Phonetic alphabets

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Tue Dec 7 20:17:03 UTC 2004

James Bowie of knife fame was definitely a [bui]. Once upon a time,
there was a TV adventure series based upon his life. The program had a
theme song that began, "Jim [bui]! Jim [bui]! Jim [bui]!" The fraternal
twins, Raymond and Rosemary Bowie, with whom I attended grade school in
the '40's, were also [bui]. That is to say, it was once the case that
*everybody* knew that "Bowie" was pronounced [bui].

Speaking of namesakes, I received an e-mail today from one "Wilson
Gunn." Unfortunately, it was merely yet another iteration on the
Nigerian Letter,

-Wilson Gray

On Dec 7, 2004, at 11:50 AM, Beverly Flanigan wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Phonetic alphabets
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Any relation to James Bowie of the knife?  I think he's also [bui].
> And is
> Bowie, MD a family namesake?
> At 09:41 AM 12/7/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>> From:    "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>> <snip>
>> : so every part of my family name is subject to mispronunciation...
>> Mine is problematic, of course, because of the rather more famous
>> person of
>> the same name in spelling but different in pronunciation (his surname
>> is
>> bo.i, mine is bu.i). What i always found most fun was having people
>> from
>> Bowie, a town in Maryland spelled *and* pronounced the same way as
>> mine,
>> pronounce it like the performer (presumably distracted by the first
>> name).
>> <snip>
>> David Bowie
>>     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
>>     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
>>     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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