[Milton-L] "Mirton"

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 30 14:13:47 EST 2008

Jameela, it's a common mistake among Koreans. The two English sounds are often confused by my students because the "l" and the "r" are the same letter in Korean. In the Korean language, depending upon the letters that precede or follow, or are absent -- or sometimes just arbitrarily, it seems to me -- the pronunciation of the Korean l/r can be either "l" or "r".
Anyway, the effect of this on my students' English pronunciation led to some misunderstandings initially, such as when a student said that the hardest thing about being a teacher was "collecting" papers.
Then, of course, there are those pesky sounds "p" and "f" -- likewise hard to distinguish and thus leading to embarrassing mistakes in reading aloud such Shakespearean lines as "parting is such sweet sorrow."
Jeffery Hodges

--- On Tue, 12/30/08, Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu> wrote:

From: Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
Subject: [Milton-L] "Mirton"
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 8:17 AM

I was at Starbuck's at the MLA hotel yesterday, and since both my first and
last names are hard for some people to pronounce (juh-MEE-luh + Lares like
cares, if anyone wants to know), I have started giving out my name in
restaurants and coffee lines as "Milton."  With absolutely no
disrespect to anyone Asian, I want to note my interested surprise to see that
the barrista wrote the name down on my cup as "Mirton."  I had known
that the liquids (l, r) are differently pronounced between Asian and Western
languages, but it had not occurred to me that they would be differently heard as

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The U. of So. Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
601 266-6214 ofc
601 266-5757 fax

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