Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Dec 31 01:16:28 UTC 2007

If you can help me understand "Open-o or /a/" -- are there sample
words whose pronunciation everyone would agree on? -- then I can tell
you.  (I am an antedater, not a phonetophile.)

I grew up in The Bronx, but I too didn't know what a Throg is.  But I
pronounce it (as best as my uneducated ear can can tell me) generally
like "frog" and "Bronx", and unlike "Boston" (and "dog").

Wikipedia tells me: 'The current name comes from John Throckmorton,
an Englishman the Dutch allowed to settle in the area in 1642. The
settlement was eventually driven out by an uprising of Native
Americans. In 1668, the peninsula appeared on maps as "Frockes Neck".
In 1776, George Washington wrote of a "Frogs Neck".'  No citations,
but via Google Books I find a passage from John Winthrop's "The
History of New England from 1630 to 1649" (ed. Savage, 1853), Vol II:
"It was a few miles east of Throg's neck, so called from John
Throckmorton, mentioned in Vol. I. 42, ...".


At 12/30/2007 07:45 PM, David Donnell wrote:
>Questions for the aforementioned effete eastcoasterners:
>      1) how do y'all say "Boston"?
>      2) and "Bronx"?
>      3) and (back to <og>) "Throgs Neck Bridge"?
>Open-o or /a/?
>(A friend from Loss Angeles once asked me "So what's a Throg,
>anyway?"... I still don't know the answer!)
>Missourian @ NYC
>>Tsk, tsk, Tom. And here I thought someone who preaches greater
>>consistency in the sound/spelling correspondence would be offended
>>by such variability in the phonemic assignment of <og>. Shouldn't
>>you praise those of us who use just one vowel in all <og> words?
>>Matt Gordon
>>Proud "awe" repressor
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Tom Zurinskas
>>Sent: Sun 12/30/2007 4:18 PM
>>Subject:      Re: "Blawg"
>>I agree.  I'd say your ideolect is standard American English for the
>>words you've cited.  What is the history of pronunciation of these
>>The problem is that some folks are repressing the sound "awe" and
>>replacing it with "ah" wherever it exists.  They just do not want to
>>say that sound.
>>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
>>See truespel.com - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems"
>>at authorhouse.com.
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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