (on technical, dictionary definition level anyway) between rhotic and non-rhotic speakers, but that still didn’t explain this apparently obvious misstatement. Yet…
    AgTigress also said: “that is the way a BRITISH English speaker hears the way that an AMERICAN English speaker says ‘door’. To you, of course, it is simply the way you say ‘door’. When you hear US say ‘door’ you would probably write it down as ‘daw’ – one syllable only, ‘daw’, no audible ‘r’. In articulating the ‘r’, an American adds a sort of part syllable that we hear as a schwa – ‘uh'”
    Yep. Blew me away. I’ve thought about dialect differences before, but it really takes an explanation like this from someone who knows. To me, the ‘uh’ sound is something heard in words like “quota” (kwoe-tuh), not in “door”. Yet it seems to be a matter of perspective. To me that ‘uh’ sound in “door” was so soft it might as well be silent, yet the perspective of a different English speaker just showed me something new and amazing. Everyone’s comments and questions here gave me some interesting things to think about collectively, so kudos. Sorry for digging up this grave, and I’m probably pointing out something banal to you linguists, but to me it’s been worth every minute of the time I spent writing it. Ignorance or not, I felt it should be pointed out. And AgTigress: you rule. Thanks.

    Reply
  108. I’m resurrecting this thread as Doug before me did because I simply must congratulate you all. I’m a total language virgin but some bits here just blew my mind, or popped my cherry as it were. I’m an American, Maryland born and raised (though even that does little to explain. Dundalk to DC is a big leap in pronunciation) and been all over the east coast from hillbilly cultures to big cities, far west coast from Nevada to Oregon, and all about the midwest. And when I heard this…
    AgTigress said: “you need to spell that ‘Fanshawe’, because most American pronunciations are rhotic, and they will say ‘fanshaw-uh’ when they see the ‘r'”
    I was taken aback. I was SURE (“shaw-uh”) that no American dialect I had ever encountered ever pronounced an ‘uh’ sound after their ‘r’ ending words. I’m familiar with the difference (on technical, dictionary definition level anyway) between rhotic and non-rhotic speakers, but that still didn’t explain this apparently obvious misstatement. Yet…
    AgTigress also said: “that is the way a BRITISH English speaker hears the way that an AMERICAN English speaker says ‘door’. To you, of course, it is simply the way you say ‘door’. When you hear US say ‘door’ you would probably write it down as ‘daw’ – one syllable only, ‘daw’, no audible ‘r’. In articulating the ‘r’, an American adds a sort of part syllable that we hear as a schwa – ‘uh'”
    Yep. Blew me away. I’ve thought about dialect differences before, but it really takes an explanation like this from someone who knows. To me, the ‘uh’ sound is something heard in words like “quota” (kwoe-tuh), not in “door”. Yet it seems to be a matter of perspective. To me that ‘uh’ sound in “door” was so soft it might as well be silent, yet the perspective of a different English speaker just showed me something new and amazing. Everyone’s comments and questions here gave me some interesting things to think about collectively, so kudos. Sorry for digging up this grave, and I’m probably pointing out something banal to you linguists, but to me it’s been worth every minute of the time I spent writing it. Ignorance or not, I felt it should be pointed out. And AgTigress: you rule. Thanks.

    Reply
  109. Torquay – yes, “Tor-kee” bacause that’s how we pronounce “quay” in Britspeak, “kee”, a slight corruption, phonetically, from the word’s French origins; Francophones would pronounce the word (le quai) as “kay”. Ameriglish prononces the object identically but rationalises the spelling as Key – Key West, for example. Au quai?
    Regards,
    Roger

    Reply
  110. Torquay – yes, “Tor-kee” bacause that’s how we pronounce “quay” in Britspeak, “kee”, a slight corruption, phonetically, from the word’s French origins; Francophones would pronounce the word (le quai) as “kay”. Ameriglish prononces the object identically but rationalises the spelling as Key – Key West, for example. Au quai?
    Regards,
    Roger

    Reply
  111. Torquay – yes, “Tor-kee” bacause that’s how we pronounce “quay” in Britspeak, “kee”, a slight corruption, phonetically, from the word’s French origins; Francophones would pronounce the word (le quai) as “kay”. Ameriglish prononces the object identically but rationalises the spelling as Key – Key West, for example. Au quai?
    Regards,
    Roger

    Reply
  112. The English mispronounciations of the French word “marquis”, are really just that.. English attempts to de-Francophone the word, and never the correct way to pronounce it.
    Listen to the French pronounce marquis and marquee, they will not be the same.

    Reply
  113. The English mispronounciations of the French word “marquis”, are really just that.. English attempts to de-Francophone the word, and never the correct way to pronounce it.
    Listen to the French pronounce marquis and marquee, they will not be the same.

    Reply
  114. The English mispronounciations of the French word “marquis”, are really just that.. English attempts to de-Francophone the word, and never the correct way to pronounce it.
    Listen to the French pronounce marquis and marquee, they will not be the same.

    Reply

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