Main It Is Pronounced Tro PAY Discussion

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10:18:01 AM Mar 1st 2017
Split into subpages?

Should this be split into subpages for different media?
09:49:32 AM Sep 15th 2016
"This practice likely originated (at least as far as we know) in the Middle Ages among upper class families who had common surnames and didn't want to be associated with their lowly upbringing. The Featherstone-Haughs for example were named for a poor farming village, so in order to make themselves sound posher, they changed the pronunciation of the name to 'Fanshaw'."

^^^^^^ I am not at ALL sure that the statement is true.

I mean, I know the story about the Featherstonehaughs definitely isn't true because they weren't named for a poor farming village. The village and its castle—castle Featherstone—were named for THEM, and the family had owned the castle (and I'm pretty sure, the village) from (at the latest) the 1100s, participating in some of the bloodiest wars in the English fight against Scotland.

This state of affairs continued until the mid 1600s when they were on the losing side of the English civil war, and the commonwealth took the castle and estates away and gave them to someone else, as a punishment for the Featherstonehaughs having supported King Charles until the end.

By the 1700s, though, the government felt bad and so King George II gave the main Featherstonehaugh of the time (Matthew), the whole county of Featherstonehaugh as a baronetcy.

I don't think that's a 'lowly upbringing', and most very old upper-class families in England have similarly wild pasts.

Anyway, the change in pronunciation is very simple to explain. The upper-class and nobles of England spoke in an accent that required they move their lips as little as humanly possible, because opening your mouth was sort of common. Try to pronounce it as spelled—'featherstonehaugh' (haugh is pronounced 'hawh', for reference)—with your best upper-class accent, making sure not to open your mouth or move your lips very much.

Hear how that sounds?

Now imagine that you have been saying this name since you were born, and it's such a long name that you've gotten lazier and lazier about pronouncing it, and just hurry through it as quickly as possible (still not opening your mouth or moving your lips very much).

It will PROBABLY come out in a kind of sneeze, like 'fedznhaw', which—once you relax it a bit—falls quite naturally into 'fenshaw'.

I'm not at all sure if it would be frowned up to just cut out that entire comment, because I almost never make edits to this site, otherwise would just do it. What would be good to do, here?
07:51:06 PM Apr 25th 2016
edited by escamilla
To reopen the anonymous comment: Many of the "examples" on this page constitute either Natter or non-examples (e.g., examples of random incorrect, atypical, or regoinal pronunciations). Would anyone like to help re-categorize under other tropes, where possible? I'm going to clean the natter and start deleting non-examples, for now.
09:51:43 AM Mar 9th 2014
The 'Kwanzaa' entry is slightly problematic; the official British pronunciation IS that way (due to differences in importation of foreign language short /a/; Americans deem it closer to "father"'s first vowel, while Britons deem it closer to "trap"'s vowel. It seem Britons are more accurate according to actual speakers of the languages, whereas Americans are more accurate in their own eyes and find the British pronunciation grating). How could we change this?
03:36:56 AM May 1st 2011
What is "RAHW-thuh" supposed to refer to?
11:23:00 AM May 15th 2012
Rather. Everyone I know pronounces it RAH-ther.
03:47:03 PM Apr 12th 2011
Why is it officially "It is" and not "It's." You rarely hear people say that instead of "It's" anymore.
09:43:40 AM Nov 13th 2012
Except in a sentence where a fussy person would be pointedly insisting, which is exactly the tone you'd expect for this trope name.
08:59:05 AM Sep 14th 2010
edited by
This needs some cleanup... many of the examples are about correct pronunciations, just pronounced wrong by the most people.
02:20:24 PM Sep 14th 2010
It's always been my understanding that those counted. Most of these seem valid in that light, so I tried redoing the page description so they're more explicitly counted.

Incidentally, anyone with an idea of how this trope works in foreign countries, your opinion is welcome here. I have absolutely no idea how or if this trope is used outside of US/British English.
04:57:39 AM Sep 15th 2010
Hmm. I've been wondering too. In Polish for example, it never happens with native words, as the spelling is perfectly phonetic (compared to, say, English or French). The hypercorrection happens largely with foreign words - like "Don Kichot" is often pronounced with the "sh" instead of the "ch" sound as in "loch" - even though the word has been already adjusted to Polish pronunciation. This also happens for irony, like with the "Tar-ZHAY" pronunciation of "Target" - "leginsy" (leggings) is often pronounced with a soft g for laughs.
05:23:42 AM Sep 1st 2010
edited by Medinoc
St. Tropez is not even pronounced Tro-PAY in all areas of France: The Z is not always silent.

Worse, it's often abbreviated into St. Trop', which gives it the same pronunciation as "Trope"!
07:51:04 PM Jan 8th 2011
It should be pronounced "Tro-Pay" unless the following word in the sentence begins with a vowel, it which case one pronounces the z in order to prevent confusion and not have it sound like one long word. At least this is what I've been learning in French class for 15 years! Example: Je vais a St Tropez (Tro-PAY) pour mes vacances de Noel. vs. St Tropez (Tro-pezz)est si belle pendant ce temps de l'annee!
12:21:36 AM Jan 9th 2011
that grammatic rule doesn't apply to names, the pronunciation of a name never changes.
11:03:03 AM Mar 23rd 2010
edited by
[[Anonymous]]: I agree with [[Mercy]]'s comment in the archived discussion. This trope is specifically about altered pronunciation to make something common sound exotic, but a lot of examples (especially in the Real Life section) are merely about dialectic pronunciation — which is an INVERSION of this trope, and we could be adding examples until kingdom come. Vote for deletion of examples that don't fit.
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