Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 15:06:34 EST


Subject: Re: Euphonizing (?) proper names

Speaking of Ms. Penix and the Fuchs families, one of my favorite ball-players

was the Yankee (et al.) utility infielder Rusty Kuntz. Pronounced, of course,

"Kyoonts" (what was his alternative?). Speaking of athletes, though, I've al-

ways wondered why there seem to be so many UNmotivated, NON-taboo-avoiding

failures of correspondence between pronunciation and orthography. Here are

some examples of this phenomenon:

Brett Favre (Green Bay Packer quarterback): pronounced "Farv"

Haywood Jeffires (Houston Oiler receiver): pronounced "Jeffries"

Isiah Thomas (Detroit Piston point guard): pronounced the way

Isaiah is, [ayZEYuh]

Malivai Washington (U. S. tennis player): pronounced "MaliVEEya"

Unlike the motivated cases (where the closest non-taboo pronunciation is

evidently the goal), these generally involve metathesis. But why?

(By the way, re Edith Juan: I assume it is indeed "eat-a-thwan", the

eatee being the waterfowl of the thame name. Not quite as neat as Mike

Hunt, perhaps, but if anyone wants to collect these, there are some long lists

available at the site,since one of Bart Simpson's many con-

tributions to the cultural milieu of Springfield is the covertly obscene

phone message left with the proprietor of Moe's Tavern.)