See the headline?  That’s August in Philadelphia.  It’s the way you’ll hear weather described on the radio and by people in the grocery store.  Around here, folks pronounce “humid” not with an aspirated H at the beginning, but as if there’s no H at all.

This is also true of the way my middle son’s name is pronounced.  Chris and I didn’t think of this before choosing the name, but it became apparent shortly after bringing him home from the hospital.  One of my friends called to check on us. “So, how is you doing?”  she said.  I had three reactions.

1.  Shock at her poor grammar

2.  Amazement that I had never noticed before

3.  Realization that she was asking how HUGH was doing. 

The poor kid was called Ewe-eee at nursery school, where the teachers nicknamed everybody.  When he got older and started playing organized sports, it was confusing to hear coaches yelling “You, pass it!”  Belatedly, we realized that names with hard consonents were best for cheering from the sidelines.  MAX.  CHUCK.  BRETT.  DIRK.  All are good for screaming during sporting events.  HUGH just sort of drifts away into thin air.

Mind you, I still love the name and don’t regret choosing it.  Except when some Fluffian, as they say in South Philly, calls him EWE.



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