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Schrödinger's Pussy
Observing a box has never been this much fun
Humor me 
8th-Oct-2008 10:24 pm
peacocks
Say the word, then tell me how you naturally pronounce it.

Poll #1275200 Pronunciation

Pakistan

Paa'-kis-staan (a as in cat)
29(78.4%)
Pah'-kis-stahn (a as in father)
6(16.2%)
Pock-i-staan (a mix of both)
2(5.4%)

Iran

ih-ran
12(32.4%)
eye-ran
7(18.9%)
ee-ran
2(5.4%)
ih-rahn
15(40.5%)
eye-rahn
0(0.0%)
ee-rahn
1(2.7%)

Iraq

eye'-rack
5(13.9%)
ee'-rack
2(5.6%)
ih'-rack
14(38.9%)
eye-rack'
2(5.6%)
ee-rack'
0(0.0%)
ih-rack'
13(36.1%)

Italy - Italian

ih-talian
37(100.0%)
eye-talian
0(0.0%)

Learning

Conservative
0(0.0%)
Liberal
16(43.2%)
Independent
21(56.8%)
Comments 
9th-Oct-2008 02:35 am (UTC)
I'm slightly surprised how you phrased the first question. The issue is usually how the "i" of Pakistan is pronounced, I thought. Pakee or Paki?
9th-Oct-2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Obama was doing the second pronunciation last night, more or less. I'm thinking that might be part of the inspiration, but that's just a guess.

Personally, I thought he sounded pretentious when he did it.
9th-Oct-2008 02:52 am (UTC)
It sounded normal to me, but then I say it the same way. :/
9th-Oct-2008 11:04 am (UTC)
I'm usually the first one to cry "Pretentious Pronunciation!" but I gotta admit that it caught my attention when Obama said it and it didn't offend. It actually didn't register much past that until I hit this article on boingboing last night http://www.boingboing.net/2008/10/08/conservatives-irked.html

I believe that our leaders (political and military) have deliberately mispronounced the names of countries and foreign political and military foes. It's disrespectful, and the American sheep tend to follow suit when they hear it on TV over and over.
9th-Oct-2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
"PAHK-ih-stahn" is different than "Eye-RACK" because, in the first case, it's an attempt to say it correctly. "PAHK-ih-stahn" is the Urdu pronunciation; "PACK-ih-stan" is the standard American pronunciation. Using the Urdu is, to my mind, like calling Mexico "MEH-hee-ko." The attempt is to be respectful, but I'm not sure that's the effect.

"Eye-RACK," meanwhile, is farther from the original, and isn't standard English. The Arabic pronunciation is "eh-RAHK"; "eh-RACK" follows the standard English habit of changing that particular vowel.

I don't think any of these various pronunciations come out of the leaders, though. People develop them over time, for various reasons. I've been hearing "Eye-RACK" and "EYE-rack" and "eh-RACK" for as long as I can remember. "EYE-tahl-yen" sets my teeth on edge, but oh well. :)
9th-Oct-2008 10:57 am (UTC)
I should have done the "i" as well. This came about after reading this on boingboing http://www.boingboing.net/2008/10/08/conservatives-irked.html
9th-Oct-2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I switch back and forth between eye-rack and ih-rahk, depending. I try to stick with the latter, though.
9th-Oct-2008 03:00 am (UTC)
I realized as I took this that I used to say "Ih-rahn" but now it's "Ih-ran." No idea why that changed.
9th-Oct-2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
I realized after completing the poll that I actually say ih'-rahn.

I also wasn't quite sure what to put in for the leaning part, as some people would call me a liberal, because of my stances on some things, but some would call me a ditto-head for my stances on other things.

I guess I'm a right-wing liberal. :)
10th-Oct-2008 12:25 am (UTC)
I try not to get emotional about how people pronounce things. If a French person pronounced the "J" in my name more like a "zh," I would think it was charming, even if it's not considered right. I think that the "correctness" of how a word is pronounced doesn't really effect people--it's more how we associate the pronounciation. If a Brit says "toe-MAH-toe," we take it in stride. If a Texan were to say "tor-tilly" instead of "tor-TEE-ah," we roll our eyes.

I tried to gauge my own responses to the various options, and I cringed a bit at "eye-talian," but none of the others. Not sure why that gets associated with "hick" more than some of the other choices, but it does.

My dad says "wrassle" instead of "wrestle," by the way.
11th-Oct-2008 10:48 am (UTC)
ih-rock.
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