Monday, August 29, 2011

Glaring Mispronunciations by Top Media Personalities

Two glaring cases of mispronunciation by leading lights in the media this month, one involving a relatively common word “harbinger.”

1. In his fascinating piece about New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan on “60 Minutes” Sunday before last, Morly Safer described the corpulent personage as “this burly, overweight, cherubic Irish American charges through life like a holy bulldozer…” It was the word cherubic where Safer slipped up, pronouncing it as [che-RUB-ik] instead of [chuh-ROOB-ik.] Apparently, he thought the pronunciation of cherubic is a direct extension of the word “cherub” which is pronounced [cher-ub.]

2. The second instance involved American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein—a guest on all manner of radio and TV channels because of his unmatched knowledge and understanding of what’s going on in Congress. About five minutes into the August 10 edition of “The Diane Rehm Show,” while using the word harbinger, he made the fairly common error of pronouncing it as [hahr-bin-ger] instead of [hahr-bin-jur]. This one left me stupefied, considering that because of his decades-long career and popularity, Ornstein has appeared on countless panels, often surrounded by America’s most articulate.

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal

No comments:

Post a Comment