Saturday Night’s Alright for Dribbling

Why Do You Call It MAY-Hee-Koh? Lydell points out a query posed to the Chicago Tribune’s lingo expert:

Q. Why do Americans pronounce Chicago with a “sh” sound at the beginning (as in “she”), instead of a “ch” (as in “chick”)? You might have noticed that Spanish speakers, even bilingual speakers (such as myself) make a very clear distinction between the CH sound and the SH sound. My lips refuse to conform to anything but a “Chick-ah-go” pronunciation.

— Stephanie Pringhipakis Guijarro, Chicago

To his possible credit, the Tribune guy ignores the multicultural preciousness behind the question and answers it seriously. I would have been tempted to respond. “Dear Stephanie: Where the heck did those people down in México come up with that voiceless velar fricative pronunciation for the X: MAY-hee-koh? What’s with that strange-o accent and wild vowels? You may have noticed Americans (such as myself) say “MeKSiko.” My Midwestern lips (actually, the back of my tongue and my soft palate) absolutely refuse to pronounce X as anything but the most excellent consonant cluster “ks” (except in all the many exceptional cases, such as the “gz” in “exit”). P.S. What’s a ‘Pringhipakis’?”

Doubts Answered:
By way of Steve Downey, fellow cyclist and connoisseur of notable sports names, we encounter Lucious Pusey, a linebacker with Eastern Illinois University. Maybe I should say former linebacker, because Pusey reportedly changed his name and the EIU roster now shows him as Lucious Seymour. Mr. Seymour-Pusey’s name has been the subject of frequent blog-based chortling; I join in the chorus only for the most noble of reasons: because I told someone this story and they dared to doubt me.

Blogger Embed: There’s lots of talk about bloggers being the future of journalism, but it’s rare at this point to find bloggers trying to tackle real reporting. An exception: Bill Roggio, a blogger who has embedded with U.S. military units in the past and has just gone back to Iraq to do it again. He’s unattached to any news organization, and his trip is funded by readers. I kicked in 25 bucks despite the fact I’m not in love with his hawkish take on the war. But I think it’s worth supporting anyone willing to put themselves on the line to report independently (or as independently as possible in a situation where staying alive means staying with the troops).

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