Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Eyewitless News

I love local news. Here in the hometown, I watch the morning, noon, 5 and 6 pm, and 11 pm installments. And when I'm away I watch whatever I can catch.

But lately I've been getting more and more annoyed, however, at how ignorant the local newscasters seem to be about how to pronounce local names. (And I'm going to name THEIR names, so here it comes...)

Admittedly, in the Tri-State (as they like to call NY, NJ and CT) we have a lot of problematic monikers: Native American placenames of various denominations, Dutch proper names, etc.

Copiague, Hauppauge, Sewanhaka, Van Wyck, Joralemon, Hasbrouck, Aquebogue, whole bunch more. Even Houston. (We say, correctly, HOW-ston. No "Yew" about it.)

I fail to see how imported newsreaders (WABC is the worst offender, but the other stations are far from guilt-free) can't manage to learn how to wrap their lips around words like this. Not. That. Hard. If little children who are born here can learn them, so can grown-up newscasters who are being handsomely paid to say these names when required.

It's your freakin' JOB, people! So just do it right, will you!

When I was on my "Strange Days" book tour in England, I did a few BBC appearances, and as I walked down the hallowed corridors to the various studios, I noticed that the walls were lined with memos detailing correct pronunciations of all manner of names both foreign and domestic. Now THAT's the way!

There's no excuse: these highly paid newspretties can certainly spare 45 seconds to check out pronunciations before they go live with the story. After all, they're supposed to be JOURNALISTS, right? Right???

So how hard can it be, really, to learn to say COE-payg or Jore-OLL-uh-mon?

And "Van Wyck" is Van WIKE, people, not Van WICK. Do we say "Van DICK" when we speak of the famed painter Van Dyck? No, we do not. We say Van DIKE.

(Actually, I'm told by Dutch friends that, correctly, it's sort of a cross between the long and short I-sounds, like Van Woyk or something. But WIKE works well enough.)

Another newscaster affectation that REALLY gets up my nose is something of very recent vintage: Latina (usually) reporters giving their names a pretentious and extremely silly-sounding Spanish twist.

So instead of "Thalia Patillo" (with the y-sound, which is fine, for the ll), we have to suffer through "Thaah-LEEE-ah Paaah-TEEEEYO". Just think of Inigo Montoya saying it and you'll get the idea. I generally hit the mute button as soon as I see her onscreen, because it's like nails on a chalkboard to hear it.

Another offender is Carolina Leid, or should I say "Cah-dddo-LEEEENA LEEEED."

Oh, knock it off, chicas, will you! We all know you're Latina and proud. Just pronounce it in normal English, please. We don't hear Italian and German or Swedish newscasters pronouncing their names as they would in the motherlands, do we? No, we do not. Just because you're Latina doesn't give you permission to inflict this on our ears. And it doesn't give you any more street cred, either...and you just sound ridiculous when the anchor you toss back to says your name in the normal English way.

But the single worst offender on local NYC newscasts is Channel 7 (local ABC) 5pm co-anchor Sade Baderinwa. You'd think with a name like that, which she pronounces Shah-DAY Bed-er-in-WAH, that she'd be extra careful. Alas, not so. She mangles more names and words than George W. Bush.

It's enough to make me watch the news with the closed captioning on. Except have you ever noticed how hieroglyphic some of those captions are, even (surprisingly) the filmed shows, where you'd expect the captions to be correct?

But that's a whole other rant. Excuse me while I go check the mirror to see if I've turned into Andy Rooney yet...


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