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Re: OT: Chat/OT: Pronunciation in Helloween's "Dr. Stein"

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 2:47
On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Peter Collier
<petecollier@...> wrote:
> You often hear [sti:n] as the Americanised prnounciation, especially in > names - and I expect the musicians are trying to sound American (or, they > simply learnt English from American sources perhaps). Perhaps the > angliscism [stajn] is limited to BE?
Not at all! Plenty of [stajn]s over here; we certainly don't refer to the discoverer of relativity as ['i:nsti:n] or even ['ajnsti:n] over here, for instance. Though we do, as you noted, vary the vowels confusingly when you stick a W- on the front of his0 name. But while [stajn] is not limited to BE, it may be true that the [sti:n] version is limited to American English. It is in any case a spelling pronunciation: the original names were almost certainly all [stajn] or [Stajn]. German names kept their spelling; Yiddish names were given the German spelling(*); and Anglophonic readers who weren't so familiar with German mispronounced the written form. But this pronunciation adjustment was only haphazardly applied and even more haphazardly accepted by those so addressed, so we have a random mixture now. If you meet someone named "Goldstein", then the odds are in favor of them pronouncing their name with a [sti:n]; but the [stajn] pronunciation, while less likely, is by no means *un*likely. (*) Of course, many such surnames are found among the Jewish population; my Google search on the issue led to one particularly ugly racist screed about how to identify Jews who are trying to "pass", which nearly made me ill before I could hit the Back button. -- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>