It is Sotomeyor, just say it in English

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…   :)

17 Responses

  1. If the last name is Wisenpffefer, Czernckowski

    I resemble that remark. And, yes, we say our last name like Americans for the same reasons you do. czar (as in a russian king, shut-up and forget the ts version), NOW (as in right damn now) and ski (as in merrily swishing down the mountain).

  2. Good on you. Larry = win.

  3. 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.

    *lmao*

    I may have to make people who bitch about that use my actual first name, too. :D

    -Ogre

  4. These dumbasses do not want to see us pale skinned folks go as racist as they are…

    If I get back to my ancestry, I’ll be wading into these skrelling id-eee-ots with implements o’ destruction while chanting the prayer from The Thirteenth Warrior.

  5. Yeah, I’m going to be the douche bag that points out that you spelled her name wrong. It’s Sotomayor. But cheers on being the #1 Google result for “Sotomeyor”.

  6. I can roll my rrrrrr’s

  7. I can roll my RRRR’s as well. Gosh, I’m in a minority, that makes me better qualified to judge how Larry pronounces his name than everyone who can’t roll their R’s.

  8. Hi,

    Just found about Monster Hunter International and read this post. On that note, yes, just pronounce like it’s spelled.

  9. Thank you. This has been even more irritating than the PAH-Kee-Staahn bologna. At least some newscasters have refrained from imitating the President on that one.

  10. Oh crap, now I have to give up the portuguese pronunciation of Correia.

  11. Miguel, don’t do that. If I ever decide to run for office I’ll need somebody to coach me on how to say it right. :)

  12. An interesting thing is that my great-grandfather or so, when he went through Ellis Island late in the 19th century, deliberately changed the spelling of his family’s name so that it would be pronounced properly. I’m not sure how common reading and writing were among that batch of immigrants, but we now have a deliberately Americanized name.

  13. Hear, hear. Welcome to America.

  14. The first time I heard this sort of nonsense was when Nicaragua was in the headlines (contras, etc.) and newsies were swallowing their tongues pronouncing it “Nikaghwagra.” The sanctimony was positively sickening.

  15. Larry, I’ll back you up, but you will lose the portuguese vote if they find out a gallego (NW Spanish country folk) where portuguese comes from) is helping you. LOL

    On the point of pronunciation, I believe one should make the effort to reach a compromise between the what the original last name sounds in the original language and the language where the person lives. It only makes sense because phonetics can be hard to duplicate for adults one the native language has taken root. My last name is the same as a cartoon character and I am used to the English version of the sound so it does not bother me. After many years living here I still have troubles with certain words: I never say “focus” because coming out of my mouth it sounds too close to F U so I choose to say ‘concentrate’ (and I won’t be buying that particular model of car anytime soon), same for Jello and Yellow.

    Quoting Wayne: “and newsies were swallowing their tongues pronouncing it “Nikaghwagra.” The sanctimony was positively sickening.”
    And that is why most regular people hate it. Snobbery at its finest. They are saying “Look at me! I mastered a foreign language and you did not” and that rubs me as 80 grit sandpaper.

  16. [...] to Larry Correia (pronounced “…,like the country.”) for the [...]

  17. I’m fairly late to the party, but my Sicilian grandfather’s surname was Consolazione, americanized pronounciation “consolation”, which neatly dovetails with the meaning in the original.

    I can roll my rrr’s both front (Spanish, other latin languages) and back (french, though it sounds like you are gargling a frog)

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