‘The Pub’ #50: How to pronounce things correctly (but not too correctly)

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Is there such a thing as excessively authentic pronunciation? If it exists, it has certainly occurred on public radio, where everybody from classical music announcers to news reporters seem to have a little too much fun pronouncing foreign (to them) words and names.

In this holiday encore episode of The Pub, we revisit my guide to finding the sweet spot between insensitively Anglicized pronunciation and pretentiously exoticized pronunciation.

We also listen back to my interview with veteran public radio host Celeste Headlee about the art of writing pronouncers — rough textual representations of how a word or name should be said.

Plus, we listen again to my talk with political scientist Patrick O’Mahen, who says his research proves countries that spend more money on public broadcasting have better-informed citizens.

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We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me at adam@current.org or @aragusea on Twitter; my supervising producer at Current, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or @currentpubmedia on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to adam@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.