Associated Press writer Ben Nuckols' article on the schwa explained a problem I have ("At the spelling bee, the most common sound is the toughest," May 25).

As a former foreign language student and teacher, I became very familiar with the schwa in my French phonetics class.

It didn't occur to me that many people's difficulty with saying or spelling my name has to do with the schwa sound.

They want to spell it with a terminal "a" or pronounce it Mary-leez or Mary-lease.

I write it with an umlaut, the German symbol for saying the terminal "e," but to no avail. Maybe Nuckols' explanation will help some folks understand how an "e" at the end of a word may be pronounced.

Marylisë Rhoads, Broken Arrow


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