I wanted to know why the J in San Jacinto is pronounced differently than the J in San Jose, in English. It seems to be very comparable to the discussions on how to pronounce forte or baba ghanouj. Neither of those discussions have been closed. I'm sure I could find other examples.

Can you please explain why you think my question is off-topic? English pronunciation is in the on-topic list of the FAQ. Here's a link to my question: Why is the “J” in San Jacinto pronounced like an English “J” instead of an “H” in Texas?

  • I imagine for the same reason I'm voting to close this one. Frankly, both questions are simply "too localised", and they're not really about "English language" in the first place. Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 17:32
  • seems to be open again.
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 17:32
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers: It's about how to pronounce something in English, like How to pronounce New Orleans. There have been questions like how to pronounce some small town in England. How is this different?
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 17:43
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    @Mitch: Just because there are other trivial questions here doesn't mean I should endorse this one Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


I didn't vote to close it but I will venture a guess...

Asking how to pronounce English words would be on-topic (though likely most would be general reference as you can just consult a dictionary.)

Asking why someone pronounces a proper name or a word from another language... that's less about the English language and lends itself more to speculation than to a definitive answer IMHO.

As to why the others weren't closed... forte may be borrowed from another language but is now firmly adopted into English. Baba ghanouj? Search me :)

  • 3
    That brings up an interesting point: when does a word become an English word? Words like forte and others that are firmly adopted (blunder, croissant, schadenfreude) are clearly English now. Why would proper names like Texas, Florida, Detroit and San Jacinto that came from another language not be?
    – Jon
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 5:57
  • That is an interesting point. I guess in my mind there is a distinction between a proper name and an actual word (like if "detroit" had become a verb or something). But I can see where others may not see it so.
    – Lynn
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:00
  • Lynn, I just accepted your answer. When I originally posted the question, I was trying to get a moderator to answer so that I could understand the rules of the site. I'm brand new here. However, the answer was almost immediately reopened, so it may have just been a simple mistake.
    – Jon
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 4:50

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