Thursday, April 30, 2015

Which Newark? Which Greenwich? What about Lima?




A while ago I warned about using heteronyms in the titles of books, blog posts and websites. Heteronyms are words written identically (or identically except for uppercasing the first letter) but having different pronunciations and meanings.
 
Some place names are heteronyms and require clarification to avoid ambiguity.

 
If you write that someone is from Newark, what state is she from?

By the way, Newark, NJ is pronounced "noo-urk" (or even "nurk") but Newark, DE is "new ark."


Houston in Texas is pronounced "hyoo-stin" but Houston Street in Manhattan is pronounced "house-tin." Houston Street is a major-east-west road and passes through such important places as the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village.

That Village, and Greenwich in both CT and England, are pronounced "grenn-itch."

The Greenwich Savings Bank was based in New York City and operated from 1833 to 1981. It paid for singing commercials with lyrics something like "Call us green-witch, call us grenn-itch, call us anything at all."

Wikipedia has a list of lots of Greenwiches, with multiple pronunciations. There's a Greenwich Pizza chain in the Philippines. The company pronounces itself "Green-itch," which does not sound Italian to me.


Lima (lime-uh) beans may not be grown in Lima (leem-uh), Peru or lime-uh, Ohio.

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Thanks to all the photographers whose work is above. I slept late today and didn't have time to provide all of the photo credits. I may fix this later.

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