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"Anyone else have "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" flashbacks?

(The beginning of the book has a discussion of that, with that name.)


Hi Frydaze,

That's one of the Heinlein novels I've never got around to reading. I guess I'll have to put it on my list just to see the Taliaferro discussion.

The Taliaferro pronunciation confusion is the subject of another good story told by another friend of mine whose last name is Magagna (pronounced locally as Ma-gag-na; he says the preferred pronunciation is Ma-gone-ya). Back in the early sixties, Magagna was attending Notre Dame in South Bend and went downtown to buy a new pair of shoes. He says that the shoe salesman was very conversational and after about an hour, he (Magagna, that is) had selected a pair of shoes. When they went to the register to finish the transaction, the salesman asked Magagna for his name to put on the receipt. When Magagna gave him his name, the salesman looked at it and asked how to pronounce it. Magagna explained the local pronunciation, but indicated that the family preferred the latter pronunciation, but had given up correcting folks years ago. The salesman commiserated and remarked that he had a similar problem with his name. He suggested that Magagna needed a set of shoe trees for the new shoes. Magagna said he didn't think so. The salesman suggested a bet; he'd write out his name and if Magagna could pronounce it properly, he'd throw in the shoe trees for free, but if Magagna couldn't pronounce it properly, Magagna would buy the shoe trees. Magagna agreed and the salesman wrote out his name: Taliaferro. Magagna looked at it, chuckled, and said, "That's easy, Tallifer." The shoe salesman said it was the first pair of shoe trees he'd lost in twenty years. The Magagna family lawyer for years was my other friend's grandfather. Magagna always ends the story with the comment that he probably owes Taliaferro the price of some shoe trees.

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