Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 9 02:28:57 UTC 2010

On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> One can see that in the attempts at phonetic spelling in the 18th
> century. Â E.g., "Lewis" for "[King] Louis".
> For another kind of anglicization, one sees "Hyacinth" Paoli for "Giacinto".
> Joel

This rightly belongs to the "peeve" thread, but there's also
"pswaydo-*anti*-Anglicization." My wife says "Vokes-Woggon" instead of
"Vokes-Wagon." When I was in the Army, the Danes complained - to no
avail, of course - of the practice by visiting GI's of using the
"German" pronunciation of Copenhagen, with German-like "ah" in the
third syllable, erroneously considering it to be more "Danish" than
the usual English pronunciation with "ey."

Why did the Danes feel that this was worth complaining about? My WAG
is that the Germany of The War was still more than merely old photos
in back-issues of LIFE to non-German Europeans, even unto the '60's. I
once overheard in Amsterdam, the first speaker being an American:

A."It must be really easy for a Dutchman to speak German." (a fallacy,
of course)
B."Yes, but a *good* Dutchman doesn't speak German!"

For those totally unfamiliar with Danish, the local pronunciation of
"Copenhagen" sounds a lot more like, roughly, "Curb 'em, houn' " than
like either the German or the English pronunciation.
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

The American Dialect Society -

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