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Los "Angle"...es?

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Okay, I've noticed this for a while, and I thought someone here may have too.

In many movies, most noticably those of the crime genre around the '40s and '50s, I hear characters pronounce Los Angeles with a "hard" G...as in the word angle, (Los Angle-es) as opposed to a soft G as in Angel (the way I hear everyone say it now.).


Was it pronounced that way years ago? Do we say it incorrectly now? Isn't it "The City of Angels" making the soft G correct?


I was listening to an old radio crime drama last night and they pronounced the hard G, too.

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Some Hollywood types, especially early TV host Art Linkletter, said "Angle-ess" was the old Spanish pronunciation.


Like the former Governor and his pronunciation of "Cal-e-for-nyah".


Also, a similar dispute with the word "rode-e-o" (Western cowboy), and "ro-day-o" (Southern California/early Spanish pronunciation).


I prefer the Eastern pronunciation: "Los An-jaa-leze" OR "Los An-jaa-less".


And keep in mind that in many big cities, accents and pronunciations vary from area to area, such as in New York or Nu Yawk.


Edited by: FredCDobbs on Nov 16, 2011 6:43 PM

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The Spanish pronunciation is with a "h" sound: Anheles.


People from Los Angeles say it with a "j" sound: Anjeles.


And no long ees: Anjeleeze.


As a native Angelino, one of the most irritating things I can hear is Los Angeles pronounced with a hard "g". Truly an indication of someone not familiar with the area.

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I have heard a difference in the pronunciation of 'suspect'.


In old movies it is all the time 'su-spect'.

Today it is: "I su-spect him" or "He is a ****-pect".

I notice it most when William Powell speaks it in *The Ex-Mrs. Bradford* (1936) and *The Kennel Murder Case* (1933).


How you say place names can tell where you learned the name. It is 'Duh-troit' or 'Dee-troit' and 'Eye-oh-way' or 'I-owe-ah'.


A man goes to Hawaii. The first thing he does is find an old native and says: "I've always wondered whether your people pronounce it 'Hawaii' or 'Havaii"

The old native says: "Havaii".

"Thank you!"

"You're velcome."


This shows you should never trust someone from Hawaii. Their i's are too close together.

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The one about Los Angeles I've heard often enough in old movies, but interestingly enough it drops out in films made in the 50's and therafter. Perhaps the influence of national television broadcasting had something to do with creating a consensus pronunciation. That has helped to diminish pronunciational variants and soften dialectical differences. It also sounds kind of Okie-ish and Texan. Many of them hit LA in the old days.


Also in old films I've heard "Sih-sih nat-uh" for Cincinatti (I think Jean Harlow did one of those). My favorite is "Hona-LULA"!


Mae West revealed her Brooklyn origins by saying "jernt" for "joint"

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Also a native Angelino here. And yep, I remember as a kid in the '50s many a family member from Indianapolis(sometimes pronouced "In-dan-AP-pol-is", btw ;) ) visiting us back then and calling it "Los ANG-el-ess".


Btw, and speakin' o' city name pronunciations, a few years ago my wife and I retired to the town which was the first territorial capital of Arizona...Prescott. However, our very first lesson after moving here was to learn that the "correct" pronunciation of the town is: "PRES-kit", and not "Pres-SCOTT".

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I've noticed the hard g in older movies, too, and often wondered where on earth it came from.


If you want to know the correct pronounciation, obviously that would be the spanish one, as in Los Ahn-heh-less, with an "h". The pronounciation with the soft g is neither correct nor incorrect, just the anglicized version.


And BTW, Los Angeles means "the angels". "The City of Angels", as you asked about, would translate to "La Ciudad de Angeles".

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You don't pronounce Texas the Mexican way, do you? You don't say "Te-hez", do you?


You don't pronounce Mexico City the Mexican way , do you? You don't say "Meh-e-ko", do you?


You don't say "Warreekkkezz" do you? You say "War-ezz" for Juarez.


You don't call your father "Padre", do you? You call him "Father".


You don't call your boss "Pa-trone", do you? He's your "boss".


We speak English here in the US.

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> Maybe someone can confirm this. I believe the "correct" pronunciation of Boise (Idaho) is not "BOY-zee", but BOYSS-ee", with a hard "S" sound where Boyss rhymes with voice.


Rather like WC Fields' character in *The Bank Dick*, it's really spelled Bois? and pronounced "Bwah-ZAY".



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I'm perfectly aware that we speak English here in the U.S., Fred. But thank you for pointing that out just in case anyone else was in doubt.


But I'm also aware that we have freedom of choice, and that fortunately we live in a wonderfully rich cultural society and nation and that I can pronounce things any way I darn well please without being raked over the coals for it. And for your information, as someone from Texas, I actually pronounce it both ways. (And BTW, it's Te-hahs, not Teh-hez.)


So, to clarify things for you:


Yes, I do say "Meh-hee-co" or Mexico, depending on where I am and who I am speaking to when pronouncing it. But if we are talking about Mexico City, I will often say "el D.F.".


As to "Warreekkkezz", I have no idea what that's suppposd to sound like, but for Juarez, I say "Wha-rehz" like in "what", not "War-ezz".


My boss would be called by his/her given name, and neither "boss" nor "patrón", But again, depending on who I speak with in my own circle, either is acceptable.


No, I don't call my father "Padre" or "Father", I call him Dad, Daddy-o or Pops, and my mother is mom or "mah", a shortened version of "mamá", not "maw". I also call my aunts and uncles "Tío" or "Tía", and one set of grandparents "Amá" and "Apá", while the other set is "Grandmama" and "Granddaddy" . Got a problem with that?


The way I see it, if a place here in the U.S. has a spanish spelling (like Los Angeles, San Antonio, Arizona, Colorado, just to name a few) and I can speak spanish (which I do), I will say the word as it is spelled. If I feel or know I am amongst non-spanish speakers, I will anglicize those words for the benefit of those who may not know what I am talking about, as a courtesy.


Satisfecho? Oh, pardon me....I mean, satisfied?

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Whenever you have a word borrowed from another language, BOTH pronunciations are acceptable.


Do you say, "en-velope" or "on-velope"?


...you say po-tay-to and I say pot-a-to

you say to-may-to and I say to-ma-to....


Let's just lay this one to rest

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Hah! Good one, Fedya. I can't believe people, with all that is going on in this crazy world, are getting hot under the collar about *this* topic.


Ya never know, do ya? Now, where did I leave my kaw-fee? :)


I'm just happy the Acme Progamming Company fixed the headings. Speaking of which, was A&C Meet Captain Kidd a bad movie, or was it a bad movie? Poor A&C, they must have REALLY needed the dough.

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