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Have you been pronouncing Camp Lejeune correctly?


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Submitted: Fri, 06/26/2009 - 1:35pm
Updated: Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:03pm
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Pop quiz: What’s the name of the big Marine Corps base in Onslow County? Camp Lejeune, right?

It seems the folks around a North Carolina Marine Corps base have been mispronouncing its name for years. The last name of the 13th commandant for whom the base is name is pronounced luh-JURN’ and not luh-JUNE’.

Former Marine Patrick Brent is coming to the base Friday to give a class to local reporters on just how to say General John A. Lejeune’s name. Brent, a friend of the Lejeune family in Louisiana, says it is disrespectful to not pronounce the general’s name properly.

24 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Maybe, just maybe, when the LeJeune family came to America, all the REDNECKS and HICKS in Jacksonville, NC had trouble pronoucing it the right way.

    “Whats yur name boh? LejuuRRRn? Well, welcome tuh Amurka….”

  • Marie says:

    I think with all the military cuts that are currently happening money could be better spent than worry about how Camp Lejune is pronouce. But that common sense and we all know that the government doesn’t much of that.

  • Cory leJeune says:

    Howdy folks. First off, I fully understand the respect that is due to the late Lt. General Lejeune, and he deserves that respect for great reason, and certainly has mine.

    Anyway, regarding the name: my last name is leJeune. in my name the l is small and the J is capitalized. in others both the l and j are capitalized and some separate the two words.

    Besides losing General Lejeune, we also recently lost the great Robin Williams. Since then EPIX, CMT, and other channels have been running many of his movies. And this article and the following comments makes me think of Nathan Lane saying “We never know where we are until we hear our last name pronounced” in the Birdcage. lol

    here In Texas, I’m “La June” like the month. my relatives in Quebec and Louisiana pronounce it more French sounding….the more closer to the culture they are, themore French it sounds. anyway, in French the “r” we’re talking about here is almost like the “r” sound at the end of an english word but pronouned by brits, georgians, aussies,(like “buttah” for butter or “cah” for car like in boston, etc) etc: it’s a sort of “uh” sound. there is no actual R sound in the name because R’s in french are said with the back of the throat and non native french speakers have a real rough time of pronouncing it: I can do it, but also grw up with french and english. My dear wife grew up with english and spanish and she can’t, just like I can’t properly say the spanish slightly rolled r sound.

    anyway, the “proper pronunciation” is “Luh Zhurhn.” (the zh is like zsa zsa gabor’s name and this is the closest phonetic spelling i can do). my family call ourselves “luh zhoon” my friends call me “la Joon,” and to be honest i could care less either way. and now for that dastardly r…..

    anyway, folks, it’s “luh zhurhn.” the “r” is like an english r… and also with a lott of non english surnames, there’s been lots of bastardized spellings, reclaimings of ethnicity of frenchness, and back again, bblah blah blah.

    but….it’s “camp luh zhuhn” (and say the h in teh zhuhn part like youre ABOUT to say an r….but dont quite get there.

    ……..anyone else think this is like “how do you say sade?” and on the record cover it said “shar day.” so we americans called her SHARRRR day…..but tot he brits the r was an h…..same thing here.

    and thouh i have great respect for the name AND my own family history as a cajun on my dad’s side and french canadian on my mom’s side… this is a non issue, non story, and the only reason i even wrote a comment is cuz i had a migraine earlier, took a painkiller, so am a tad high right now. lol

    teute a l’heure, mes amis! ouais, je viens d’escrive cette. :) PAIX!

  • Patrick Brent says:

    Good comments

    Like to chat sometime

    PATRICK BRENT

    Hawaii

  • JD says:

    Umm, I come from the Lejeune lineage, the same lineage in fact, through Acadia to Louisiana back to our arrival in North America. There is no R sound in the name going back centuries. so….huh?

  • Guest says:

    There is no such thing as a “former Marine”

  • goose28412 says:

    If we have to pronounce it correctly, does this mean they have to spell it correctly and add the left out “R”.

  • NCNative says:

    Right. There’s no R and no R sound in the pronunciation. I guess that means we have all been saying the word “colonel” incorrectly. It’s obviously supposed to be pronounced as cah-low-nell instead of ker-nuhl.

    NOT.

    The simple fact is that it should be pronounced as the Marine who it is named for pronounced his own name. General Lejeune is who the base is named for, and he pronounced it “luh-zhurn”.

  • danindenver says:

    There is no R in the name and there is no R sound in the pronunciation. It is a classic French sound, famous for the fact that most Americans cannot master it.

    Pronouncing it with an R would be even worse and I wouldn’t be surprised if this got picked up by a French periodical for the express purpose of making us the target of further ridicule.

    BTW, there’s no P sound in corpsman, either.

  • Military Brat says:

    Graduate, I agree. My father is a retired Marine, my brother is a Vet. I love and respect the Marines, but this is just nitpicking. For the majority of my life, people have pronounced my name differently than my parents. My Father is southern and my mother is a Pacific Islander. They do not even pronounce my name the same. Does this mean that everyone who pronounces it differently has been disrepecting me? I need to hold a class! lol The base needs to spend that training on something else.

  • GraduateEnglishMajor says:

    LOL! This is ridiculous. Everyone has an accent and pronounces words differently. There is no one single correct way to pronounce any word or name. Anyone who does not agree should take a course in linguistics.

  • Guest I Recon says:

    Well, I recon this changes things…I recon/I recon/I recon!
    Does this mean we can drive thru the base once again if we pronounce it correctly at the gate? :-)

  • Rick Courtney says:

    Waste of space if you ask me – who cares- say it how you see it- potatoos- potatoes…
    is this the best news going on…
    Thankful for the men and women who serve on the base but this should not be news…

  • You are all wrong says:

    You people are completely wrong. The man pronounced his name with an R sound. It DOES NOT MATTER HOW IT IS SPELLED. It is creole! Quit thinking with your american spelling book!

    I want my name pronounced correctly. Don’t you? It is not nitpicking or some other such nonsense. IT IS HOW HE PRONOUNCED HIS NAME!!! Do you not understand this? Because your uncle or grandfather was an idiot or disrespectful and misprounouced their name doesn’t mean they were correct either.

  • J-ville says:

    First of all, it’s not creole. It’s French. Last time I checked French culture was around quite a bit longer.

    The big man may have prounounced it with an R, and if the family chooses to pronounce it that way then it is certainly their choice. That doesn’t make it correct, any more than the McMahans in my family are correct when we say Mac ma han. The R pronunciation is nowhere near a correct French pronunciation and to be honest makes people sound even more ignorant than the incorrect way it’s been said up until now. People should leave well enough alone.

  • Enabler says:

    There is no R. It is said exactly how it is spelled. Just because John A Lejeune and his family have a cajun speech impediment, doesn’t mean all of us have to sound like jackasses saying the word Lejeune with an R. What’s next? Camp Pendletern, Okinawern, Cherry Pernt? It’s ridiculous. Continue to pronounce it the way it is spelled.

  • NFSBUC says:

    You have been given the information. Check out Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Lejeune
    or hear Laura Lejeune discuss the pronunciation of her name in an interview with Charles Gaddy here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAoDaeszggI&feature=related

    Just say it properly and you will know that you are doing the right thing and those who continue to say “lejoon” just simply don’t know any better. It is a matter of respect and bottom line-everyone deserves to have their name pronounced correctly!

  • PRS Melrose says:

    Finally, someone has explained the truth, and folks do sound more ignorant putting a hard R sound to it. It’s pronounced more with a soft J sound followed by the UN sound.

  • Marine Daughter says:

    First off, I’m quite certain it doesn’t cause you physical harm every time your name is pronounced incorrectly. No matter how you feel when someone mispronounces your name, you come off as pretentious when you make a big deal about it. It’s just a name.

    Secondly, how dare you call any one in the service “idiots” or “disrespectful”. They have fought and continue to fight for the right for you to be as rude as you are. Regardless of their intelligence level, they are American heros, and I doubt they have time to care about the correct pronunciation of anything.

    I am proud to have missed my mother for 10 birthdays, 3 Christmases, and countless other family moments, so that you can sit here and gripe about the importance of the correct/incorrect pronunciation of a name. You are surely welcome.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    How is the public to know theRe is an R in the pRonunciation if theRe is NO R? We know theRe aRe silent letteRs in woRds but ones that aRe not in the woRd at all aRe also silent. Wouldn’t you say? WoRthless news.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    John A. Lejeune (pronounced: Luh-zshern )

    The Camp website does not give the pronunciation, they are not worried about it either. I am there quite a bit everyone says it the same so technically we are not incorrect.

  • Gail says:

    My father and uncles fought in WWII and it is always Camp Lejeune without an “R”. I will always respect the Marine Corp with the name as LeJeune. Beside, there is a mistake in the spelling of “says”, so there is probably a mistake in the placement of R in it.
    Semper Fi!

  • C. J. LeJeune says:

    My last name is LeJeune and yes there is an R ish sound in the pronunciation of the name. I have had to deal with people my whole life who would say, “there is no R in the name”. It is quite simple. There are other words that everyone accepts that has the R sound without an R in the spelling. Does Colonel (pronounced “kernal”) sound familiar. Who stole or forgot to put the R in that word?

  • Language nerd says:

    So…is the Lejeune family agitating to have it pronounced one way or the other? If the family (including the Marine leader, long deceased, after whom the base was named) pronounces the name a particular way, that’s a good reason to pronounce it that way. One thing I do know is that the pronunciation with the “r” is closer to the way it would be pronounced in the original French — “Lejeune” is a name with French roots, much as “Eisenhower” has roots in the German language, or “Giuliani” in Italian. In fact, in good French, the “r” would not actually be voiced; the “-eune” would sound more like the way someone in England would pronounce “earn” (“eahn”). My last name is “Weber,” which my family has always pronounced like “ever” but with a “w” in front, and a “b” sound instead of a “v” sound. But MOST people pronounce my name as though it were “weaver,” although with the “b” instead of “v,” of course. I say that THEY are incorrect, because my family decided to pronounce it the way we do. On the other hand, when it comes to place names (and “Lejeune” is now a place name in Onslow, not only a family name in Louisiana), local custom is hard to argue with. We have “Kerr Avenue” here in town. Local custom leans toward sounding like “car” (like the actress Deborah Kerr) although many people nonetheless do pronounce it to rhyme with “her” (like the 1950s actor John Kerr). My conclusion: in Onslow, pronounce “Lejeune” the way it has been pronounced for years up there; and in Louisiana, within the family circle and the family’s social circle, pronounce it however the family desires.

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