#1
Old 10-20-2012, 11:57 AM
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Annoying pronunciation of "Halley"

This story about meteors that are remnants of Comet Halley has a video that includes the annoying pronunciation of the great astronomer's name as "Hailey".

My understanding has always been that the correct pronunciation has the name rhyming with "valley" - though there is apparently some support for the notion that he would have said it as "Hawley".

I wonder why this clearly bogus pronunciation has become so common.
#2
Old 10-20-2012, 12:12 PM
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Because of Bill Haley and the Comets.

Joe
#3
Old 10-20-2012, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrhomer View Post


Oh my freaking God...41 years old and this is the first time I've actually twigged to that!
#4
Old 10-20-2012, 05:15 PM
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Smack my head too.
#5
Old 10-20-2012, 05:16 PM
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I've always pronounced it as Hailey. Sorry if this offends you...
#6
Old 10-20-2012, 05:32 PM
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The man himself pronounced it in the way that rhymed with "valley" so I'm going to stick with that.
#7
Old 10-20-2012, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiendish Astronaut View Post
The man himself pronounced it in the way that rhymed with "valley" so I'm going to stick with that.
You heard him say it, did you?
#8
Old 10-20-2012, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrhomer View Post
Presumably, though, Bill Haley named his band "The Comets" because he thought the heavenly body's name was pronounced like his own. The band may have helped to popularize the "Hailey" pronunciation (as applied to the actual comet), but it can't have been its origin.
#9
Old 10-20-2012, 06:01 PM
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Everybody pronounces it the wrong way.

The right way just makes me think: "Halley, Halley, Halley, get your adverbs here!"
#10
Old 10-22-2012, 02:18 AM
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I can't remember where I read it, but I read somewhere that he pronounced it as Hale-y.
Wikipedia says nobody knows the proper way to either pronounce it or spell it.

hh

Last edited by handsomeharry; 10-22-2012 at 02:20 AM.
#11
Old 10-22-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handsomeharry View Post
I can't remember where I read it, but I read somewhere that he pronounced it as Hale-y.
Wikipedia says nobody knows the proper way to either pronounce it or spell it.

hh
Yeah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmond_Halley
Quote:
There are three pronunciations of the surname Halley. The most common, both in Great Britain and in the United States, is /ˈhli/. This is the personal pronunciation used by most Halleys living in London today. The alternative /ˈheɪli/ is often preferred for the man and the comet by those who grew up with rock and roll singer Bill Haley, who called his backing band his "Comets" after the common pronunciation of Halley's Comet in the United States at the time. Colin Ronan, one of Halley's biographers, preferred /ˈhɔːli/. Contemporary accounts spell his name Hailey, Hayley, Haley, Haly, Halley, Hawley and Hawly, and presumably pronunciations varied similarly.
As for his given name, although the spelling "Edmund" is quite common, "Edmond" is what Halley himself used.
It's always surprising to me just how free and easy people were with the spellings of their own names in the past.
#12
Old 10-22-2012, 02:07 PM
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My father was born in 1921 and assured me that people were pronouncing it "Haley" long before the dawn of rock and roll.
#13
Old 10-22-2012, 02:40 PM
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I learned like "Haily" and everyone I knew pronouced like that when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. Didn't learn it should rhyme with 'valley' until I was an adult.
#14
Old 10-22-2012, 02:42 PM
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Obligatory Monty Python reference.
#15
Old 10-22-2012, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
It's always surprising to me just how free and easy people were with the spellings of their own names in the past.
William Shakespeare Shakspere demands you rescind that insult (if that is his real name)
#16
Old 10-22-2012, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy the Pig View Post
My father was born in 1921 and assured me that people were pronouncing it "Haley" long before the dawn of rock and roll.
Which ties in with the Wiki link I quoted, saying that Bill Haley used the name because that's how people commonly pronounced the comet guy in those days.

If they'd only rename it "Eddie's comet" things would be a lot easier.
#17
Old 10-22-2012, 10:52 PM
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Supposedly, there are three different spellings of his name by the man himself on record, one of which is "Hawley". It's hard to interpret that as rhyming with "daily" or "valley", which leads me to believe that however his name was spelled, it was pronounced "Holly".

To confound matters even more, a photograph of his signature in the Royal Charter Society book appears on this page. It looks more like Halloy.
#18
Old 10-23-2012, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
It looks more like Halloy.
Could easily be "Halley" with the "e" formed less than carefully.
#19
Old 10-23-2012, 10:31 AM
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Yeah, I should have included a winking smiley. I just thought it was funny after the debate about the first part of his name.
#20
Old 10-23-2012, 07:00 PM
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I too have often wondered where the "Hailey" pronunciation came from.

FWIW, "Halley's Waitress" in the Fountains of Wayne song is also pronounced with the long A.
#21
Old 10-23-2012, 07:18 PM
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Everybody knows what's being referred to using the 'valley' or 'daily' type pronunciations. 'Hawley' would confuse people, sounding more like 'holly' often, though not here in Ningland where 'don' and 'dawn' are pronounced the same, so 'hawley' would be pronounced exactly like 'holly'.

Last edited by TriPolar; 10-23-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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