"Norval" ... How do *you* pronounce it?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 30 17:43:22 UTC 2009

In BE, of course, there's no distinction to be made. The two names
fall together indistinguishably. Naahveil Mo was the first and only
<har! har!> person that I've ever known with this name or any variant
thereof. However, my mother had a friend, Doris Rita, whose surname
was "Novell," pronounced, of course, "Naahveil." I was was quite
surprised to discover the way that he spelled his name, though it did
explain why Sr. Ann Elizabeth persisted in addressing him as [nOrv at l].

When my brother was in the Navy, he was the XO of a guided-missile
destroyer (it was merely *armed* with guided missiles, in addition to
the usual armament of such a vessel; it was not purposed toward the
*destruction* of guided missiles) christened the USS Waddell [,wa
'dEl]. I mentioned this to my German penpal - he wrote *in* English; I
wrote *at* German - and he replied, using the spelling, "Waddle,"
presumably representing [wadl].

It wasn't until I discovered that there is no work known as [lI 'dEl]
& Scott that I realised ;-) how it had come about that Klaus-Juergen
had made such an egregious spelling error: he was using the "Liddell"
of Liddell & Scott or something similar in Britspeak as his mental


On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 12:40 PM, Victor Steinbok<aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Norval" ... How do *you* pronounce it?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wilson's original (Texas) pronunciation looks like being close to that
> for the narwhal (whale--occasionally spelled "norwhal" or "narwal"),
> except for the v/w distinction. I was somewhat surprised to find the
> stress to be on the first syllable (for the whale, not for the name).
> As for the rest of the country (and, perhaps, the Anglophone world),
> would there be a distinction between Norval and Norville? (As in,
> Deborah Norville or Norville Barnes)
>    VS-)
> Wilson Gray wrote:
>> I got a note from Facebook telling me that Norval [Surname] had become
>> my Fb-friend. That reminded me of a grade-school classmate of mine
>> down home in Texas. His name was Norval Moore, pronounced
>> approximately [na:ve at l mo].
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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