A Pronouncing Dictionary of the Supreme Court of the United States

Gene Fidell (Yale Law School) and some of his students are putting together an article tentatively titled A Pronouncing Dictionary of the Supreme Court of the United States, which will basically help people know the standard ways of pronouncing Supreme Court case names (such as City of Boerne v. Flores and Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada). They have a list of cases to include, but if you have some suggestions, please post them in the comments. The requirements, of course, are that (1) it’s not obvious what the standard pronunciation is, and (2) the case comes up often enough to make it worth knowing the standard pronunciation.

I should note, of course, that the query isn’t about the right pronunciation in some etymological sense; and even the party’s own pronunciation of his own name may not be relevant in some cases, especially if the case is old enough. Thus, for instance, even if I learned that Schenck of Schenck v. United States (1919) pronounced his name “Skenk,” I’d still pronounce the case “Shenk,” since that seems to be the standard pronunciation among lawyers who know the case.

But often this standard pronunciation isn’t obvious. Thus, in my experience the “Boerne” in City of Boerne v. Flores is pronounced “Bernie” by those knowledgeable in the field, perhaps because someone did take the trouble to figure out that this is how the city name is pronounced by its residents. And it is this standard pronunciation (or, in some cases, perhaps several standard pronunciations, as with “either” and “apricot”) that I’m asking about.

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