When I was in radio, I used to make it a big deal to pronounce people’s names correctly. Even the tennis players like Vitas Gerulaitis. Just as a good journalist tries to get the correct spelling of names, I think the mark of a good broadcaster is to care enough to pronounce everyone’s name right. That carried over to localities.
photo © 2006 Valerie Everett | more info (via: Wylio)
There was a small town near the radio station named Galveston. My first few months on the job I pronounced it just like Glen Campbell and the way they say it in Texas.
Turns out the Indiana Galveston puts the accent on the “vest” part. That’s how everyone pronounced the name of the town – Gal-VEST-un. Eventually I adopted that saying.
Residents of Carmel, California accent the “mel” while Carmel, Indiana accents the “Car.”
Is there any reason to correct people on that? Is there a right or wrong way to say it?
A few of my friends have asked why I care about how the year is pronounced. As a person of words, I do care. I think the current vernacular is cumbersome and does not follow the historical established pronunciation.
I’ve been waiting since Twenty Oh Eight for the change to happen. I’ve waited patiently as I’ve heard broadcaster after public figure after friends say the year with two thousand.
This year, I’ve decided to make a change. Perhaps it makes no difference how we say it. Would you be annoyed if your name was mispronounced? Would it not jar you to hear your town name mispronounced?
So all I’m asking is that we adopt the previously held standard for pronouncing the year. We will adopt it eventually. Why not get in the habit now?
Is it important to me. Perhaps. But I don’t see it as life and death. It may irritate me if you say Two Thousand Eleven, but I will live.
I have a theory that we haven’t thought much about it. My goal is at least bring it to your attention. I think Social Media is uniquely suited to solve this issue. My campaign is sort of an experiment to see just how far this can reach. Unfortunately, my circle of friends are getting the heavy end of the campaign. My goal is to reach the Tipping Point and see if I can get this to catch on.photo © 2010 Lukas Kästner | more info (via: Wylio)
So far, I’ve had minor success. But I have to do the work to see if I can get it to go viral by New Year’s Eve. So please bear with me while I try to juice this up.
Twenty Eleven was adopted by Urban Dictionary through my submission.
I’ve had numerous (many negative) comments on my Say Twenty Eleven, Please blog. I only have reached 38 fans on my Facebook page and I have no followers for my Say Twenty Eleven Twitter account.
I certainly understand if you don’t wish to join my little crusade.