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POTW: NPR Pronunciations

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The Peeve Of The Week (POTW) is an occasional feature on Slope which allows me to (a) gripe about something which bugs me, whether justified or not (b) put up a post when there's nothing in particular I want to say about the market. In spite of its moniker, the POTW may or may not shown up weekly. In any event, here's a new entry:

This is trite, and this is silly, but I really need to get this one off my chest.

I listen to NPR quite a bit. Although I am blessed with no commute, I am in the car from time to time, and I invariably listen to NPR when I'm driving. There are two things pronounced on NPR that, for reasons I cannot explain, send me right up the tree.

The first is how the broadcaster Michele Norris pronounces her name: she accents the first syllable. I would think it would be pronounced Mi-CHELLE, but, no, she says it is MI-chelle. Now, it's her name, and she has the right to pronounce it any way she likes – – but it's just……weird. Indeed, her entry in Wikipedia seems to make clear right from the outset how to pronounce her name, since, I suppose, it's really important to her, and I guess that most of her life has been spent correctly how people pronounce it.

The other one – and this is lamer, so forgive me – is how all the broadcasters on NPR make a point of pronouncing "excerpt" properly (most particularly Terry Gross). There is a "p" in the second syllable, and the folks on NPR make damned sure that they include that "p" when they say it. It just seems so…….fey to me. I'd rather they mispronounce it like "ex-sert" just like all the rest of us. I can't help but think they feel just a teensy bit smug when they get the opportunity to trot out this word and their oh-so-correct pronunciation of it.