going tonto

Herbert Stahlke hstahlke at ATT.NET
Tue May 21 14:40:55 UTC 2002

The howler of all Anglicizations was one I heard in a
British parliamentary hearing on pot:  [maerijuana].  If
I hadn't known the topic I would not have recognized the

> In a message dated 05/20/2002 9:05:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> mnewman at QC.EDU writes:
> > >While the average Anglo in the United States knows six words of Spanish and
> >  >has a surprisingly good idea of Spanish pronunciation, my impression is
> that
> >  >the British have as much interest in learning Spanish as they do in
> learning
> >  >Mongol.  For example, take the name "Don Juan".  Byron turned it into "Don
> >  >Jew-an" ("funny, you don't look Jewish") and Shakespeare didn't hesitate
> to
> >  >name characters "Don John".
> >  >
> >  >             - Jim Landau
> >
> >  Nothing personal, but seems to me that Jim and I have contradictory
> >  linguistic pet peeves. It seems to me that complaining about
> >  Anglicizing foreign pronunciations reflects a certain ideology of
> >  language that really doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Why shouldn't
> >  English speakers pronounce  foreign borrowings with English
> >  phonological rules or use spelling pronunciations for that matter?
> In general I would not argue with your position.  However, this specific case
> is different.  I am saying that American English (more properly US English,
> as I have no idea whether the Canadians go along) INCLUDES a sensitivity to
> Spanish pronunciation.  In the US, "Juan" is /wahn/ and anything else is
> incorrect, although the usual US pronunciation of "Don Juan" is /dahn wan/.
> Of course the British, who last thought about speaking Spanish in 1588, would
> not realize what the correct Spanish pronunciation is.  In other words,
> anything other than /wan/ is a violation of US English, although accepted in
> British English.
> Yet one more example of how Americans and British "are separated by a common
> language".
> By the way, I avoid the word "quixotic" in speech because I still haven't
> figured out to pronounce it so that people will recognize it.  /key-HOH-tay/
> or /key-HOH-tee/ of course, but would anyone recognize /key-HOH-tic/?
> >Another pet peeve: I hate the term "Anglo" particularly when applied
> >to me. I'm Jewish, White, or European American, but I'm no more
> >"Anglo" than a Nuyoriquen who learned Spanish as a second language,
> >as I did.
> I used "Anglo" as a handy term to refer to all non-native-Spanish-speakers in
> the US, which would include inter alia list-member Salikoko Mufwene (who, due
> to his work on creole languages in the New World, is probably fluent in
> Spanish).  If it helps, think of "Anglo" as an abbreviation for "Anglophone",
> meaning anyone (other than a Hispanic brought up speaking English) for whom
> English is the primary language.
> Similarly, Gamal Abdul Nasser defined "Arab" as "anyone whose native language
> is Arabic", an excellent definition except that it tries to include Jews
> whose birth tongue is Arabic (there are quite a few of them).  Hence "Arab"
> should be defined as "a non-Jew whose native language is Arabic".
>      - Jim Landau

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