Pronouncing US Supreme Court Cases

Some US Supreme Court cases like Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), are easy to pronounce but others are more difficult. What are the correct pronunciations for Baas v. Tingey, 4 U.S. 37 (1800), Compagnie Générale Transatlantique v. Elting, 298 U.S. 217 (1936), Kawaauhau v. Geiger, 523 U.S. 57 (1998), Schuylkill Trust Co. v. Pennsylvania, 302 U.S. 506 (1938), and Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. ___ (2010)? To deal with this challenge, Yale Law School created earlier this year the Pronouncing Dictionary of the Supreme Court of the United States, a resource on how to pronounce foreign and other difficult party names from hundreds of Supreme Court cases. For each case, the dictionary has an Americanized pronunciation based on the Garner Pronunciation Guide from Black’s Law Dictionary as well as a pronunciation using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Audio of each pronunciation is provided as well. Although incomplete, it is a useful tool for those seeking accuracy and authenticity in pronunciation. Explaining the project, a team of Yale Law School students wrote an article published in the summer 2012 issue of the Green Bag. They are considering creating a second database on how to pronounce Justices’ names, a few of which – Roger B. Taney, for example – are counterintuitive. The correct pronunciation is TAW-nee. Those who prefer the spoken word can listen to a three minute NPR audio story (with transcript) about the project.