Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to know whether final -e is pronounced or not?

My answer at

There are two different issues.
1) Names have an extra to distinguish them from lexical words. Or you can say that these English names came from an era where final <e> was pronounced; and that these spellings have not changed.
Low vs. Lowe's home improvement stores
win vs Wynne Godley (Cambridge Economist)
row vs Nick Rowe
crown vs Crowne Plaza
born vs Bourne Shell
berk vs Edmund Burke
brown vs Browne
town vs Towne
west vs Weste
lock vs John Locke
keen vs Keene
wane vs Wayne
took vs John Tooke
wolf vs Wolfe
Other times, you can see a geminated consonant digraph to distinguish from a lexical word. You can also provide another ad hoc explanation that geminated consonants close syllables with historically short vowels.
or vs Orr
star vs Starr
car vs Carr
bar vs Barr
grim vs Grimm
2) Words with a bit of foreignisms.
Japanese: karate
Spanish: coyote, adobe, abalone, guacamole, machete, tamale, apache
French: cliche, resume, café, saute, forte, passe, protege,canape, toupee, touche, Renee, Rene
Italian: provolone
Greek: hyperbole, epitome, acme, sesame, catastrophe, apostrophe, syncope, apocope, Aphrodite, Nike, Penelope, Calliope, Terpsichore, Gethsemane, Persephone, Tempe
Latin: anemone, simile, recipe, acne, agave, extempore
Portuguese: curare 
Some of these French ones may have <é> instead of .
Barre, VT
Boise, ID (vs. Boise, OK)
Duarte, CA
Elbe, WA
Lac Courte, WI
San Jose, CA (vs. San Jose, IL)
Tempe, AZ
Tulare, CA
Yosemite National Park, CA
Penske Truck Rental
Ryan Lochte, Olympic Swimmer

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