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  1. #1
    smackaman1 is offline Newbie
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    Default Thierry pronounced Theory

    Hi - My husband I are having a son due in January. We really love the name Thierry but we want to pronounce it Theory. Is this wrong? We figure since we are not French we could pronounce it Theory. Thoughts?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    LimitedPerspective is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    [tjɛʁi ɑ̃ʁi] is the IPA for it.
    I think it's more pronounce tea'erry. So no "th" sound.

  3. #3
    LimitedPerspective is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    Oh, sorry, you were asking if it was ok to pronounce it 'theory'. I mean, it's technically wrong. But go for it. Tea'erry sounds cooler than theory in my opinion though. Almost like the French pronunciation of theory.

  4. #4
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    Johnson_F is offline Member
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    I don't know about your home country, but in the UK you can call your offspring virtually anything you wish, and spell the name and pronounce it as you wish.

  5. #5
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    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    My thought is that when your son is six years old, and ten, and 14, and 23, and into adulthood, he will have to spell his name EVERY SINGLE TIME he says it.

    How would you feel if EVERY SINGLE TIME you said your name to get on the wait list at the restaurant, or order something by phone, or applied for a job, or opened a charge account, you had to say "It's Theory, that's T H I E R R Y. Yes, T H I E. Right, I E. Then two Rs. Yeah, you got it." No, it's said 'Theory.' Yeah, I E. Yeah, I'm sure."?

    That doesn't make it wrong. You can do anything you like. But you asked for thoughts, and my thought is that any name it is hard to spell in the first place (which is okay alone) is made almost impossible when the pronunciation needs to be explained.

    Can you image what life is like for Leigh, whose parents decided they'd like to pronounce it Lee-aye? It makes poor Marcia, who has to explain that it's mar-cee-uh every time, seem like she's got it made in the shade in comparison.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Johnson_F's Avatar
    Johnson_F is offline Member
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory


    You have a good point, Barb_D, but (you could see that but coming, I am sure), some people delight in being different. Back in the early 1960s, (before the James Bond actor became famous), I taught 11-year-old boys who would proudly tell me that their name was, "**** = that's S-E-A-N, not S-H-A-U-N", and girls who have happily asserted, "My name is ANDrea, not An-DRAY-er".

    For every child who suffers from a parental whim, there is at least one who revels in it.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    I'm not ready to agree with your ratio. But to each his own. If he really hates it, when he's 18, he can change it, and if it loves it, I'm happy to be wrong.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    I'm with Barb. The name 'Thierry' was not widely used in the UK until the '90s (? - about) when Thierry Henry became influential in the British/French/World football scene. Until then, I'd've been inclined to be more permissive, and say 'call him what you want'. But now he'd be fighting against a very strong current. (I'm reminded of a history teacher I had who insisted on pronouncing everyone's name 'correctly' - very confusing.)

    b

    PS As an indicator of this dominance, go into Wikipedia and type 'Thierry' in the Search box; Thierry Henry comes top by the time you've typed the first four letters, and if you type all seven I imagine you won't recognize any of the other Thierrys!
    Last edited by BobK; 10-Dec-2010 at 15:39. Reason: PS added

  9. #9
    smackaman1 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    All great points everyone! Thanks for your time and advice. So what do you guys think of Theory as a boys name and nickname him Theo? We thought this was very unique. Thoughts?

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Thierry pronounced Theory

    How about the other way round- name him Theo and call him Theory?

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