It’s Pronounced “Key-vin Heel-err.” Get it Right!

by Kevin Jon Heller

Second Prize for silliest right-wing comment concerning Sotomayor has to go to Mark Krikorian, who writes for National Review Online:

Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English… and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to…

This may seem like carping, but it’s not. Part of our success in assimilation has been to leave whole areas of culture up to the individual, so that newcomers have whatever cuisine or religion or so on they want, limiting the demand for conformity to a smaller field than most other places would. But one of the areas where conformity is appropriate is how your new countrymen say your name.

Damn foreigners* always demanding that we pronounce their names correctly.  Don’t they realize this is America, where we pronounce everything wrong?  Assimilate, people!

* Sotomayor was, of course, born in that distant and exotic land, the Bronx.

2 Responses

  1. actually, given that you are in Australia and our accents don’t accomodate foreign intonations, I’m sure you are learning to accept ‘Kev‘n Hell-a‘ 😉

  2. Totally OT, but can one of y’all write something about what North Korea’s public statement considering itself no longer bound by the 1953 armistice means legally in terms of international law? Do such statements affect anything at all, or is it just political gaming?

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