Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pronouncing the Last Name


Sometimes pronouncing last names can be difficult. NYU President John Sexton at NYU's 176th Commencement encountered some problems pronouncing the last name of Michael Strahan of the NY Giants. He called him Michael Stray-hawn instead of Stray-han. Luckily, the crowd 10,000+ people gasped at his failure to grasp the simple two syllable last name. This could have happened to anyone but the fact that it happened to the president of a major university makes it all the more striking.

It reminds me of an episode of Family Guy (Fat Guy Strangler) where Peter and Lois are at the doctor's office. The doctor is attempting to pronounce the last name of movie star Kim Basinger (of 8 Mile & LA Confidential). The doctor says "Mr. Griffin, I'm not quite sure how to say this. Kim BAsinger? B-BAEsinger? B-BaesinGer? Basinger? Hm."

Guess this happens to the best of us which can include a University President and a fictional doctors on animated television series.

New York Post

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