accent or mispronounciation? (was RE: [thechat] Chile'stennisfighting for the medals)

Joel D Canfield joel at
Mon Aug 23 13:03:11 CDT 2004

> "Oh!", they said, "You mean ver-SAY-lees!"

How far is that from PEER, North Dakota? I pronounced it 'pee AYR'
exactly oncet.

So, these two guys are driving down the hiway and come to a town called,
according to the sign, 'Dumas.' The cruise town, decide they like it,
and want to come back some day. But, they don't know how to pronounce
it. Best they can come up with, they think it sounds like you're calling
someone an unintelligent arse; they just aren't sure.

So, they stop for a bite, and ask the guy behind the counter, "How *do*
you pronounce the name of this place?"

Of course, he answers *very* slowly "d a i r y    q u e e n"

> (Okay. I finally know (I think) how to pronounce Goethe.  [A long 
time ago I was told it was pronounced 'Ger-ta'.]

Almost. The way I learnt the German 'oe' was to purse your lips like
you're saying 'oooo' and pronounce the long 'e' sound. So, no real 'r'
sound in there. But my German is far from current or native.

> But is Thomas Mann 
pronounced 'man' or 'mon'?

Well, if we follow the 'names leaving their homeland' philosopy, the
former. In German, the latter.

> And what about that Hermann Hesse? Is 
that 'Hess'? Or is it 'Hess-a'?


I tend be very tolerant of localization. Coming from a family which ate
'roast beast' and often used a 'screwdadder' to tighten screws, as long
as I understand what/who you meant, I'm all over it, whether it's
non-English or just non-sense.

'course, if you say 'verSAYlees', I may not have a clue.


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