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The British Love Our New President

The News Quiz - Sandi Toksvig, Francis Wheen, Andy Hamilton, Jeremy Hardy and Fred MacAulay react to the Election (thanks to Roger for the audio)

Audio 3.7 MB : 05'07
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BBC Radio 4 The News Quiz



While I truly enjoy Christopher Hitchens as the outspoken agent provocateur he is but their dig at him was priceless.

That, and the comment about brunch with the Palins was hilarious as well.

Those were a couple of my favorite moments as well.

I've been watching BBC America lately ... I wish these Brits would learn to pronounce our new leader's name properly! Instead of Ba-Rock, as in Ba-rock the Vote, they say Bar-rack, as in an Army Barack. Quite annoying, I must say.

If I had enough time and space I could elucidate the thousands of "mispronunciations" I hear from Yanks. The one that really gets me is ROUTE, pronounced ROUT. Listen to Nat King Cole singing 'Route 66' and tell me why the pronunciation has changed. Seriously - pronunciation is part of language and accent, and in Britain the short 'a' is not pronounced 'o'. If the first part is 'Bar' why should the second part be 'Ock' rather than 'Ack'?

I think the mispronunciation oomes from the fact that we don't really use that vowel sound - which is RAWK, really, not ROK - for a single "a".

Perhaps we should approach Mr Obama and ask him how he'd like it to be enunciated by his transatlantic cousins.

Or just listen to how he says his name, then imitate.

There's always "aluminum" vs. "aluminium" to keep us busy.

Can't we just have another war and sort out these mispronunciations once and for all?

I have the same problems with the Spanish of Spain and Latin America. I began learning Spanish with a Mexican accent but changed as soon as I moved to Spain two years ago. I'm a bit of a snob and now Latin American accents sound a bit odd to me.

I'm a bit of a snob

That's a mild way of putting it.

No shit. Sheesh... Perhaps I too am a bit of a snob. I prefer the Mexican accent.

Just goes to show that it's not just right wingers, but also leftists who have some "issues"

What issues are you talking about, mine or yours? How could anyone call what I wrote an “off color” comment? My only issue was having people in Spain actually correct me for saying things that are perfectly acceptable in Mexican Spanish. Spanish people often mock Mexican accents, in a playful fashion. After a while you simply give up and switch to the way of speaking of your hosts. I also adopted a Castillian accent. I find it more precise than how Spanish is pronounced not only in Latin America, but in Andalucía. People who learn English as a second language often have a preference for either American or British pronunciation. There's nothing wrong with that.

I have spent a good part of my life studying the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world, with a pretty heavy emphasis on Mexico. I think that trumps some boiler plate or knee-jerk PC stance.

I'm just glad we now have a President who can properly pronounce the word "nuclear."

That alone is a great leap forward for America.


"This file is available for download here."


Does not work and despite having 30/30 Mbit connection the clip doesn't stream fast enough.

Anyway, before getting sidetracked by LeftBanks off color comment, I was amused by the following comments: (Love the British humor. They don't have to hold back)

When Obama said that John McCain had endured things that most of us cannot begin to imagine, I immediately thought of brunch with the Palins.

Lots of curmudgeons keep saying, "Well of course he's not black, you see, his mother was white, meaning...." Christopher Hitchens said this the other day, "Well, of course he's not Black".. Well, look, there are a lot of mixed-race people in South London and I invite Christopher Hitchens to come down with a big bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and walk through the mixed market and say," 'You realize you're not Black don't you?'


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