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"University of the Air"
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 329
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:19 am    Post subject: "University of the Air" Reply with quote

At the risk of overexposing myself (and my ignorance), I offer a link to an hour-long conversation I had on Wright on Wisconsin Public Radio's "University of the Air." It was broadcast Sunday. The discussion is wide-ranging and not restricted to my book, "Building Taliesin," though I do get into the origins of T1. If you should listen to it, you might ponder how you would respond to the questions. Any suggestions you might have on bolstering weak responses, and any corrections, will be welcome.

http://wpr.org/webcasting/audioarchives_display.cfm?Code=uoa
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 329
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are looking for the University of the Airhead.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16416
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron, I regret not taking advantage of your "University of the Air" link before now; the hour was a delight. Not every journalist is also an adroit public speaker -- but you are. I heard a lot of new things about Wright, in a short period of time !


Having been invited to comment, I was prepared to take notes. Only three or four items caught my attention as to correction or amendment, and I'll mention them with apology:

Writers have noted that, at the "Romeo and Juliet" windmill, the theme is present not only in a balcony, but (perhaps more fundamentally) in the marriage of the two forms, an octagonal tower and a lozenge-shaped buttress.

In discussing Taliesin, the term "school of architecture" might be objected to, on the grounds that Mr Wright specifically (at some point or other) declared that he was no teacher, and that the Taliesin Fellowship was not a school. Further research would uncover where (in the Autobiography perhaps) he said this. In effect, of course, schooling was intrinsic to the whole affair.

In a similar vein, our architect would no doubt object to the term "machine for living" when discussing his houses (though the implications of efficiency and reduction in the Prairie House would seem to suggest its use) -- because this term was one favored by an arch-enemy, the architect known as Le Corbusier.
When Wright spoke of the machine, it was in reference to the tools used to work the materials -- wood, metal, glass -- with which his ideas would be realized.

Someone on this forum informed us, last year, that the family name Cheney was, in this case, pronounced CHEE-nee. Yes, a surprise to me, too . . .


Thanks again for your delightful contributions to our understanding of Wright, and specifically of the events leading up to and through the construction and inhabitation of Taliesin North (Wright's own later appellation, for what I think of as his rural estate).

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8673

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CHEE-nee is also the correct pronunciation of the former Vice President's family name. Mrs. bridles at the common mispronunciation.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16416
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It must be annoying to have your name mispronounced regularly. I can't recall ever hearing the Vice President's name pronounced that way, in the media or by (for instance) his buddy the President . . .

SDR
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 329
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know several Cheneys and none of them pronounces it CHEE-nee. I personally don't care for it because it sounds too much like sheeny, the vulgarism for a Jew. It also sounds illiterate, like someone saying "warsh." I'm not going to use it; sue me.

Ellen Key is pronounced "Kay" in Sweden and I've tried to adapt to that, though I hear myself pronouncing it both ways in the video.

Another odd one is Marion Mahony, which I'm told was pronounced MAH-nee. It almost seems like snobbery to pronounce it so idiosyncratically today, since it is no longer in any common use. You only confuse listeners. If it's not Mahony it's baloney.

On the other hand, you can tell a Wisconsinite by how he or she pronounces Mazomanie, a town on U.S. 14 on the way to Taliesin. If people pronounce it to rhyme with Menominee, they're foreigners. For those in the know, it's may-zo-MAY-nee.

My name is pronounced Mc-CRAY, but lots of people say Mc-CREE. Even Anthony Alofsin misspelled it in an acknowledgement in his last book. You can't be too thin-skinned. But I am still a stickler when it comes to my own works in print.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16416
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And bravo to you, say I. Charity isn't the only thing which begins at home !

On the other hand, I have to sympathize with those who tell us that a person deserves to have his name pronounced as he wishes; my high-school French teacher claimed this for the citizens of that land, and it seems like any man's due, to me. But perhaps I merely like to discover oddities, in life . . .

I admit CHEE-nee grates. MAH-nee was a total surprise. But, what can we say ? Another grating is a name which fell from the lips of that nice lady in the other video; she is heard to say "Ames" when referring to the mid-century furniture designer. Sadly, this mispronunciation of "Eemes" (Eames) is if anything more common now than it was 50 years ago.

SDR
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Laurie Virr



Joined: 25 Jul 2009
Posts: 471

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in the sunburnt country Walter Burley Griffin's wife is known as Marion Lucy MAHnee. To be sure.
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 329
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then there is Wright's sister Maginel. The name is a combination of her grandmother and aunts, Mary, Jane (Jennie), and Ellen (Nell).

But it's not pronounced like magic. It's pronounced like magpie: MAG-a-nel.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8673

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

H. Allen Brooks and Maya Moran both insisted that Marion's name was pronounced MAH-hu-nee, with all three syllables present.

Then there is the French writer, Marcel Proost, like a chicken with a "P", often mispronounced as Prowst, like the late dancer with a "t".

Stephen Coal-BEAR's sister pronounces the family name COL-bert.

Try my ancestor's name (pre-emigration from Telemark): Folgvartsen. Hint, one of the consonents is retroflex. Or from Romsdalen: Grøtta. The "O og slatt" is pronounced by pursing your lips and uttering all possible vowel sounds at once with a diphthong.
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 329
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To continue the downward slide of this discussion: You must have heard the apocryphal story of Claudette Colbert overhearing Jean Harlow refer to her as "that COL-bert woman." Claudette supposedly turned to her and replied, "The name is pronounced col-BEAR. The T is silent, as in Harlow."
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16416
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Mr CcRee -- you are sensitive to the pronunciation of names ! Bravo . . .

My name is Ritchings. Awful hard to mess that up (once you get past that T) -- but you can imagine the kind of mail we received when I was a kid. Aitchings ? I ask you . . . !

SDR
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loo tee



Joined: 01 Dec 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to pronouncing Marion Mahony's name, I hazard to correct Rod Grant, who's right about almost everything, but H. Allen Brooks conspicuously stood up at a symposium on Griffin/Mahony at the University of Illinois, around 1998, and protested against the affected MAHony pronunciation. Brooks said that in talking a lot with Francis Barry Byrne, a primary source about the Oak Park Studio years, Byrne never said "MAHony," but rather, and always, Ma-HONE-y, as any good Midwestern boy would, and should.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16416
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Well, almost from the horse's mouth. But perhaps Mr Byrne, too, was imposing his own taste on the matter ?

I wonder how W B Griffin said it.

As English speakers we call it "Italy" rather than "Italia" (for instance). Maybe this matter of names is similar ? "When in Rome" ? We are all so much the "victims" of the printed page -- which (usually) tells us nothing about pronunciation . . .

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5875
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.pronouncehow.com/english/mahony_pronunciation

Her take?...
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