Title: Stop! You’re Both Right

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When is it wrong to be right? In this ever-shrinking world, foreign-based names can be an issue for those who value accuracy. So, when the issue arises, do you show what you know or go with the flow?

Gonzaga, Notre Dame, L?wenbr?u, IKEA, Teemu Selanne, Lombard history, adidas, foreign name pronunciation in English, Cyberiter

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Cyberspace has certainly shrunk the margin of error …

Colloquialisms used to take quite a while to become embedded in a local vernacular. For example, the Americans expunged the British from the colonies in 1789, but based upon personal letters exchanged between the two countries which have been noted by historians, it took until the 1830s before comments were made noticing a distinct difference in accents between them.

Local dialects will always be a fixture in geographical cultures. However, as more and more of us traverse both cyberspace and the real world, basic pronunciations are becoming a bit of an issue.

I just noticed this again in the world of sport, when a national broadcast featured the recent darlings of NCAA basketball, Gonzaga University from Spokane, Washington. The locals there insist that the name be stated as ‘Gon-ZAEG-ah,’ but inevitably, sports announcers from elsewhere defer to ‘Gon-ZAHG-uh’ until corrected by the locals.

However, the Gonzaga name has been a part of Italian history since the 1300s, and anyone who has studied it or been exposed to it from that much deeper context knows that the correct pronunciation is ‘Gon-ZAHG-uh.’ Ludovico Gonzaga not only established his family’s dynasty over the Italian state of Mantua in 1328, but his family became a cultural and military force in that area for the better part of five centuries.

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You’ll even note that the Spokane university has an extension program in Italy and still steadfastly maintains its preference for the colloquial pronunciation. Trust me, in Europe, it’s called ‘Gon-ZAHG-uh.’ However, alumni from the Spokane campus, from Bing Crosby to John Stockton, learned to refer to their alma mater as ‘Gon-ZAEG-ah.’

This raises the age-old question of proper pronunciation etiquette, of course. Do we go with the traditional and accurate version of a proper name if we are aware of it or with the colloquial preferences which, for some reason, took hold in a certain area?

Another classic example is N?tre Dame. The correct French, of course, is ‘Noht-ruh Dahm.’ Use the Americanized version anywhere else in the world at the risk of being castigated as a hayseed. And yet, the Jesuit university based in South Bend, Indiana, obviously prefers the local pronunciation.

The universalization of products broaches the same issue. For example, the German beer ‘L?wenbr?u’ is pronounced ‘LUH-ven-broy’ everywhere except in English-speaking countries and the Swedish furniture store, IKEA, is universally stated as ‘ee-KAY-uh.’ Try pronouncing those in the proper way and it’s odds-on you’ll be met with a blank stare or looked upon as a snob. But, what have you done except say the name accurately?

Of course, in commercialism, it’s the bottom line that dictates pronunciation. There is no better example than the legendary German shoe tycoon, Adi Dassler, who used his own name as the basis for his corporate image. While most of the world refers to his sporting footwear as ‘AH-dee-dahs,’ Americans somehow found a way to call it ‘Uh-DEE-duhs.’ Go figure. Dassler never minded, though. Dollars spent just as easily as any other currency.

Read More :  Expectations about the new iPod video The new iPod video seems to have been met with great expectations and hopes. The audiophiles were waiting for a better sound, those concerned with photos for a bigger memory, the video fans were expecting longer life battery. And the key word for all these expectation is quality. Some of the groups of customers with different expectations got what they wanted, others are disappointed and have other expectations from the future editions of iPods. In many ways the customers were surprised by the new iPod video as many improvements were made as compared with previous editions. The previous generations of iPods had some disadvantages and maybe due to the customers? expectations those aspects were improved. The first aspect that was changed is the screen and its dimension. Then the quality of the screen, its clarity and the number of the colors are impressive. The dimensions of the screen are big enough for watching the favorite video, the favorite photos or pictures so that the time would pass easily. Another important aspect that should be taken into account while speaking about the improvements of the iPods concerns the quality of the screen and image as the usual obstacles of light, sunny indoor or outdoor does not represent a problem anymore. The fact that the memory of the new iPod video is so generous seems to be a bonus to the quality of the pictures. There are also some features that permit creating slideshows, fact that is very useful. The long life of the battery of the new iPod video is impressive so that the 30 GB has 14-15 hours of music listening. The 60 GB has almost 20 hours of music audition. Unfortunately, this great news has another aspect that concerns the life of the battery in case of video playing. The battery life while video playing is only 2 hours so that long movies or other longer shows are not possible to be watched because of this impediment. Some customers suggest that the life battery would be longer taking into account its huge memory and probably these complaints will be taken into account while creating new generations of iPods. Another aspect that was expected and received with great joy is the huge memory. In this way, other customers prefer the new iPod video only because of this very aspect. It gives the possibility of having all digital photos on the new iPod, classifying them in a photo album. The memory of the new iPod video 30 GB and 60 GB hold up to 15,000 songs and 25,000 photos. The possibility of holding vivid color album art is another advantage and great news for lovers of the art. The customers have also the possibility of viewing and reviewing up to 150 hours of digital video. The new features may satisfy almost all requirements and may meet almost all expectations. Digital entertainment, the superior quality of the sound, the best technology in MP3 domain, great battery life and huge memory are only few features that are worth being mentioned. The disappointments regarding the new iPod video may be the result of high expectations that belong to different categories of people with different preoccupations. This aspect may contribute to a great development of handheld video devices and may bring variation on the market. The edition of a new iPod video and the disappointments regarding the video features may be the expression of new needs and requirements on the market of iPods.Even in the case of too many disappointments or disagreements with some features and the quality of some aspect are true, these may contribute to the development of future generations of iPods. In this way, all expectations may be fulfilled and other wishes and requirements may develop. All these improvements and new features are a great success and a new step in developing new video devices with the possibility of watching TV shows and TV series of great success. The new iPod video meets the expectations of the customers and especially the busy lifestyle, accommodating the crazy rhythm of the modern life.

Other famous names have been subject to colloquialization in their own right. In hockey, Teemu Selanne is a Finnish star who has been in the NHL for quite a while. He may have come to North America as ‘TAE-moo SAY-lah-nuh,’ but any hockey fan on the continent will know him only as ‘TEE-moo Seh-LAH-nee.’

Sometimes, we even see the metamorphosis from universal to colloquial pronunciation occur before our very eyes. In baseball, Bill Mueller has been a solid major-league baseball player since his debut with the San Francisco Giants in 1996. At that time, he went by the traditional German pronunciation of his surname of ‘MYOO-luhr.’ However, somewhere along the line, he decided and subsequently announced that his surname was best said aloud as ‘Miller.’ Who knows why? What does one do then? Correct someone on how to state his own name?

Actor Jake Gyllenh?ll has Swedish roots. His surname literally means ‘Golden Way’ and should be stated as ‘YEE-lehn-hole.’ North Americans find it easier to say ‘JEE-lehn-hall.’ I’ve never seen anything that indicates where Jake stands on the issue. He’s probably too busy being talented and rich.

This is why I find it difficult to criticize anyone who uses either pronunciation. It’s a matter of context as to who’s right. Like the famous breath-mint commercial says, they both are.

My rule of thumb is simple. In any situation, if there’s more of them than there are of you and pronunciation becomes a volatile issue, they’re right. Otherwise, universality prevails.

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