The pronunciation of a :
In the years before the Civil War the plain people converted the a of care into the a of car in bear , dare , hair , and where , into a short i in the verb can , into a short e in catch , and into a long e in care , scarce and chair, thus producing bar , dar , har , whar , kin , ketch , keer , skeerce and cheer.Rachel and Ben, do you remember “Bounce, ketch?” (And the Galápagos?)
H. L. Mencken, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 4th ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1936).
Also from The American Language
The American v. the Englishman : “Are you a speed-cop?” : B.V.D. : English American English : “[N]o faculty so weak as the English faculty” : On professor : Playing policy : “There are words enough already” : The -thon , dancing and walking : The verb to contact
[“Bounce, ketch” rang a distant bell for Rachel and Ben. It and the Galápagos are from an old VHS tape for kids.]