People these days are always accusing one another of living in an echo chamber. To be sure, it’s a hazard of modern life. You may find yourself writing things like this:
So, are we supposed to use the Spanish pronunciation, so-toe-my-OR, or the natural English pronunciation, SO-tuh-my-er, like Niedermeyer?
That’s Mark Krikorian, writing at National Review’s brainless group blog, The Corner. And OK, so he wrote it, big deal, these things tend to be self-correcting. Not in echo chambers:
Most e-mailers were with me on the post on the pronunciation of Judge Sotomayor’s name…
Well, of course they were. Perhaps they prefer the Ellis Island option, in which the Supreme Court nominee would have been renamed Sally Sutton in exchange for her parents getting that cushy public-housing apartment. But Krikorian goes on:
But a couple said we should just pronounce it the way the bearer of the name prefers, including one who pronounces her name “freed” even though it’s spelled “fried,” like fried rice. …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…
Then there’s a bunch of nonsense about how his name has been anglicized from the original Armenian — one whole syllable got added, oh my — and you just think stop stop stop you’re going to choke on your shoe, man, but nooo:
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, since that’s not something the rest of us can just ignore, unlike what church you go to or what you eat for lunch.
You hear that? There ought to be limits. Conformity is appropriate. A man can only bend so far. You let people pronounce their names however they want, and the next thing you know, we’ll have a man in the Oval Office named Barack Hussein Obama.
Someone tell Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito — I mean, Andy Scalls and Sam Allen — there’s a lady coming who’s going to give ’em all fits.
One of my Twitter follows said it best: It’s spelled Krikorian, but it’s pronounced “Kracker.” HT: Virgotex.
Yeesh, what a week so far. Gathering the police news this week, I found a report of two coyotes attacking a cat. The witnesses called police to see if the cat had survived. In classic copspeak, the report revealed: “The officers found that it had not,” and disposed of the body. This seems sad all around. Sad that some family lost its kitty. Sad that two coyotes lost their meal, although the report wasn’t that specific, so it’s possible they got away with enough to make a decent lunch. Sadder still that this particular suburb spent quite a bit of effort in the last two years trying to eradicate their coyote population, with little success. They caught a female with pups, but anyone who knows coyotes knows this is like killing six rats and pronouncing the problem solved. Not that coyotes are rats. Just…it’s sad.
I’ve bored you before at length about one of my favorite things about Detroit — the wild animal life that thrums below the surface of human activity. If it can survive at this latitude, we have it, the coyotes, the ghetto dogs, pheasants, exotics. It’s not exactly Miami, but it’s getting there. Speaking of which, did anyone read the New Yorker piece last month on the spread of the Burmese python throughout Florida? Worth your time, and then some.
It seems the right time to kick off the bloggage, then. Another from my Twitter clan:
Feral children — they have their own website. With some killer prose: Certainly, it’s true that some animals wouldn’t make good parents. It’s difficult to imagine a crocodile doing anything other than eat a human baby. Noted.
You’ve watched “Mad Men.” So you shouldn’t be surprised by some of the ad campaigns they dreamed up. Check out the one for the Lysol douche. Yikes.
Nate Silver deconstructs the “Obama is targeting Republican car dealers” meme by pointing out the obvious: Most car dealers are Republican. There you are.
And here I go. Have a great Thursday, all.