I’ve done a little radio work in my time – not much, but enough to know what's going on.
Once upon a time, when you read the news, the wire service would follow the spelling of a troublesome name or town with the pronunciation. Example: "The Ontario Power Generating Station at Des Joachims. (DE-SWISH-A) Ontario has been shut down for repairs."
So I’m wondering why the news providers have stopped doing this because I heard all sorts of people totally mangle the names of any number of Indy 500 drivers in the past week.
Last Thursday, Ann Rohmer (ROME-ER) of CP24 read the text that accompanied tape of a turtle race at the Indianapolis Zoo. She said the race was flagged off by Tony . . . (her hesitation, not mine) . . . Cannon.
Now, Tony Kanaan’s name is pronounced KA-NON but you’d have never known it was him the way she pronounced it.
(I want everybody to know that I’m a big fan of Ann Rohmer’s and am very sorry that she will soon be ending her full-time gig at CP24. I’m just using her as an example of how the news providers are falling down on the job of providing proper pronunciation.)
At least Ann Rohmer was close. I went to an Indianapolis TV station website last Friday to check on the weekend weather and the anchor guy at WISH TV 8, who announced the same turtle race, called Kanaan, "Kay-nen."
I couldn’t believe it. Tony Kanaan is an Indianapolis 500 driver – and has been for years – and the anchor on an Indy TV station doesn’t even know how to pronounce his name . . . ?
It gets worse (or better, depending).
I happened to turn on MSNBC when I woke up Monday to catch the final few minutes of the Morning Joe program (I’ve been on vacation; that’s why I’ve been able to sleep in and then listen to all this stuff on TV).
Joe and his sidekicks went off the air and the woman reading the 9 a.m. newscast said the Indy 500 had been won by Dario (so far, so good) Fran-shetty.
His name, of course, is FRAN-KEETY and he’s married to Ashley Judd and how can ANYBODY be in the news business and NOT KNOW THAT!!!!
Once I was driving south on U.S. 81 to go racing at Oswego, N.Y., and just outside Watertown the guy doing the sportscast announced that the Spanish Grand Prix had been won by "Nee-gell Man-sell."
Who’d have known that one of the greatest English Grand Prix drivers of all time was really Spanish?