Joel vs Jo-El

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 3 22:45:19 UTC 2008

At 3:40 PM -0500 3/3/08, Doug Harris wrote:
>During the 80's, while visiting friends in England, I heard a guy
>make mention several times of an American singer he called _Billy
>Jo-El_. I had no idea who he was talking about until sometime
>later, when my mind de-hyphenated his pronunciation and I
>realized he was talking about "the piano man".
>I'm assuming the British speaker had never heard BJ's name
>spoken aloud, though that seems unlikely. Otherwise, it's hard
>to imagine how, without intending to spoof or mispronounce, he
>inserted the hyphen.

sounds like a Kryptonian substratum at work


>Great post, Jo-El! Thanks!
>It's kinda weird, though, because, if you were black, it wouldn't be a
>joke to call you Jo-El. I have a nephew, Jo-Nathan, and I've been
>asked why I pronounce "Nathanael" as "NAYtha-nail" or "Nay-THANNa-el.
>I "know better," of course, but I don't care. These names are
>relatively rare and if it occasionally gives people a chuckle to hear
>my pronunciations, good on them (if I'm using this phrase correctly. I
>should check with JOnah-thon.)
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list