Oh, Happy Friday to me!!! Wonkette has once again proven why I go there to get teh happeez with a post about why grammar nerds are the coolest nerds ever. And also columnists at the National Review are crazy.
It Sticks in My Craw [Mark Krikorian] [Ed. note: This should be the title of every wingnut blog ever.]
Most e-mailers were with me on the post on the pronunciation of Judge Sotomayor’s name (and a couple griped about the whole Latina/Latino thing — English dropped gender in nouns, what, 1,000 years ago?). But a couple said we should just pronounce it the way the bearer of the name prefers, including one who pronounces her name “freed” even though it’s spelled “fried,” like fried rice. (I think Cathy Seipp of blessed memory did the reverse — “sipe” instead of “seep.”) Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English (which is why the president stopped doing it after the first time at his press conference), unlike my correspondent’s simple preference for a monophthong over a diphthong, and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to.
Right-o! There are literally no words in the English language that veritably FORCE you to put some kind of unnatural emphasis on the final syllable, which is why there is no such thing as an iamb or any such nonsense in our grammatical history.
So, yes, Virginia: Shakespeare was a French Nazi, and his sonnets were communist propaganda bullshit that were meant to make your mouth gay with their sodomite rhythms.