March 31st, 2005

Glazorthian, space message

Schiavo

Y'know what? Since I don't watch TV news, I didn't learn the pronunciation of Terri Schiavo's name until today. I'd been reading it to myself as "sk-YAH-vo" in proper Italian orthography, but now I find out that Michael & Terri pronounce(d) their last name as "SHY-a-voh" (or possibly even just "SHY-voh"; the only evidence I have to go on it is our housekeeper's offhanded mention of it this morning). Well, no wonder people keep misspelling it! I've seen Schaivo, Shiavo, Shivo...

On the one hand, I'm a firm believer in letting people decide how to say their own names. On the other hand, it bugs me when good ol' American ignorance in foreign matters rears its head like this. Especially for something as straightforward as the pronunciation of foreign words! Italian pronunciation has simple rules. People only have trouble with them because they're different from English.
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