Sportscasters and fans alike, when talking about Brett Favre, pronounce his last name as "Far -Ve." But if you pause for a moment to look at the spelling, you will notice it does not seem to match up with the pronunciation. So how should his name be pronounced and is there a correct way?
Understand that when people pronounce Favre as "Far -Ve," it is a linguistic phenomenon called "metathesis." Metathesis occurs when two neighboring sounds in a word switch places.
Other examples of metathesis in English include "comfortable" pronounced as "comfterble," "spaghetti" pronounced as "pasghetti," and "asterisk" pronounced as "asteriks."
Metathesis is a controversial linguistic phenomenon. Some linguists believe metathesis is primarily the result of speech errors and childrens' talk, and is not a regular process. Other linguists believe metathesis can be a regularly occurring process of phonology that affects only a small number of words or forms in a particular language.
If the phenomenon of metathesis is removed from the phonological equation, the name Favre should be pronounced "Fav-Re."