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Re: buffer vowel

On Wed, 15 Nov 1995 10:39:53 -0500 John Cowan said:
>la .iVAN. cusku di'e
>> I have no problem saying /D@ 'TeImz/ when I'm speaking English [...]
>Am I missing some subtle joke here?  As an iggerant American, I was always
>taught that "Thames" in that context is /tEmz/, although there are towns
>in the U.S. that are called /TeImz/.

No, it's one of the world's worst jokes.  It's called English spelling.

My familiarity with the river's English name (as with most English words)
comes from reading original English texts (ju'i And: nothing to do with my
being Bulgarian, merely with my not being English), so I was convinced that
it was pronounced with the _th-_ of _thin_ and the _-ames_ of _James_ until
John said it wasn't and I looked it up in a dictionary.  (Yes, I know that
guessing the pronunciation of an English word on the basis of the spelling
is a risky affair, but one can't look up every single word one encounters.)
I haven't often come across the name in conversation (one doesn't discuss
English streams in polite Scottish society), and I have not been impressed
by any mismatch between my ideas and reality.  Now I know better.