The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

What's in a name? If you're Miami Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain, it's an extra "i". He tells us that his last name should be pronounced "sir-TAN", not "sir-TANE". With his name being announced incorrectly every week on national TV, it's gotten to the point where even his wife says "sir-TANE".

Here's an idea: if you really want people to pronounce it with a short "a", how about just changing the spelling? With the "ai" in there, it's a natural in English to assume it's a long "a" sound. It's always going to be mispronounced, so it's a losing battle to keep that spelling. (And yes, I realize the irony of someone with my last name giving that advice.)