I was watching Hitchcock’s Saboteur the other day, and noticed that “Los Angeles” was pronounced two different ways throughout the film:
The main character, when asked where he’s from, always says that he came from “loss ANgle-ese.”
Radio bulletins that discuss the sabotage he’s suspected of committing say it took place in “loss ANNjel-ess.”
Now I realize that Hitchcock was no documentarian, but I’ve heard “Los Angeles” pronounced with a hard G before. I always figured it was an affectation or done for humorous effect, but in this movie it’s clearly neither.
So what’s the straight dope: Was “angle-ese” or “angle-ess” a common alternate pronounciation at one time? You don’t hear it these days – everyone I know uses the soft g sound. Was there a class or regional distinction in who used which pronounciation? Was it arbitrary, with the soft-g use winning out over time?