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Mispronouncing Names

August 18, 1988

Why can't television newscasters and commentators at sports events, especially baseball games, learn to pronounce the names of Spanish-speaking persons correctly?

Perhaps some of them learned in high school Spanish that words ending in "z" are accented on the last syllable; and since the printing of Spanish names in our newspapers is lacking in accent signs, they don't realize that most Spanish names ending in "ez" have an accent on other than the last syllable.

For example, if they care and are sensitive enough, they would not pronounce: 1. Juarez as "WarEZ", but almost correctly as "WARez." 2. Martinez as "MartinEZ", but MarTINez.

3. Hernandez not as "HernanDEZ", but HerNANdez. An accent sign in Spanish makes quite a difference in pronunciation--but, when an athlete is paid $100,000 a year or more, who is he to quibble over the pronunciation of his name? It is only the millions of Spanish-speakers who cringe at the pronunciation.

H. DOUGLAS KEEFE

Oxnard

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