----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Odegard" <markodegard@...>

>Quirky British realizations of place and proper names
>are are source of transpondential humor. The classic
>is how the Marquess of Cholmondeley realizes "Cholmondeley"
>('chumly'). The realization of 'Featherstonehaugh' as
>'fanshaw' is another one.
I've never heard 'Featherstonehaugh' pronounced; is that fans-haw or fan-shaw?

>There is a rather consistent rule in English that
>the way a person pronounces their name is always
>correct. The same rule applies to how local residents
>pronounce a place name.
Yup.  Living in a college town I like to yell at people from elsewhere who pronounce "Ooltewah" with /lt/ in it, instead of /ɾ/ !!  Nevermind the people who like to read my last name Rivera as though it were Riviera
Egad.  My last name is Rivera.  I have never looked at it that way before.  That's so weird...

>Getting back to my thesis,  I can say that the 'by the book-ness'
>of American English reflects to some degree my own English.
>If a word has a letter, that letter should be pronounced. Words
>like 'knot' are slightly disturbing, while words such as 'balm',
>'calm' are quite disturbing to one's linguistic maps.
I know how that is.  Generally the /l/ doesn't make it into my pronunciation of "calm", but it does at least color the vowel.  It is pronounced in structures like "calming"  or "balmy", which come out as cal-ming and bal-my. 
What I find very odd are the kind of accents that ... I don't know the word for it.  What non-rhotic is to the R sound, this is like that but with L instead.  
>As I have thought about this in the last 24 hours, I think I might
>add that anyone with a full college education is greatly influenced
>by the written form of his language.  For languages where the writing
>system and the spoken norm are at odds with each other, some
>sort of 'stratum develops
Yup.  The words that are never heard until read out of books tend to get reassigned sounds in non-phonemic alphabets like ours!  Spelling pronunciations. 
The example closest to mind is the metric prefix giga- (billion).  Older use, such as my dictionaries or the 1985 movie Back to the Future [1.21 gigawatts!] gives it the soft g as in gigantic (with which it is apparently cognate).  But in modern use [my 3.2 gigabyte HD] it has hard g as in giggle.