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-stein pronunciation
Posted: 09 November 2019 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Both CNN and the BBC pronounce Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein to rhyme with teen, clearly because the bearers do and did. In Britain everyone rhymes Klein, Wittgenstein, Brian Epstein, etc with fine. I once heard Leonard Bernstein insisting on stine and pointing out that no one pronounced Einstein eensteen. Weinstein is Einstein with a W at the front and the syllables must rhyme if you think about it. Hardly anyone in Britain or America has ever studied German so I’m wondering how the British do it germanically but not the Americans and how Weinstein, etc happened when Einstein has been a household name for about a century.

I’d be interested to know how American philosophers say Wittgenstein and how others would, same with the German rock band Rammstein who have a fairly large following there.

[ Edited: 10 November 2019 12:02 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 10 November 2019 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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And I’ve always been curious how it could have ever seemed logical to anyone to pronounce Weinstein as they do? Either Winestine or Weensteen would have internal logic, but Winesteen? Does not compute.

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Posted: 10 November 2019 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That’s exactly what I said, but thanks for repeating it.

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Posted: 10 November 2019 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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There’s no consistent American pronunciation on this. -stein can be either /-stine/ or /-steen/ depending on how the bearer of the name pronounces it. The journalistic (and polite) rule is to pronounce it the way the person wants it.

As to why these particular men (and presumably their families) pronounce their names with the nontraditional /-steen/, I have no evidence. I speculate that they or one of their forebears assumed that /-steen/ sounded less Jewish and pronouncing their name that way would make assimilation easier.

Of course, there is this classic case.

[ Edited: 10 November 2019 05:35 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 10 November 2019 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’d be interested to know how American philosophers say Wittgenstein

-stine

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Posted: 11 November 2019 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It’s the same with anything. Why do we pronounce Borgnine differently for Tova versus Ernest? Or Mancini differently for Andrea versus Henry? Or Ralph differently for Fiennes versus normal people? You can’t argue with someone about how their name is pronounced.

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Posted: 11 November 2019 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Dave Wilton - 10 November 2019 05:31 AM

I speculate that they or one of their forebears assumed that /-steen/ sounded less Jewish and pronouncing their name that way would make assimilation easier.

I have no evidence either, but I don’t see why a different pronunciation would make an obviously foreign and probably Jewish surname look less Jewish. EI has many pronunciations in English, but I suspect that an anglophone (at least in North America) with no particular linguistic training, confronted with an unfamiliar EI, would be more likely than not to pronounce it as EE. Anyone with a name that often gets mispronounced will know there comes a point where you simply get tired of correcting people.

I met a Canadian who was touring Europe when I was working in Leipzig. He kept pronouncing the first syllable as EE, apparently not noticing that I was saying it differently.

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Posted: 01 December 2019 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The late British film critic Barry Norman always pronounced Schwarzenegger as Arnold would have in Austria - shvar to rhyme with car. He was clearly aware of how English speakers said it. I recommend everyone does the same to amuse. Also, Arnold is ar-nolt in German so we could all go to Dorf with this. Arnie would have eschewed the German in America for obvious reasons and maybe the same was true of -stein names ie anglicisation and assimilation even when absurd like Weinstein.

[ Edited: 01 December 2019 09:04 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 01 December 2019 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The journalistic (and polite) rule is to pronounce it the way the person wants it.

But of course it never is:
Pulitzer is constantly mispronounced as PEW-lit-zer ; it should be pronounced, PULL-it-sir.

Stanley Kubrick: His last name is not pronounced, CUE-brick; it’s pronounced KOO-brik

Carnegie, is not pronounced, as most people do, CAR-nee-gie, stressing the first syllable; it is properly pronounced car-NAY-gie, stressing the second syllable.

Vladimir Nabokov, also constantly mispronounced, his first name is pronounced, Vladeemer -- rhyming with “redeemer”—not Vladimir rhyming with Faddimere (a place in England, I think); as instructed by the author himself.

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Posted: 02 December 2019 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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For me it’s CAR-nuh-ghee, as in the age-old question “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” (Practice).  A character in a Marx Brothers movie might pop their monocle over it, but that’s the standard U.S. pronunciation AFAIK.

For Vladimir Nabokov, I’ve heard that most of the controversy is over his last name, which he stressed the second syllable of.

But history is full of people who pronounce their name a certain way until the public gets a hold of it and changes it.  Baseball manager Leo Durocher always pronounced his last name the French way in his home town in Massachusetts, until he started travelling as a ballplayer.  Then it became anglicized.  Such is life.

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Posted: 02 December 2019 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Another example is Dick Cheney. The family pronunciation was / CHEE-nee /, until he gave up and just accepted that everyone pronounced it / CHAIN-nee /.

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Posted: 02 December 2019 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Also Laurence Olivier (originally anglicized as “oh-LIV-ee-ə(r)") and the great jazz drummer Paul Motian (an Armenian name which he pronounced MOTE-ee-ən until giving up and accepting the universal “motion” version).

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Posted: 02 December 2019 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Also Laurence Olivier (originally anglicized as “oh-LIV-ee-ə(r)") ...

I can’t wait for Ralph Fiennes to just give in already…

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Posted: 02 December 2019 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Another example is Dick Cheney. The family pronunciation was / CHEE-nee /, until he gave up and just accepted that everyone pronounced it / CHAIN-nee /.

That’s analogous (but in reverse to) the place name Milton Keynes in England. I can just remember it when it was a tiny village with a sub-post-office that had climbing roses round the door, and was pronounced ‘Milton Cains’; the Keynes part deriving from the medieval lords of the manor, the de Cahaignes family.  But when in the 1960s it was decided to give that name to a “New City") covering about 22,000 acres and several other villages, thousands of people had to talk about it who didn’t know the village and had never heard the name pronounced, and naturally assumed it sounded the same as the only well-known Keynes - the economist John Maynard Keynes, whose family happened to pronounce their name as ‘Keens’. The Buckinghamshire locals continued pronouncing it as they always had for a while, but in the end the old pronunciation was simply swamped.

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Posted: 02 December 2019 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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jtab4994 - 02 December 2019 11:13 AM

Also Laurence Olivier (originally anglicized as “oh-LIV-ee-ə(r)") ...

I can’t wait for Ralph Fiennes to just give in already...

We had a vigorous debate on this awhile back.

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/4892/P15/

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Posted: 02 December 2019 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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And then the infamous Anthony Weiner (WEE-ner). He liked his family’s pronunciation saying, “Only I get to make the wiener jokes.”

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