In this recording, at 3 min 18 s is found the name "Virginia" and my ear tells me that, for some reason or other, the a of this name is pronounced /e/ and not /ə/; shortly after that, in the word "sorbet" the e is pronounced /ə/, as it should, and I have no problem hearing it. Could someone who trust their ears deny or confirm this fact?

  • MOD NOTE: Answers go in the answer box, not the comment box.
    – tchrist
    Aug 23, 2020 at 21:30
  • Why do you think that somebody wouldn't pronounce the same thing differently? (I myself am not often consistent in the way I pronounce things, changing how I say them from one context to the next.) Aug 23, 2020 at 23:39
  • I’m voting to close this question because it's based on a misunderstanding.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 23, 2020 at 23:56
  • The lyrics are not Virginia, but "I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy". Aug 25, 2020 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


The lyrics say the word you're hearing is not Virginia, it's terjimmy (the last three syllables of Mister Jimmy, not Miss Virginia). So the phoneme should be /i/ or /ɪ/. (Which is closer to /e/ than /ə/ is.)

  • I was so sure of hearing "Virginia" it never occurred to me to check the lyrics.
    – LPH
    Aug 23, 2020 at 21:37
  • When I listened to it after reading your question, I heard Miss Virginia, too. But it didn't quite sound right, so I decided to check the lyrics. Aug 23, 2020 at 21:39

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