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    #1

    are they casual or deliberate

    A foreign learner might be surprised to find that a good number of American proper names are clothed in euphony and melody although learning to spell them can be a bit difficult: Tallahassee, Cincinnati,Massachusetts,Mississippi,Tennessee, Andreessen, Condoleezza,and scores of others. I am afraid I don't know whether I have misspelled any of them in my modest attempt. Well, what I would like to know is whether words like these are born out of casualness or not.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

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    #3

    Re: are they casual or deliberate

    As you probably know, the European settlers who came to "the New World" were met by people who'd lived here for thousands of years. Many of the words that even we American struggle with are attempts to write the Native American words in their more familiar alphabets. I think I was probably a teenager before I could spell Massachusetts without wondering whether I'd missed a letter or added one that didn't belong.
    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.

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    #4

    Re: are they casual or deliberate

    I imagine most of those place names are Native American (or attempts by English settlers to spell the names used by Native Americans.

    Condeleeza is a different story. It's derived from an Italian musical term. It's not a common name at all.

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    #5

    Re: are they casual or deliberate

    What do you think of SIVASANKARASURAMANYA IYER THOTTATHTHIL?

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    #6

    Re: are they casual or deliberate

    Who's that, rj. . . or where's that. . . or what's that?

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