[DWJ] "Orthogonal" (orthogonally to T-shirt slogans)

Colin Fine colin at fine.me.uk
Tue Jun 8 18:46:16 EDT 2010


Elizabeth Evans wrote:
> Gili commented
>
> As for gray/grey, I seem to remember in Madeleine L'engles' book "A Ring of Endless Light" she tries to draw a distinction between the eyes of two characters in the book, Adam and Zachary, one of whom is evil and has grey eyes and the other is good and has gray eyes or vice versa.
>
> I don't remember picking this up! Thank you . . . I'll have to go and re-read this now.
>
> I find Biblical names a pronunciation sticking-point. I think this is another area where American and English pronunciation differs. I have heard American speakers refer to Isaiah as Eye-ZAY-a, and English speakers refer to him as Eye-Zye-a.  I was lurking quietly in my pew one Sunday when I discovered that the sad patriarch's name was not pronounced like an occupation, as I had always thought, but Jobe. (I was going to spell it Joab, but then I remembered Moab, which I believe is pronounced Mo-ab). However I really embarrassed myself when my Bible study group was reading Obadiah. I said 'O-BAY-dee-a' and was smartly corrected. Apparently it's OH-ba-DYE-a. Since then I've always waited for someone else to lead the way in Biblical pronunciation. Though our vicar advises that if you have to read the lesson, just read all those names with an extremely confident air and most of the congregation will say to themselves 'oh, so THAT's how you pronounce it!'
>   
My mother once remarked that she had learned "ca-NAY-an" as a child, 
rather than "CAY-nan".
> Aside from the Bible, I've also been puzzled by 'segue'. I always mentally pronounced this as 'seeg', but it's not,  is it?
>   
It's Italian, not French (or Anglo-French).
When the word "macho" started being used in English, twenty or thirty 
years ago, I noticed uncertainty between "matcho" and "makko". I put 
this down to people knowing vaguely that 'you don't produce "ch" as 
"tch" in "foreign"' (eg "Chianti"). Conversely, there's a Mexican 
restaurant in Bradford called "la Cocina", and I've heard lots of people 
call it "Cotcheena", as though it was Italian.

Colin





More information about the Dwj mailing list