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Off topic: Pronunciation of "Poulenc"
מפרסם התגובה: Jennifer Forbes

Richard Benham  Identity Verified
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Check this out: <http://faculty.washington.edu/dillon/PhonResources/unidec.html> Apr 5, 2007

Hello there everyone. The issue of how to pronounce the composer Poulenc’s name seems to be well and truly settled, but not how to write down the pronunciation in phonetics (IPA).

Well here is my attempt:
[pulɛ̃k]

Now I’ll just preview this page to see if it comes out right! It didn’t! What a bummer! Especially since I just tried it on another forum and it worked fine! Actually, when I first tried it on the other forum, I had the tilde before the epsilon,
... See more
Hello there everyone. The issue of how to pronounce the composer Poulenc’s name seems to be well and truly settled, but not how to write down the pronunciation in phonetics (IPA).

Well here is my attempt:
[pulɛ̃k]

Now I’ll just preview this page to see if it comes out right! It didn’t! What a bummer! Especially since I just tried it on another forum and it worked fine! Actually, when I first tried it on the other forum, I had the tilde before the epsilon, but it came out on the l; so I swapped the tilde and epsilon around and it came out fine. So it looks as though I’ll have to swap them back again to make it work here....

[pul̃ɛk]

That’s better! But it is really no consolation: it shows that you can’t rely on HTML to be portable.

For interest, the first Poulenc was written:
[pulɛ̃k]

...and the second was written:
[pul̃ɛk]

Go figure.
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Richard Benham  Identity Verified
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Oops! Apr 5, 2007

That’s great! The system has unescaped my escapes! I give up!

 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
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Valiant efforts Apr 5, 2007

Richard Benham wrote:

That’s great! The system has unescaped my escapes! I give up!


Thanks for your valiant efforts, Richard. I can't cope with phonetic symbols and don't find them satisfactory anyway, preferring to say things like "rhymes with cinq", and so on.
By the way, since this thread was posted sales of Poulenc's CDs have shot through the roof worldwide.
Kind regards,
Jenny.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
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In the US Feb 23

While I was in the US I kept hearing "poo-lenk", which was quite disorienting.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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@Lincoln Feb 23

Lincoln Hui wrote:
While I was in the US I kept hearing "poo-lenk", which was quite disorienting.


I suppose this may be partly due to the fact that speakers of languages that do not have an [ɛ̃] sound may find it difficult to say it without adding a [ŋ] to it.

It may also be due to the fact that the Frenchman chose to continue to spell his name in a way that would necessarily confuse English-speakers, so it's really his own fault. It would seem that giving one's children otherwise normal-sounding names that are spelled in weird and wonderful ways is nothing new.


 

Tom in London
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Also Feb 23

Lincoln Hui wrote:

While I was in the US I kept hearing "poo-lenk", which was quite disorienting.


It's also the wrong pronunciation.

Equally annoying is the use of "disorienting" instead of "disorientating" but I realise there's nothing I can do to prevent it.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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@Tom Feb 23

Tom in London wrote:
Equally annoying is the use of "disorienting" instead of "disorientating"...


Butterfield's Fowler (4th edition) says:

disorient, disorientate. Both verbs have a long history (disorient first recorded in 1655, disorientate in 1704) and both are still in use (corresponding to the noun disorientation). In most contexts disorient, being shorter, is the better form, and it is about three times as frequent in the OEC data. Curiously, to judge by the same data, British English shows a marked preference for disorientate. As a result, disorient may be viewed by some BrE speakers as a pernicious Americanism; conversely, many AmE editors detest the longer form.

and

orient, orientate (verbs). In the perverse way in which such things can happen, these two verbs have the same origin (French orienter ‘to place facing the east’) but came into competition with one another in the second half of the 20c. The key difference between them is that orient is more frequent in a ratio of 7:1 in all meanings across all varieties of English, including British (in which the ratio drops to 2:1). In AmE orientate is almost unheard of, occurring in a mere 3 per cent of cases. The OED notes ‘Orientate is commonly regarded as an incorrect usage in American English’, and even if it is not regarded as incorrect it will be viewed as anomalous, or as a pointless longer variant of orient.

The shorter form emerged in the 18c. (first cited in Chambers Cyclopaedia of 1728) and the longer one, in the same sense (as in the French original), in the 19c. (1848), both with the meaning ‘to face or cause to face east’ specifically in relation to the east-west alignment of churches.

In the face of the evidence, what is one to do? If one uses orientate, one maintains a largely BrE form which is out of step with international English usage. On the other hand, for many it will be the preferred and natural form.


[Edited at 2021-02-23 17:16 GMT]


 

Tom in London
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Out of step? Feb 23

Samuel Murray wrote (quoting from somebody else):

If one uses orientate, one maintains a largely BrE form which is out of step with international English usage.


What an absurd statement: if you use British English you are out of step with international English usage. Not only wrong, but presumptuous too.

[Edited at 2021-02-23 19:27 GMT]


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Oops ... Feb 23



[Edited at 2021-02-23 20:05 GMT]


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
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3 deceased colleagues here Feb 24

Please Lincoln, if you really want to insist in this resuscitation of useless forums, at least refrain from choosing the ones with so many estimated deceased colleagues, or I will be forced to leave forums. Too sad for me, especially in this terrible period.

Please...

[Edited at 2021-02-25 08:23 GMT]


writeaway
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
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Bad taste Feb 24

reopening the post of a deceased colleague for childish reasons...

Angie Garbarino
expressisverbis
writeaway
Tom in London
 

Tom in London
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RIP Jenny Feb 25

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

reopening the post of a deceased colleague for childish reasons...


If for nothing else, the re-opening of this thread has been a reminder of the delightful Jenny R.I.P. with whom I corresponded privately and who I recommended to one of the agencies I work with.


 

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
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Winston Churchill Feb 26

Giles Watson wrote:

Winston Churchill agreed with the French on that one:

"Everybody has a right to pronounce foreign names as he chooses" (in The Observer, 5 August 1951).


Nice quote
I don't know if I agree with it, but does the fact that he's no longer among us mean I should not even comment?
Rest in peace everyone.
C


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
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Not the point... Feb 26

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:

I don't know if I agree with it, but does the fact that he's no longer among us mean I should not even comment?
Rest in peace everyone.
C



Would you reopen an ancient thread (14 years old) to reply to a question posted by a deceased person?


Angie Garbarino
 

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
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The point Feb 27

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:

I don't know if I agree with it, but does the fact that he's no longer among us mean I should not even comment?
Rest in peace everyone.
C



Would you reopen an ancient thread (14 years old) to reply to a question posted by a deceased person?


I probably wouldn't, maybe I would. Depends on the situation. It's not objectionable per se, IMO. If we can quote a dead person, surely we can equally well offer an answer to a question a dead person openly posted.


 
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