Well, what the hell. While we’re kicking around the NPR ombudsman, let’s at least give him this: There’s a reason he got that way. Apparently dealing with NPR listeners can make a man cray-zay.
Yep, there’s a new hilarious ombudsman’s column up. (Dude, I am so bookmarking this.) What does it do to a man’s soul to deal with nitpickers of this sort day after day? You be the judge:
Andrew D. Smith, of Hartford, Conn., thinks that the use of the term “interpreter” is wrong:
“On Tuesday’s report (9/23) concerning the statements made by Jacques Chirac at the United Nations, the NPR reporter twice said that he was ‘speaking through an interpreter.’ Wasn’t Jacques Chirac simply speaking? And weren’t we listening through an interpreter?
“The need for an interpreter was ours, as English language listeners. Somehow the phrase used by the reporter implied that Mr. Chirac lacked the ability to be understood and that an interpreter was his need, not ours.”
Mr. Smith is right. President Chirac speaks to us through a ‘translator,’ not an ‘interpreter.'”
Glad we got that cleared up. But there’s more:
I listen to NPR because it is the only place to get the quality and amount of news I want, that is why the speaking style of many of your newsreaders and reporters bothers me.
Many of them say “aw” instead of “o,” as “ecawnomy” for “economy.”
Some readers say “sojers” for “soldiers.”
Some say “industrul” for “industrial”
Some say “jer” for “juror.”
Most say “tearist” for “terrorist.”
Some say “tore” for “tour.”
Some say “Bawb” for “Bob.”
Others say “tode” for “told.”
Some say “veekle” for “vehicle.’
Some say “busted” when they mean “broken:” “…boarding up busted windows…”
But not one letter about “NEEK-a-raw-hwa,” with the full-espanol pronunciation? I guess we don’t hear much news out of there anymore.
alex said on November 6, 2003 at 11:07 pm
Sounds like Dvorkin’s willing to indulge every last nitpicking nut case�regardless of their political stripe. Wait ’til somebody says Terry Gross should try to adapt more of an announcer voice�”you know, like Ted Baxter on the ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show,'” and she gets a testy memo telling her to shape up or ship out. I can see how this’ll all make for some entertaining ‘blog fodder in the days to come.
Much better, though, if loyal NPR listeners would start writing en masse about this irritating anal polyp of an ombudsman who oughtta get cut from the payroll. Like now.
Paul said on November 7, 2003 at 2:51 am
I don’t care to follow through to the link–I am too hep for that; I leave link-reading to the little people–because I know that you are making that up. “Some say ‘Bawb’ for ‘Bob,'” indeed.
howard said on November 7, 2003 at 5:55 am
Dvorkin should devote much more space to entertaining us with columns like this one and forget about catering to the conservative critics of “liberal bias” who will never, ever be convinced that NRR is as “fair and balanced”� as their beloved FOXNews.
By the way, my favorite public radio pronunciations from Nicaragua came from the BBC reporter who frequently filed his reports from maw-NAW-gwa, nick-are-AG-ewe-ah
Colleen said on November 7, 2003 at 8:11 am
Welcome to my world, that of public radio nitpickers. My coworkers and I are convinced that there’s a whole subset of listeners who just sit there by the phone, waiting for us to mispronounce something, so they can get on the horn and tell us how smart they are.
Nance said on November 7, 2003 at 10:10 am
As Paul points out, though, since when is saying “ecawnomy” a mispronounciation?
I also love that hairsplitting between “interpreter” and “translator” — “Somehow the phrase used by the reporter implied that Mr. Chirac lacked the ability to be understood and that an interpreter was his need, not ours.” Oh, kill me now.
John Ritter said on November 7, 2003 at 10:24 am
This is what most of Americans think of NPR, a bunch of pretentious, (please forgive me for using this expression) panty wearing, hand wringing, (again, pardon the expression) ivy towered acedemians who look down on not only Joe Sixpack and Susie Nascar, but also the great unwashed middle class.
ashley said on November 7, 2003 at 1:12 pm
Kind of reminds me of Les Nessman’s pronunciation of “Chi Chi Rodriguez”.
So, are they also going to write in and complain about the accent of the “Car Talk” guys?
At least they aren’t as politically correct as a certain large Catholic University in the largest city in Illinois, which has shed the term “ombudsman” for “ombudsperson”. Feh.
alex said on November 7, 2003 at 3:25 pm
Well, if you couldn’t pony up the pennies for the latest fund drive like a good many of us underemployed professionals, take heart in this: http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-kroc07.html
They won’t be hurting too badly.