A correspondent writes:
I used to pronounce Gogarty‘s (Buck Mulligan) middle name as it’s spelled, til I’d heard “SIN-jin”.
In the James Bond movie, A View to a Kill, Roger Moore introduces himself to the villain (Christopher Walken) as “Somebody SIN-jin Something” and it finally occurred to me that written, it would’ve been “St. John”.
Is this an Irish thing? An English thing? A class thing? Is it exclusive or does it live, however uneasily, with the literal pronunciation?
Excellent questions all. As I responded, “It’s a UK/Irish thing, I think. I have no idea if it’s still a thing, though; every once in a while I discover that some traditional weird pronunciation (like ‘Rafe’ for Ralph) is now ancient history and nobody uses it any more. But yes, I say SINjn Gogarty because that’s how he and his contemporaries said it.” I welcome all input on the current status of this charming old pronunciation.