I’m working from home today. I woke up with a terrible cold. Plus I mowed the lawn last night, so that fired up my allergies, so between the two, I’m just miserable.
So while in that foul mood, I was watching the news, and listening to the talking heads struggle to pronounce Sonya Sotomeyor as Son-yaaa Soooo-tay-meh-yoooor.
No. It is Sotomeyor, Soto-Mey-Er. Just say the friggin’ word in English, like it is spelled. It sounds a lot like it is spelled. No, you’re not a racist if you just pronounce the word normally. You are not culturally insensitive.
Officially, according to the government, I am a Latino too, because the island my grandparents came from was 500 miles off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, which speaks a language that vaguely comes from Latin, except we’re browner than France, so the SBA says to check the Hispanic box. My last name is Correia.
Here in America, it is pronounced Korea, like the country. That is the phonetic English spelling of the word. In Portugal it sounds like Co-hu-wey-aaa said real fast, with a little bit of the groovy double R rolling action that 90% of Americans can’t do. And guess what, since I am an American, they shouldn’t have to.
When my ancestors hit Ellis Island, they were Americans, so it started being pronounced as Korea. See, my relatives didn’t come here to be some part of a giant, politically-correct salad bowl. They came here to get jobs, make money, and live in the land of opportunity. To do so, they knew that they needed to become Americans.
So on that same note, I’m going to just pronounce it Soto-Mey-Er. And if anybody is offended at my lack of cultural sensitivity, then congratulations, I’m going to insist that they pronounce my name the same way, and then I’m going to laugh as they choke to death trying to roll the Rs.
Why is it only liberal minority politicians that we have to be culturally sensitive about how we pronounce their name? If the last name is Wisenpffefer, Czernckowski, or Falloffasoffa, you don’t ever see that person putting the correct ethnic spin on the word. The only time you ever see a total white guy pronouncing his name weird is when he’s gone to a festival where he can wear a kilt, get drunk, and throw big logs. It is also the only time they can say they’re in a Clan too…
On that note, Sotomeyor is not the daughter of immigrants, because they’re from Puerto Rico, which makes them American citizens, dang it. So quit saying that. It is obnoxious.
EDIT: It was just pointed out to me in the comments that I spelled her name wrong, and that it is actually SotomAyor instead of SotomEyer. See, I’m actually correct though. My “rich Latin heritage” enables me to judge these things better than you white people… :)