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Can you spell that for me, please...?


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#1 TonyKaye

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 02:41

One of the great things about TNF is that it brings together enthusiasts from so many nations. English is the common language, so those who have another mother-tongue have to make the best of it. And they do so well that I'm ashamed of my ignorance of other languages.

But it's not just the peculiarities of the written language, it's also the difficulty of pronunciation. I was reminded of this as I read some 1930's race reports. I suppose everyone knows that the English upper class has a tendency to hyphenate their names. So 'George Cholmondeley-Tapper' comes as no surprise, but did you know that the pronunciation sometimes bears little resemblance to the spelling. In this case George pronounced the 'Cholmondeley' part as 'Chumly'. Really!!!!

One of his frequent competitor's was Buddy Featherstonhaugh.
So he pronounced this Feather-stone-huff, right? Wrong! I need confirmation on this, but I believe he called himself 'Fanshaw'. If I'm right, the bulk of his name was just a waste of ink.

My plea is directed to all of you who speak other languages and not just to Felix who can speak ALL other languages. Among the von Brauchitsch's, Cornaggia-Medici's and Bjornstad's are there tricky names that we English speakers ought to be made aware of. Or is it merely a quirk of the English upper class?

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#2 Gil Bouffard

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 05:50

Tony, How are you..

Here in America, someone will ask you name (usually over the phone), and after you have told the person your name, they will ask. "Can you spell it?"

My answer is. "Yes I can."

I will relate a story from when I was in the military and stationed in Virginia. The Army requires personnel to wear a name tape or when in dress uniform, a plastic name badge on the left breast pocket.

Through out my life I have had to deal with mispronounciations of my surname.

The acutual pronounciation is: Boof-fhard and as you all know the spelling is Bouffard.

I have been called "Beauferd, Bowfard, Bewferd and Smith.

Actually, Smith was a name I used.

I was paying my electric bill at the Virginia Electric Power Company, (VEPCO). The woman at the desk looked at me and I could tell she was going to do a job on my name as she said "Mister...."

I said, "Smith." She looked quizically at my name tag. To help her along I said. "Oh, all those letters are silent." She laughed.

When I was finished, she said. "Have a nice day, Mister Smith." The guy standing in line behind me looked at my name tag in wonder.


Mister Smith

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 07:14

The quirky pronunication of names is one of those English eccentricities that I and other outsiders find so endearing. Yes, Cholmondeley is usually pronounced ‘Chumley’ and Featherstonhaugh ‘Fanshaw’, but I believe there are some branches of the latter family who call themselves ‘Festonhay’. The name Kerr can be ‘Ker’, ‘Care’ or ‘Car”, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bunch of Kayes who call themselves ‘Key’.
One of my favourites, though not English, is the pre-war Czecholsovakian driver Adolf Szcyzycy - I’ve no idea how to say his surname!




#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 07:53

As somebody who frequently gets called Bloor, Boer, Bore, Book, Boar and various others, not to mention the fact that people don't know whether to rhyme it with Door or Poor, I say you can call me what you like - as long as you don't call me late for breakfast!

#5 William Dale Jr

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 11:52

With a last name like Dale, you would expect people to pronounce or spell that right every time. However, in my home town, there is another well-known family with the surname Dahl, despite the fact that I bear no resemblance to any member of that family, apart from having black hair. But I would be a rich boy if I had a dollar for each time someone had got it wrong....

I have no knowledge of surnames of English aristocracy, but there are a couple of names that I know of whose spelling has little resemblance to it's pronounciation.

Firstly, there's the Geoghegan family - pronounced Gagen or Gegan, not sure which. Ian, or 'Pete' as he was better known (why?) and his brother Leo raced touring cars and open wheelers in Australia in the 60's and 70's, while Michael (Pete's son?) raced in Formula Ford here in 1989.

My own personal favourite is another Australian FF driver from the 1988 season. I'm still not entirely sure how his name is spelt as Channel Seven's computers were unable to cope with a name so long. Here's how I think it's spelt: Alexander Jaekevleviek. He caused a few headaches for the Seven network commentary that year :) To the best of my knowledge, it's pronounced Ya-kov-la-vic. He was also known to his friends, for obvious reasons, as 'Alex Alphabet':)

#6 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 13:21

I am sure Barry are surrounded by people (and cities) with strange names...
And the Llewellin's are the easy ones.....:)

But Tom Pryce was rather pronouncable at least to us in Scandinavia....where some names are rather difficult too I admit, at least for some foreigners....:)


Rainer

#7 Felix Muelas

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 14:02

Originally posted by TonyKaye
...not just to Felix who can speak ALL other languages...


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wish that was true!

;)

Felix


#8 Gil Bouffard

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 16:50

I think it is even funnier to see that people still spell "Sterling," Moss and Juan "Manual," Fangio. Years ago I worked at Ford Aerospace.I would get letters and documents addressed to "Ford Errorspace," or "Ford Arrowspace."

Pronounciation being what it is. The most glaring faux pas I ever heard was the Armed Forces Television, Europe sportscaster who told the viewers. " In auto racing news, Dick Petty won at Darlington, today."

I just cringed and waited for the lightning to strike.

Gil

#9 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 19:17

Well I do actually live just 2 miles away from
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgolgerychwyrndrobwll-llantisiliogogogoch
- AND I can say it despite being a Cockney East Ender.



#10 TonyKaye

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 19:20

Here at TNF we are all experts on motor racing. OK? So we know all the simple things about racing that everyone else knows and a whole lot of obscure things that almost nobody knows. Of course we know the name of every driver who has won a Grand Prix.

Right then, pronounce the name of the winner of the very first grand prix of all, the 1906 French Grand Prix? Be honest, are you absolutely sure about that?

Most English-speakers (me included) have difficulty pronouncing foreign names, so we tend to anglicize them a little to suit our lazy tongues. A couple from the past that I liked were Jack O'Malley and Bent Axlerod. There must be more.

#11 Gil Bouffard

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 20:12

Ther is the old joke about Darrel Waltrip thinking that CART (now Jaguar F-1 boss) Bobby Rahal was a good ol boy. Kept calling him Bobby Ray Hall.

Gil

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 20:53

There was also Stephen Johnson, of course.
I always call the 1906 French GP winner 'Ziss', but I'm sure that's wrong....
I used to call the 1930s Mercedes ace Car-ratchy-ola but then thought it might have been Carra-chola. I now think Ca-ratchala would have been closer?

#13 fines

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 21:48

Wonderful thread, Tony! BTW, gives me an opportunity to say my nickname's pronounced "FEE-nez", and not like the plural of "fine"! :D

Thankfully, the Germans tend to pronounce names as they are pronounced by those who go by them, except for Italian, French, Czech and Polish cities (I presume this is because most of them were at one time or another annexed by German troops :().

I am not sure about Ferencz Szisz other than knowing that the French called him "François", so he might not often have heard his name pronounced correctly. I would go for "Tchitch" though.

It's probably fair to assume that most of you can pronounce "Schumacher", isn't it? Well, that's actually something, since the "ch" part has been a traditional stumbling stone for English speakers so far. Thanks to Michael, it's history now! BTW, for those who speak Spanish it's the same as the "J" in "Járama" or the "G" in "Gerona".

"Caracciola" is actually an Italian name, pronounced "Ca-ra(tsch)-schola" in German - hence the "Carratsch" nick. As for an English paraphrase - uh, that's difficult! Maybe "Car-radge-jola"... ? :eek:

What about "Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen"? "Hine-rish Yo-a-chim fon Morgan" Take care of the "ch"! Now say that twenty times and tomorrow we'll try "Karl-Günther Bechem", "Fritz Rieß" and "Norbert Przybilla"! :lol:

#14 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 22:19

There you are, I told you. See the mis-spelling of my name on the British Circuits thread.

BTW, Michael, why 'FINES'?

#15 fines

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Posted 25 January 2001 - 22:33

Barry, I'm afraid I don't know either! It's an old nickname of mine and most of my pals call me that way. Since it sounds alright and unusual in German I have cultivated it to a degree. I have a suspicion that it originates from a vacation in Spain, but have never heard a Spanish word like that, only "fin"! :lol:

Felix? Jarama?

#16 jarama

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 01:43

fines,

your nickname in spanish is the plural for the word "fin", meaning this one "the end".



#17 dbw

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 02:44

how about "sinjun" for saint john?..i do rather enjoy the tappers tho...[we must not forget sybil,marquess of cholmondeley,the lord's trouble and strife.]wait!! come to think of it....i have reference to lord and lady cholmondeley,villa caldana,cannes;[t-35,chassis#4394] and to t.p. cholmondley-tapper,u.k.[t37a,no chassis # given]and his ladyfriend,eileen ellison.....apparently two rather sporting couples on opposite sides of the channel...[and i suspect the extra "e" affects the pronunciation a bunch...]
btw.. the lord won the la turbie hillclimb, march 15,1925 in the t35..and i believe george and eileen raced in the 30's

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 07:48

Originally posted by Barry Boor not to mention the fact that people don't know whether to rhyme it with Door or Poor[/B]


This one is a bit subtle... at least for me!

#19 Barry Boor

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 08:01

Well it's like this; up here in the Northern Hemi when we say DOOR the 'oo' part does not sound the same as the 'oo' part in POOR.

Does it down under?

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 08:11

What's this 'down under' business?

Here, in the clean environment of this part of the world, 'door' and 'poor' are consistently pronounced the same.

Poor sounds like 'pore', door the same, but with a 'd'...

How are we supposed to pronounce 'Connew' anyway?

#21 Darren Galpin

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 08:22

Down in the south-west of England, Door and Poor are pronounced with the same "oor" sound. Must be that Lundun Cockney Accent mate!

#22 Barry Lake

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 15:47

I don't remember where I read it (many years ago) but I do remember it was someone I believed, who said that Ferenc Szisz' surname was pronounced "Sheesh".
Probably it was the same article that said he was called Ferenc in his homeland and Francois when he lived in France - perhaps simply to make it easier for the French.
He has been Sheesh to me for many years, perhaps decades.

As for door and poor (and Boor?) I was never aware of any difference in their pronunciation in any country. Why would there be?

#23 Criceto

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 16:25

The one that winds me up - if only because he seems he might be the kind of fellow who could wallop you if you got it wrong to his face - is the rallycross star Martin Schanche.

The majority call seems to be "Shanker", but I've heard at least four variations involving hard and soft "c", variations on pronouncing the "e" and so on...

#24 David McKinney

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 19:19

I can't think of any of the 412 :) English regional dialects in which door and poor would not rhyme. Nor in Australia or New Zealand. Or in most parts of North America?

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 19:48

...and let's face it, David, if anyone were going to alter the words, it would have to be the Kiwis!

I may not be much of a linguist, but I can't really see Szisz being pronounced 'Tchitch'... not with the s before the z. But it's all a black art, that stuff...

There must be other names that could bear some clearing up. Chiron, for instance, is easy enough, Varzi and Nuvolari, but what of the other trickier ones?

Leberquier, Prieur, Guyot and Veuillet may be a little obscure, they may be simple, they may be difficult, it would be nice to know...

#26 Felix Muelas

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 20:28

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Well it's like this; up here in the Northern Hemi when we say DOOR the 'oo' part does not sound the same as the 'oo' part in POOR.


Barry, a question that might not be at all relevant, but I am certainly interested!
I might be wrong and Darren will be mad at me, but I have always thought that the OO in POOR sounds a bit like the OO in shoot (so, like an long U in Spanish) whilst the OO in door is just a loooong O. Reading your name the first time I though that it might be pronounced like DOOR but now I´m not sure anymore! :)

How do you pronounce your own name?

:)
Felix


#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 21:03

Fair go, Felix, he's been in Wales for long enough to have had his pronunciation distorted by now...

#28 fines

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 21:47

Funny that those from the "English speaking countries" have difficulties here - or are you winding us up??? 'Door' and 'poor' sound very different to me, and I would believe Barry Boor rhymes with 'poor' because I don't think he's a bore...

#29 fines

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 21:52

At this rate you are going to tell us that 'Barry Lake' rhymes with that Japanese rice wine 'sake' and 'Ray Bell' with 'rebel'!???

#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 22:00

Nahh... it isn't like that, Bell with hell... simple stuff here. Like us...

Of course, I don't know what names someone might use in other spheres...

#31 fines

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 22:10

Barry Glitter?

#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 22:26

Post wiped....

#33 fines

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 22:34

Now is that 'Poole' as in 'poole position' or as in 'cool'?

#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 22:42

Another post wiped.

#35 Barry Boor

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 23:27

Gawd! What HAVE we started here?

Fines, I have to say, I have no great preference for the pronunciation of my name. My Mum always said it rhymes with POOR, not DOOR; personally I don't really mind. I get more miffed if people mis-spell it. And if anyone thinks those two words sound the same, don't ever attempt to pass an English Oral exam!

Ray, it's pronounced CON-YOU. Which led to a famous and much despised (by us) comment from the large touring car driver named Gerry Marshall, writing in a magazine back in 197-something which went along the lines of...
"and as for that new F1 team, I'm not sure if they are trying to con you or con me.....etc etc etc"
We never liked him after that!



#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2001 - 23:40

Lump of lard he was... how did he ever go so far?

I thought that was the correct pronunciation. Still struggling with the 'rhymes with poor not door' bit...

In Australia I think I would pass more oral exams than most...

#37 Wolf

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 00:46

Now, speaking of funny names: mine is Tomislav Petricevic. Sorry, I didn't put those weird thingies on 'c's (you wouldn't see them correctly anyway).;) BTW, the first 'c' is 'tch' like in ketchup while the other 'c' is softer, like speaking 'tj' together. And YOU complain?;)

#38 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 02:44

When Loretta and I go to register on arrival at a dance competition they ask, "Names please". and we say, "Lake and Poole".
When they look up, with a quizzical expression, expecting us to burst out laughing; we say, with straight faces, "We used to be Pond and Puddle until the big rains came".

#39 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 03:03

This reminds me of a time at the Gold Coast Champ Car race (they still call it "Indy" up there!) a few years ago.

Some circuit commentators and journalists were arguing about how to pronounce the name of the Japanese driver.
His name escapes me at the moment, he was from the family that started Sony, I believe.

They all had their own variation of Australian pronunciation of the name - as in TV Winter Olympics reporters' "Nuh-KAR-no" for "Na ka no" or Nakano.

I have driven and co-driven for Japanese rally teams and worked for a sports car racing team in Japan and have a good friend who is an interpreter/translator in Japan. I have a reasonable basic understanding of the langauge and its pronunciation, so told them where they were going wrong. In typical style they looked at me as if to say, "What would you know?", ignored what I had to say, and continued their argument.

So I said, "He's just over there in the pits. Why don't you go and ask him how he pronounces his name?"

They didn't, and continued to mispronounce his name in a terribly, typical Ocker way.

I don't understand why people don't simply ask (in the cae of the living) how people pronounce their names. Surely the way the person himself or herself pronounces it is the correct way?


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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 03:07

Sorry, yet another...

#41 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 03:21

Paul Harrington (ex-one of the British circuits, then editor of Australian Auto Action) invented that name for me.
I think I was writing for a rival publication and he desperately wanted me to write for his paper, widely known as "fish-wrappers fortnightly", so invented the name to protect the guilty (or desperately poor).

I used it again in other publications after that, but not often, I don't think.

#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 03:26

And to think, the only nom-de-plume I ever used was Lee Falk, which came out when I did some ghost writing...

#43 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 03:33

Speaking of asking people how THEY pronounce their name/town/company reminds me of a couple of stories.

Once we were in Hiroshima with Mazda. The senior Mazda man based there gave a talk to the Oz "muttering rotters" and kept pronouncing it "Hirro sheema", as the Americans do.
I figured he was trying to be polite, or clever, in pronouncing it the way he thought the vistors would like to hear it.
Later I asked him was the correct pronunciation "Hi (as in hit) rosh'ma", with equal emphasis on all three syllables, which is how I understand it should be in Japanese.
He said, "You can say it either way."
So I asked how he and other people who lived there pronounced it in normal conversation. He answered, "We say it both ways."
I still think he was trying to be polite. I can't imagine any Japanese, speaking to another Japanese, calling it Hirro-sheema.

On another occasion, a senior Audi official visited Australia for the release of a new (to Australia) model Audi.
I told him I had read that Audi was a Latin word adapted for the name of the car and should thus correctly be pronounced, "Ordy".
He said that was correct.
A little surprised, I asked, "So is that the way people at the company in Germany pronounce the name?"
He said, "No; we are German. We say Owdy."
"Then," I asked, "What is the correct pronunciation?"
He said "Either is correct."

In both cases, I tried, I really did...

#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 03:40

Do you recall the motoring writer who always referred to Toyota as 'toy-or-ta'?

He had learned Japanese in the thirties because he knew there was going to be a need for that skill when the nips got brazen, subsequently spent a number of years translating for them on the Burma Railway.

He also had his own way of saying 'Soo-bar-roo'

#45 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 04:16

No. That wasn't the one whose daughter's boyfriend shot him and buried him in his backyard, was it?

He'd had a narrow escape, I thought, from the same fate a few years earlier. Riding in a big, black 1930s Mercedes-Benz open car in a procession of cars from the D-B museum through downtown Stuttgart, he stood up, held one finger over his top lip, raised the other hand in outstretched salute and yelled loudly, "Vich vay to Varsaw?!"

If you speak of someone else, please enlighten me.

#46 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 04:22

No, never heard that story before... who was that?

More to the point, who was the boyfriend?

I speak of Lance Lowe.

#47 Barry Lake

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Posted 28 January 2001 - 08:47

Actually the boyfriend stole his victim's distinctive looking Porsche and drove it to the Gold Coast, where he paraded around in it. I am not sure if he expressed surprise when the police grabbed him.

But the real reason I came back this thread was to ask if anyone knows how Alex Blignaut pronounced his name.

#48 david_martin

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Posted 28 January 2001 - 09:19

Originally posted by Barry Lake
Some circuit commentators and journalists were arguing about how to pronounce the name of the Japanese driver.
His name escapes me at the moment, he was from the family that started Sony, I believe.


I guess you mean Hiro Matsushita, heir to the Matsushita Electric family fortune - the Parent company of Panasonic. Actually the CEO and major shareholder in Swift these days.

I think the correct pronunciation would be "mat-sooshta" with just a hint of the i between the h and ta at the end.

#49 david_martin

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Posted 28 January 2001 - 09:27

Originally posted by Ray Bell
No, never heard that story before... who was that?


(David?) Higgins, who used to write in the Herald-Sun and for one of the syndicated local newpaper groups in Melbourne (perhaps the Leader Group), if I recall correctly. He and his wife lived in Forest Hill, not too far from where I grew up. His son, Paul, presents the weather on the ABC news in Victoria and southern NSW.

#50 david_martin

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Posted 28 January 2001 - 10:53

Originally posted by Ray Bell
And to think, the only nom-de-plume I ever used was Lee Falk, which came out when I did some ghost writing...


As is ghost who walks, man who cannot die, oath of the skull.........

I though Lee Falk was dead?