Re: Coup de grâce

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun May 23 01:45:07 UTC 2004

On May 22, 2004, at 11:17 AM, Damien Hall wrote:

> Heard on NPR, 12 May:  the phrase *coup de grâce* pronounced [ku duh
> gra].  It made me wonder how widespread it was to hear French phrases
> that have been imported into English pronounced without their
> legitimate final consonants...

this hyperaccommodation is in plenty of lists of "vulgar errors" in
english pronunciation.

there is a story, probably apochryphal, that the name of the jazz
musician sidney bechet was pronounced by the french with a final t,
because he was american, but by americans (correctly) without the t,
because he was from new orleans.

arnold (zwicky at

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