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Vincent 'van Go' by Himmapaan Vincent 'van Go' by Himmapaan
This drawing is over a year old, but I've just stumbled upon it and wanted to share.

A gentle parody on the American pronunciation of Vincent van Gogh's name.* Hearing it pronounced as 'van Go' usually produces the same effect in me as it does hearing apes being called 'monkeys'.

The drawing might have worked with greater immediacy if I'd drawn a modern van instead of a nineteenth century one, but it wouldn't have been as visually interesting. Aside from the fact that getting me to draw something like a modern vehicle -- or any piece of modern machinery -- is just as effective as... well, as persuading me to say 'van Go'...

The caricature of van Gogh was inspired by this Self Portrait (with bandaged ear) of 1889.

Though, without a horse, I don't expect this van will be goghing anywhere...


*The correct pronunciation is a slightly tricky thing to explain. Briefly, Gogh begins and ends in a guttural 'h'-like sound, much as the Gaelic and German 'ch' does; as in 'loch', or 'Bach' for example.** The 'o' is also closer to 'loch' and not as severe as in 'go'.

**There are further subtleties in the difference between the 'ich-laut' (the palatal fricative), or the 'ach-laut' (velar fricative) of this guttural sound. A detailed explanation. But adopting either will at least come closer to his name.
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:iconliastoria-alestera:
Liastoria-Alestera Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How coincidental...I'm taking a break from studying for my linguistic analysis test and here I am stumbling upon "Van Go"! :D I get what you mean haha, and I really do love this caricature!
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconliastoria-alestera:
Liastoria-Alestera Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Welcome! Keep drawing!:D
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:iconmalkaviandreams:
MalkavianDreams Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaahahaha this is perfect! Excellent work :)
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Writer
Sadly, I too was one of those uncouth Americans who simply didn't know any better. Mea maxima culpa, and I shall never make that mistake again.

And in a touch of irony, a reproduction of Starry Night Over the Rhone happens to be my current laptop skin.
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:icondutchorca:
DutchOrca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this!
Being Dutch myself, it always annoys me when someone pronounces it wrong. I always correct people by saying it should sound like loch when you say van Gogh.

Great likeness and I love the fact that he would deliver sunflowers!
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:iconheavenlyhorsestudios:
That's brilliant - love it!
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:iconffa:
FFA Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
does modern science yet have the cure for a pun?
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I fear not. :D
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:icondana-redde:
dana-redde Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not gonna lie, until the Doctor Who episode with Van Gogh, I had no idea my Yankee mouth was mispronouncing it--and in that episode, they pronounce it pretty crudely as "goff!" It's one of those words/names that is mispronounced so often, most people assume you're wrong if you pronounce it correctly. Not that I buy that as an excuse; I figure in such a global world as ours, we ought to at least make an effort to pronounce things properly, even if it offends our pampered English tongues. English of all languages shouldn't be fussy!

On asimilar note, now that I've studied Russian, it makes my teeth grind to hear people pronounce Khrushchev as "kroosh-shev" (or even "koo-shrev"!)
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:iconcarlotta4th:
Carlotta4th Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011   Traditional Artist
The wagon was a good choice. ...it's pretty much how I envision the man.
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:iconp0ul:
P0UL Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
I love this...itīs great !!!
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:iconteresaclark:
TeresaClark Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Professional General Artist
Oh dear, do the "removals" refer to what I am thinking?

... anyway, thanks you for the explanation because here in Mexico nobody pronounces it like "go". We are far from the Dutch and from pretension too, but we say it right ;)
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:iconechdhu:
echdhu Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Oh,dearier me. And Lawks :)
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:iconwidophoto:
WidoPhoto Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Professional General Artist
Cute!
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:iconvfreie:
VFreie Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Hah, "van Go" at least lends itself to be a really nice pun! :XD:
(Shame moment: I've spent years saying that -gh as a velar plosive, and since the correct sound doesn't even exist in standard Italian pronunciation, nearly all people I know say this poor Dutch name wrong. Funny thing, comparative phonology.)
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed it is; and highly fascinating!
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:iconliberiangurrl:
LiberianGurrl Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm Dutch, and I think it's really funny to hear the G being pronounced wrong ^.^
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:iconelreniagreenleaf:
ElreniaGreenleaf Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Brings to mind the episode of QI where they have the Dutch QI host on the screen saying it correctly...then telling them all not to try to say it themselves. XD
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:icongreenfae:
GreenFae Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
I love the drawing, it's an instant classic :)

I am Dutch, but I really don't mind if someone pronounces Van Gogh, since the guttural sounds are just not in the phonology of so many languages.
After all, my fellow countrymen and women tend to mispronounce words as "crab", now that is something I do worry about :P
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:iconileanahunter:
IleanaHunter Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I am quite a grammar and pronunciation Nazi - but one gets the strangest looks sometimes when one says things correctly!!

That being said, that's what we're naming baby :D (not van Gogh, but Vincent :giggle: )
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, how wonderful! It's a beautiful name. :D
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:iconileanahunter:
IleanaHunter Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Aww, thank you :cuddle:

(also, Pieter Bruegel is someone no one bothers to get right)
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:iconflyingfish98:
flyingfish98 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Beautifully whimsical ... and pointed.


(in the nicest possible way)
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:iconfinnguala:
Finnguala Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha :D The fresh sunflowers made me giggle. Lovely drawing.

I'm Dutch... but I think I'll just slip out of this whole pronouncing-it-right-is-pretentious-discussion quietly...
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:iconyonaka-yamako:
Yonaka-Yamako Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
Whimsey does the body good. ^_^
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:iconwanderinatnight:
wanderinatnight Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
Per usual, it is a grand drawing. I love ol' Vinnie's expression.

I never knew I was pronouncing his name incorrectly. Hrmph.

While on one hand, we Americans tend to be lazy in our speech, there is another factor at play here. My grandfather was Dutch. He refused to teach his children the language on the grounds that they were Americans. He strongly believed that they should speak English, and only English. He also believed in using Anglicized pronunciations for names. I’ve meet a lot of people over the years with similar stories.

The only time I ever heard my grandfather speak in his native tongue was right after he hit his thumb with a hammer while working in the garage. :D
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:iconyakkingyetis:
yakkingyetis Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
haha nice :D
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:giggle: Fresh Sunflowers. ;}
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:iconsir-pumpkinhead:
Sir-Pumpkinhead Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:XD: Good one, Peng ;) You made me laugh with this idea.
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:iconkaseyschindler:
KaseySchindler Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
While I do know the correct pronunciation, I still prefer to pronounce his name wrong when talking to most people in order not to sound too pretentious. Besides, I think it's just something Americans do to make things easier on themselves. Sort of like how so many immigrants dropped parts of their names once they came to America. An example would be the Schindlers that dropped their c's and became Shindlers.
But this is a really clever cartoon. ha
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Plus this is of course meant to be light-hearted, but you knew that. :XD:
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I do understand. :nod: (cf my exchange with ~gryffgirl) I just find it rather a shame...
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:iconnydwyngreendragon:
nydwyngreendragon Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
How does Vincent's Van 'go'? It looks like whatever was pulling has got up and 'went.'
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay for being able to pronounce van Gogh the way it's pronounced. Oh, and cool work!
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
This one made me laugh. Actually a lot of Americans (at least the ones whom I know--lol) do know the correct pronunciation. Why not say it? Well, I am guessing that there is the rather difficult gutteral pronunciation. The gutteral tone is not native to English. Then (again I guess) there is the fear of sounding pretentious since everyone else says "Van Go." In the movie "Manhattan" Diane Keaton pronounces the name correctly and Woody Allen is immediately taken aback and pegs her as a pretentious snob (he falls in love with her later). :)
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:iconkaseyschindler:
KaseySchindler Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, my goodness, you just said pretty much the exact same thing I did. Except before me. Ha ha
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, I suspect the pretentious accusation must be a strong deterrent too. :nod:

Though it's rather sad to think that something which is correct must be regarded as pretentious. After all, it's simply part of everyday language for the Dutch... If anything, in my humblest opinion, viewing the characteristics of another language as being odd or pretentious is in itself an insular, self-centric and potentially pretentious attitude, if we think about it. ;)
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:iconmene:
mene Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011   Traditional Artist
I'm Dutch and I lived for a long time near Nuenen (Van Gogh's village). When I went to Japan everyone said "gohho" (English "g", short "o" twice). I tried teaching them something that sounded like the Dutch pronounciation, it worked a bit C: It became "hohho".
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
How interesting! :D
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
Point taken!
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:icongnuchi:
Gnuchi Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
"Though, without a horse, I don't expect this van will be goghing anywhere..."

Best line ever. The drawing is fantastic! I love all the little details :)
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:iconmagpie-poet:
magpie-poet Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
*looks guilty* Sorry, I'm not good at the pronunciation.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
It's meant to be light-hearted of course, and no way an attack. ;)

If it's of some comfort, the common British pronunciation, rhyming it with 'cough', is equally wrong. :D
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:iconmagpie-poet:
magpie-poet Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
It is actually ;)
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