Call Me By My Name. Here's How It's Pronounced

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addresses  The Road to the Green New Deal Tour final event at Howard University in  Washington, Monday, May 13, 2019. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addresses The Road to the Green New Deal Tour final event at Howard University in Washington, Monday, May 13, 2019. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Chances are that if somebody had asked you a year ago who the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was, let alone how to pronounce his last name, you would have been as lost as the rest of us. As of this writing, though, Pete Buttigieg was polling fifth among Democratic candidates, and most people following the news know that his last name is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge.

It’s not just Buttigieg. Perhaps you saw the viral video of Hasan Minhaj gently, but firmly, teaching Ellen DeGeneres how to pronounce his name. Maybe you read Lulu Garcia-Navarro's response to readers who noticed NPR hosts and correspondents going for the original pronunciation of proper names. Or perhaps you came across Laura Ingraham and her guest mocking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for doing the “Latina thing” by using her two last names and pronouncing her name the Spanish way. As these examples suggest, the conversation on how to pronounce non-English names has entered the mainstream. . .

Read more by Roberto Rey Agudo at wbur