39 Comments

  1. Ian I think you must make allowances for how real Americans will recognize that Garand was a Foreigner and thus have their own views on how his name really should be pronounced: If he wants to move here he should learn the local language!

    (In case out is not obvious: I am joking! and I also pronounce Garand like he requested.)

  2. Allegedly, JCG said elsewhere, “Not only did I not receive a penny in royalites, but they can’t say my name right.” I wonder what they did to him in England.

    • Would history be bit different, then we might have corruption of Pedersen (He also designed self-loading rifle, which ultimately lost to Garand design) and dispute how to spell it properly.

  3. I’ve always pronounced it GAR-and, or more like GAR-end. “GAIR-end” sounds more like “gerund” with a hard rather than a soft initial “g” to me.

    ger·und
    ˈjerənd/
    noun
    Grammar
    noun: gerund; plural noun: gerunds

    a form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun, in English ending in -ing, e.g., asking in do you mind my asking you?.

    Webster’s Revised Standard Dictionary

    cheers

    eon

      • I don’t know but once his design was bought by the Army Ordnance guys, they called the tune. And that included shoving the inventor out of the building!

      • He designed the rifle as an employee of Springfield Armory, not as an independent inventor, therefore all his work product belonged to Springfield, i.e. the US government; nominally a non-profit organization. Hopefully he got a raise, at least. He certainly had job security and, I would guess, eventually a decent pension.

  4. This whole thing seem to me superfluous/ pointless subject, but since I live in Canada and have great respect for French Canadians and their(partly vanished, but still) unique culture I say my view. I pronounce his name as GARA’N. Reason being is that in French they do not pronounce -d and -t sounds at the end of word. Example may be Renault which is pronounced RENO’, or Carnot (thermodynamic scientist) is CARNO’.

    In general, English language has huge burden (although it is not alone in that sense) in that is writes one thing and says something completely different (ask foreigners!). Kids have to cope with it in school (which is not an easy matter) and further down in life, as we see in this example. I have my theory about that, but do not want to fill space with it. This is gun page, not a linguistic corner.

    • Re: English being spelled one way and pronounced another, there are several reasons for this, but the major one is that pronunciation underwent a major shift in the 14th to 16th centuries after spelling had become more or less standardised. Look up “Great Vowel Shift”. The following video explains it very well (as well as being very entertaining).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu8O6zyc9_4

      In the late 18th century spelling of some words was changed in the US for political reasons, rendering the American forms of spelling even less consistent as some of the new “politically correct” forms caught on while others did not. (Long story short – a political activist by the name of Webster sought to change spelling in the US to try to differentiate the US more from Britain. He published a dictionary promoting this which was widely used in the US as it was in many cases the only one available).

      • Video is good, funny too. The continental English (to me they are part of Europe) are lot more flexible and adaptable (respective to way of thinking, which is essence of any language); they were connected with Europe’s history thru centuries. They are easy to find accord with.

        On defence of common English I’d say that it has, in spite of more exceptions than stated rules, very simple grammar. Most Slavic languages are lot more complex, the Czech/ Slovak being probably most difficult to comprehend by foreigners. In spite of this there are Americans and Canadians who speak it fluently. There is no issue of spelling in those languages since every sound is pronounced same as written.

        • “On defence of common English I’d say that it has, in spite of more exceptions than stated rules, very simple grammar.”
          Yet in 19th century L.L.Zamenhof created Esperanto
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto
          while it is not as popular today as Zamenhof hoped, it is most common constructed language

      • Also, fair to mention is that whoever decides to immigrate, must accept the fact, that his name will not be pronounced correctly by locals. As matter of fact I observe and have fun of impossible distortions of foreign names. But, that the penalty to pay – not as painful as it seems. So, if Mr. Garand’s name had been ‘adjusted’, let is be. No big deal.

        • “whoever decides to immigrate, must accept the fact, that his name will not be pronounced correctly by locals.”
          Ok, but corruption of spelling can be observed not only in that case, but also in case of foreign weapons – does all U.S. collectors spell von Mannlicher properly?
          At least in area of commercial weapons, this problem might be somewhat mitigated by usage of trade name rather than designer – see for example Luger and Parabellum Pistole (named derived from Si vis pacem, para bellum, around 1900 Latin was commonly taught in Europe), nonetheless IIRC in one of forgotten weapons discussions one user reported corrupted form encountered: parabola pistol
          I am wondering if Herr Vorgrimler has similar problem when working in Spain?

          • Germans are not naturally equipped with ability to mimic foreign languages properly. This is reason why British call them ‘dze Germans’. But then, you run across a case who is nearly perfect in Spanish or French with little sign of foreign touch. I have tremendous respect for people like that.

      • ” Webster sought to change spelling in the US to try to differentiate the US more from Britain. He published a dictionary promoting this which was widely used in the US”
        So basically make something which might be done simple in more complicated way that it needs to be just for being different.
        I was aware of various phonetic alphabets, but when I find that:
        http://www.militaryspot.com/military-alphabet/
        I was surprised that table has 3rd column – so apparently English pronunciation is so wild that it NATO must tempered it, at least for that 26 words

    • When I was in elementary school we were afflicted with something called “phonics”. The idea was to teach us children how to pronounce English words by looking at them and pronouncing them based on spelling.

      I personally was afflicted with a crack-brained harridan of a second grade teacher who was constantly screaming “SOUND IT OUT! SOUND IT OUT!” at all of us. If you made the mistake of pronouncing something the way the dictionary said, rather than how it “looked”, you were likely to be slapped, followed by her screaming “DON’T YOU SASS ME!” Yes, we had dictionaries; apparently, we were not supposed to actually use them.

      And yes, said shrieking harpy was pretty much out of her mind, being 62 years old, overenthusiastic and someone who should never have been teaching elementary school to begin with. She might have done well at remedial education for adults- in the state prison system.

      Today, we still have “educators” and private entrepreneurs in the U.S. who push something called “Hooked on Phonics” for grades K-6. Yes, it’s the same old “phonics” wrapped up in a pretty new- and expensive- package. Mostly, it’s a fast-buck operation designed to separate parents dissatisfied with public education from their money.

      NB; This scam only works because our public school system is one of the worst in the world, in spite of being one of the most expensive in terms of per-student spending. Thank you, National Education Association- for nothing.

      It still doesn’t change the fact that “phonics” in English is as near to a useless teaching method as you are ever likely to find.

      Hopefully, it will one day be buried right next to high-school pep rallies.

      cheers

      eon

      • Home room was on my schedule yet I never attended once before graduating. Never was there ever a home room period, which explains why that happened! And even more weird, nobody ever thanked the genuinely good teachers for their efforts, save for my family (I brought them boxes of homemade cookies at the end of each school year and got thanks for appreciation). I hope someone can fix this problem. Proper grammar and pronunciation (to say nothing of actual history) are hard to find with the increasingly “social elitist” education system which values bribery and good looks above all else!

      • I happen to be a parent and our kids went thru basic and high-school, just like others. Their mother, immigrant as myself, spoke to them with her “English”, so did I. Therefore, their mother tongue was – English. In school their teachers led them to read using “reading strategies” (quote from report). Frankly, I was often alternately mortified and saddened as to what crazy adventure we thru ourselves into.

        But, so what, they acquired higher education and look after themselves; our goal was accomplished. The English is widely accepted as a universal means of communication, all across EU by now; that should say something. Perfect? No way. I recall hearing at lest 2 locals (in Canada) who opined that English was “stupid”. Why did they say that? Probably because they felt limitation of this otherwise widely accepted linguistic tool.

    • Try “CANT-yus”; much closer to the original. English isn’t the only language that has “shifted” over the last couple of millennia.

      cheers

      eon

  5. Your mention of “errand” makes me think that single ‘r’ is why most Americans pronounce it wrong. If it were spelled “Garrand”, I think it would be more natural to rhyme it with “errand”.

  6. I may be a idiot, but for some reason I’ve always pronounced the man “GAIR-end” and the rifle “GUH-rand”. I really don’t know why…

  7. my dad pronounced it the other way..because when a marine gunnery sergeant instructs a seabee on how to be a rifleman, it’s a poor idea to correct his pronunciation. they beat on you because you’re not a marine..why give them an excuse to make it worse?

  8. My vote for the most egregious mispronunciation/misspelling has to do with the Toho kaiju eiga (giant monster) movies of the Fifties and Sixties.

    Most were directed by Toho’s single most important director after Kurosawa, Honda Ishiro. Somehow, the credits on most American releases listed him as Inoshiro Honda.

    Of course, the name order (given name/family name) is reversed from the Japanese custom (family name/given name), but how it the H did they get “Inoshiro” out of “Ishiro”?

    It was only in the Nineties (not long before Honda’s death) that they began listing his given name, correctly, as “Ishiro”. And by that time, a lot of people here thought that “Ishiro Honda” was “Inoshiro Honda’s” son. (!)

    I think somebody needed to be smacked upside the head, at the very least.

    cheers

    eon

    • Family name in front of personal is not just Japanese custom. It is common in many European languages and it creates often funny situations when introduced to North Americans or when passing thru customs. Suddenly they all seem to “know” you.

  9. Well since it took over twenty years and an unknown amount of SU government funds (springfield amory), WHO CARES.

  10. Ian,
    I see a Long-Sleeved T-Shirt here, complete with pithy Bon Mot cut line.
    Ready for serious Garand owners only come the 2018 Holiday Season.
    (How’s that for a multi-linguistic pitch?)
    Both Dad and Mom, in 1942, and me in 1969 accessed the standard work-around and just called it “an M1.”
    Still got mine, near a half century later…

  11. Clarification,
    Our friend Lee thought he was naming his new car after the airplane (as well he should have.) But by the time it arrived in 1964 1/2, it was named after a horse. A wild horse. Logo and all. And that worked just as well, perhaps better anyway.
    Point being, best to understand the difference between the person behind it all vs the thing itself. I wouldn’t want to be named after say, a urinal cake, even if I’d invented it.
    If it’s an obsessive issue with you, learn to live with it. (Or as our other friend, Ann Landers, used to say, “Seek professional help.
    Or just call it an M1.)
    [It was the Mustang.]

  12. My Old Man had great respect for the M1 rifle. As a Marine he qualified “Expert” and said that was worth an additional $10.00 per month in pay. He told me he was issued an M1 Carbine on the transport enroute to the island of Guam where he was subsequently wounded in combat.
    He taught me to handle the rifle when I was a youngster.
    The rifle was lost or stolen after he passed away in 2003. Its whereabouts remain a mystery.
    He always called it a gaRAND, and that’s good enough for me.

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