[Ads-l] The name, "M(a)cPherson"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 2 07:09:48 UTC 2014

In general, I pronounce this name as "MacFURson," despite the fact that the
"standard" BE pronunciation is "MacFEERson." (In StL, a local street that
Redd Foxx once lived on is named "ManPherson.") However, with the passage
of decades, it began to seem to me that *everybody* used MacFEERson" and
not merely the boyz in the 'hood. Elle MacPherson comes to mind. I began to
wonder how I ever got the impression that "MacFURson" was "proper."

The other night, AMC re-ran the 1944 movie, Laura, in which "MacPherson,"
pronounced throughout the movie as "MacFURson," is the name of a major
character. As it happens, I saw this movie, back in that day. So, I assume
that this is the source of my long-time impression that the "correct"
pronunciation has -FUR-, in line with the spelling.

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 - http://www.americandialect.org

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