Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cheney with an A

I have always found it really annoying that Chris Matthews (of Hardball) pronounces "Cheney" as if it rhymes with "beany." However, this interview suggests he's not being thick, he's just being pedantic.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, there seems to be some latter day question about how to correctly pronounce your last name. How do you pronounce it? How do you want us to pronounce it?

CHENEY: How do I pronounce my last name and how do I want you to pronounce it? Well, the family's always said Cheney with an "e'' and that was especially true West growing up. I find, when I came East, that the tendency was to say Cheney with an "a''. I'll respond to either. It really doesn't matter.

QUESTION: Cheney with an "a''?

CHENEY: Cheney is fine, but, you know, it's close enough. If you guys get that I right, I'll be happy.
So Cheeeney it is. However, there's something incredibly obnoxious about correctly pronouncing something that everyone around you (as in, the entire country) mispronounces. For example, I read an interview with Vladimir Nabokov in which he explained that his name rhymes with "the gawk of," but I usually feel like a jerk when I pronounce it that way, so I stick with the Americanized version (accent on the first syllable). Or as a guy who works in an art gallery once said to me (here I'll use *G* to designate hard g, and j to designate soft g).

Me: bla bla bla [some anecdote about] Henry Darjer

Obnoxious art dealer: Actually, it's pronounced Dar*G*er, though a lot of people get that wrong.

Me: Oh, was he *G*erman?
But as someone who corrects misuse of 'begs the question,' I can't really fault others for being impolitely pedantic.


  • At 3:47 PM, Blogger Freudian Slip said…

    Pretty funny post. I had also noticed Chris Matthews saying it differently and my wife thought I was crazy. Thanks for the validation, you made my day :)

  • At 4:19 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Heh, thanks. Glad to be of service.


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