Monday, September 30, 2013

Mispronunciation of “Imbroglio” by Leading Light of the Media David Brooks

First, my customary declaration for posts on “mispronounced words”: The objective is NOT to denigrate or ridicule someone. Instead, I feature such posts in the belief that if a highly educated person is mispronouncing a particular word, there is a high probability that at least a few of my blog readers are making the same error. In other words, these posts are meant to serve as “pronunciation alerts!” And the reason why I name the radio or TV program and identify the speaker is solely to make this feature credible.

This past weekend, while watching the Friday, September 20, 2013, edition of PBS’s “NewsHour,” I was disappointed to hear David Brooks of the New York Times--one of my favorite political commentators--pronounce imbroglio just as it is spelt, i.e., [im-brohg-lee-oh].  The correct pronunciation is [im-broh-lee-oh].  The g is silent.

David Brooks is a much respected columnist and a frequent guest on high-profile shows such as “Charlie Rose” and “Meet the Press.” You can bet he regularly hobnobs with America’s most articulate--has probably been doing so for decades!  And imbroglio is not one of those rarely encountered words. So, for Brooks to make this egregious pronunciation error suggests a certain laxity on his part…a measure of insouciance. Unacceptable!

The most lamentable aspect of the above is that David Brooks will probably continue to mispronounce imbroglio for years to come! Why? Because my research indicates that when someone utters a glaring mispronunciation, no friends or acquaintances will point out the error to him or her, fearing that the correction will be viewed as an unfriendly, an unwelcome, even a hostile act.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

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