a pocks on that

It may be a small thing, but whenever I hear someone who uses a foreign or foreign-sounding pronunciation, I cringe and think: here’s someone who is going out of his way to demonstrate how very learned he is. In other words, a pretentious academic.

Such is the case with our Teleprompter-in-Chief, B. H. Obama. Just heard him discourse on the current situation with our frenemy Pakistan.

Now, as a native speaker of English, I say and have always heard from American speakers “Packistan.” Except BHO says “Pockistan.” Over and over and over.

Perhaps in Urdu or whatever languages they speak over there, it sounds more like “pock” than “pack.” I don’t care. I’ve been to Paris, Kentucky, and Paris France. They’re both “Paris,” thank you ever so much for pronouncing the “s” as we English speakers are wont to do. Never “Pahree.”

Perhaps this is an academic thing, and it’s for certain that the folks I’ve heard pronounce foreign place names as though they were native speakers from those places are, more often than not, encumbered with advanced academic degrees.

I don’t expect a foreigner to abandon his accent. If it’s his actual accent. I do expect an American president to speak plainly and without a foreign accent. He is, after all, a “natural born citizen.”

As an aside, if you think I’m picking on Obama, did you also object to the vilification of George W. Bush’s Texas twang? Which twang is, of course, native to America.

Let me finish with an old saying: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When here in America…


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