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Many sloppy with pronuciation

Beatriz Batungbakal
Monday September 30, 2002

To the Editor: 


As a recent immigrant, I wonder why so many Americans insist on mispronouncing the names of two Middle Eastern countries. Since they certainly do not say “Eyes-rael”, why do they say “Eye-raq” and “Eye-ran” when this is so wrong? 

In a town that’s supposed to be a center of learning and one with a large multiracial content, it’s unforgivable to find such carelessness. After all, this isn’t a community of hicks who go around declaring themselves “genuWINE” Americans, so why the awful mispronunciation?  

Is this because too many Americans are such overgrown adolescents that they like doing things their own way – regardless of the feelings of other nationalities? When they go abroad, surely they find it amusing (or possibly insulting?) to find people mispronouncing any Americanisms. 

Another case of cultural ignorance I recently heard about was with an English instructor at the Adult School. After asking the foreign students to identify their home countries, she looked nonplussed and had no clue as to where Moldovia is. This from someone married to an academic! 


Beatriz Batungbakal