[Ads-l] Porsche

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 12 17:32:47 EST 2022


Way back in 2005, we had a thread about [veys] vs. [vaz] alternating by
price, size, quality, etc., which Labov mentioned as a distinction made by
one of his informants in _Sociolinguistic Patterns_, p. 251 (fn. 42).

https://books.google.com/books?id=hD0PNMu8CfQC&pg=PA251

The upshot of the thread was that it all started as a joke, with roots in
an 1889 poem by James Jeffrey Roche, "The V-A-S-E."

http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2005-March/047269.html
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2005-March/047266.html
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2005-March/047247.html

Whether Labov's informant was putting him on, I cannot say.

--bgz

On Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 4:37 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> My grandparents (from NYC in the 1880s) wouldn't dream of paying even $50
> for a vase, but they always rhymed the word with "Roz."
>
> And I still do. Sue me.
>
> JL
>
> On Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 4:23 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>
> > Or maybe the syllable count is correlated with whether you can afford
> one.
> > (There is the precedent of "vase", which is sometimes claimed to be
> > pronounced to rhyme with either "race" or "Roz" depending on whether it
> > costs less or more than $100.)
> >
> > LH
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 1:34 PM Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I can't seem to find a searchable version of the Archives,
> > > so I’ll just flat-out ask.
> > >
> > > Does anyone know whether there’s been
> > > a study of whether 'Porsche' is pronounced as one or two syllables?
> > > In a totally unrelated context a friend has suggested that
> > > the pronunciations are correlated with whether you own one or not.
> > > Does anyone have any insight on the question, or pointers to
> > > work on the topic?
> > >
>

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