Painting the porsche

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 26 03:50:07 UTC 2004

At 7:02 PM -0500 5/25/04, Yerkes, Susan wrote:
>To all --
>I hope (somewhat in hindsight) that you don't mind posts from a
>non-academician. If that is not kosher on this list, please let me
>know and I'll go back to just enjoying the lively interchange.
>Meantime, here's my amateur two cents worth re: Damien's
>observations on the AmEng pronunciation of Porsche.
>Damien's AmEng vs. British English nativization theory certainly may
>be correct.
>However, in the case of Porsche, my impression is that the
>predominant American pronunciation is actually NOT the more faithful
>German (Por-shuh), but "Porsh," as it is in England.
>I suggest this because of the old joke about the blonde (or
>whatever) house-painter who, upon being told to paint the "Porch"
>reports back that he is finished painting the car.
>If we all said "por-shuh" it wouldn't be a joke.
>Perhaps it's just that we Texans tend to Anglicize more than folks
>in other states, but I believe I have heard that joke from people in
>various parts of the U.S.
I've actually heard "Portia"/"Porsche" puns more often.  The one
above seems a bit strained to me, not so much because of the one- vs.
two-syllable issue but the consonant:  "Porch" and "Porsh" sound
quite different to me, blonde or no blonde.


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