As you may have learned if you read about Bob's life, Bob grew up in Detroit. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with American Geography, this is in the great Midwestern part of the country (remember, Northwestern University, which has alwasy been in Chicago, used to be in America's Northwest?).
Rick Marin, writing in the New York Times (31 January 1999, Sunday Style Section article on celebrity dentists), put a Detroiter in her place, describing her when she spoke as flattening her vowels like rivets on an assembly line. Now this gets at both the industrial roots of Detroit and the midwestern accent of its natives.
Bob pronounces his name the way the British would pronounce Bab, or the way an Australian would pronounce Barb. But it sounds like an o to Bob. When Bob lived in Britain (1984-1987 for those with a scorecard), he was often introduced with "this is Bab with an o", thus mocking his pronunciation by pronouncing his name the way they'd pronounce an a, and letting the introducee know that Bob didn't have a weird name, just a weird pronunciation.
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