Patio : The world from South Texas
Rudolph C Troike
rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU
Fri Jun 16 09:11:16 UTC 2000
The word _patio_ is of course from Spanish, and in typical Mediterranean
architecture, designates an open space enclosed _within_ the house. Since
American houses are not constructed this way, typically a cement platform
or apron _behind_ the house has come to have this designation.
Very informally, I would guess that in most of the area from San
Antonio southward in Texas, _patio_ is pronounced only with /a/. I grew up
with that as the only pronunciation, and was quite startled when I went to
California in 1954 and discovered that this newly-popular aspect of
American architecture was pronounced with /ae/. My intuitive reaction was
and is that the pronunciation with /ae/ sounds offensive, like so many
other distortions of Spanish borrowings prevalent in California (as
/piydrow/ for _Pedro_ in _San Pedro_). Developers probably spread the
American-adapted architectural form from there, along with the Anglicized
pronunciation. Unlike my good friend Don, I can't bring myself to use the
/ae/ even around others who are using it.
I'm a /deyt@/ user myself, but my mother told me this came up on
"Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire" tonight, and the "correct" answer was
given as /deyt@/, whereas she said she uses /daet@/, much to my surprise.
There's a local software company here in Tucson which calls itself Beta
Data. I've heard the /ae/ so rarely that it must be a declining minority
usage (in the US, not Britain).
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