Saturday, October 20, 2007

Isaac Asimov, rider

I had this conversation at lunch the other day:

-I'm not sure I would have wanted to meet the young Isaac Asimov. He must have been a strange kind of person.

-Yeah, but he's a rider, so what would you expect?

-He's what?

-A rider. You know, an author.

-What? Oh. A writer.

See also A Tale of Two Geddies from Tenser, said the tensor.

I have also noticed problems with understanding the other way. Perhaps not so strange, since I'm the one with the strong foreign accent. Anyway, if I pronounce my name the way I do at home people won't understand what i say. My name is not that strange, but if the intonation is Swedish most people just can not make out the syllables. I have not entirely given up, but found some compromise that still sounds about right to me -- I would feel silly to pronounce my own name in some fake Canadian English.

Update: to clarify: I have no problems with other people pronouncing my name in a way that fits into the rest of their speech. The problem is that I know what my name is and feel silly to make up another way to say it (and yes, when I lived in Jämtland, up north, I still insisted in pronouncing my middle name in the Uppsala way).


Anonymous said...

This to seems related to people being ridiculously attached to some specific spelling or pronunciation of their name.

Most of all the ones who insist on people pronounce their Swedish two-syllabic surname (like mine) differently depending on whether they come from the north of Sweden or not, rather than following the prosody of their own language variety.

Just be happy your name has an established English pronunciation. / Bjowrrrn

Elliot said...

Speaking of English vs Swedish pronunciation, lately I've been listening to the Swedish indie group Peter Bjorn and John. Their English is pretty darn good but sometimes their 'R's give them away, and occasionally the way they pronounce vowels.