Pronouncing Philippe's For the past two days, Alex Chadwick has joined us from Philippe's sandwich shop in downtown Los Angeles. But the location has stirred up a debate — is it Phil-leeps or Phil-lee-payz? .
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Pronouncing Philippe's

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Pronouncing Philippe's

Pronouncing Philippe's

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Madeleine Brand from NPR studios in New York.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

And I'm Alex Chadwick in downtown Los Angeles.

And now a conversation that some of our listeners here in California have really been waiting for.

Mr. JOHN BINDER (Managing Partner, Philippe's Restaurant): My name is John Binder. I'm one of the managing partners of Philippe the Original in Los Angeles, California.

CHADWICK: We were still on the air yesterday when DAY TO DAY began getting calls and e-mails complaining that I was mispronouncing the name of your restaurant. So how do you pronounce the name of this place where we're standing now?

Mr. BINDER: The family pronounces it Phil-lee-pee. Now, that's...

CHADWICK: Phil-lee-pee.

Mr. BINDER: ...that's coming from a German heritage and background, not French. If we were in France it might be completely different. I tell people it doesn't really matter how you pronounce it as long as they continue to come.

MONA (Philippe's Employee): Hi.

CHADWICK: Hey. We've come over here to the front counter, where Mona answers the phone when people call in. When they call in, what do you say when you answer the phone, Mona?

MONA: Good morning. Thank you for calling Phil-lee-payz.

CHADWICK: Phil-lee-payz.

MONA: Phil-lee-payz. Uh-huh. Yes. Yes. That's - to me that's the proper way, because that's what I grew up saying it.

CHADWICK: But the manager, he says Phil-lee-pees. He doesn't know.

MONA: No, he don't.

CHADWICK: He's the owner.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MONA: No, I don't know. I don't know. But that's the way he says it.

(Soundbite of restaurant)

CHADWICK: Yes, and the correct pronunciation actually is French dip sandwich.

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