Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 21 14:04:16 UTC 2009

I'd say ignorance. Or a form of hypercorrection, to give the speaker
some slack. When I was in about the fifth grade, I once used "grand
fine-AL." My mother immediately corrected me. I haven't mispronounced
"(grand) finale" since.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 9:53 AM, David Bowie <db.list at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Finale
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This morning on NPR news (i didn't get the reporter's name--it was
> during the half-hourly 5-minute news summaries, and i was simultaneously
> trying to quell an argument among children, so i don't even remember the
> context) the reporter pronounced the word 'finale' as [fI'nAl] (where
> [A] is the low back unrounded vowel).
> As far as i can recall, i've only ever heard this word pronounced
> [fI'] (where [Q] is the short-a). A cursory online search of
> dictionaries turns up [fI'], which i can imagine i may have heard
> before and simply reprocessed to [fI'], but no two-syllable ones.
> So whence this two-syllable pronunciation? Nativization? A Britishism? A
> pronunciation i wasn't aware of before?
> --
> David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
> Â  Â  Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
> Â  Â  house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
> Â  Â  chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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