Friday, July 6, 2007

Thank you, Mary Carillo

Yesterday on NBC, during the Djokovic-Hewitt match, the commentators were discussing the pronunciation of the Serbian player's name. One of them said: "It's 'JOKE-a-vich'--I asked him." Which prompted Mary Carillo to say something to the effect of "Asking the player--what a novel idea."

Amen. It's easy to look pronunciations up on the tours' official sites (at least I know they are right there on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour), and it's just as easy to ask the players. I have written many times that I wish players were more assertive about this issue, but commentators resist being corrected. After being told how to pronounce Djokovic's name, John McEnroe explained that it might "take him a while" to learn this. Hello! He is paid--a lot of money, I might add--to talk about tennis players. How hard is it to learn how to pronounce their names?

A couple of years ago, ESPN did an entire feature on the pronunciation of Sesil Karatantcheva's name, which she kindly pronounced for them (and it isn't hard to say), and after the feature was over, they proceeded to--you guessed it--mispronounce her name.

And then there was the time that poor Claudine Schaul had the audacity to ask the commentators to pronounce her name correctly. Cliff Drysdale was just beside himself with anxiety, and Pam Shriver--no surprise--was sarcastic, and blamed Schaul for the fact that she and Drysdale were saying her name wrong.

No comments: