The Worldwide Leader

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Apropos of nothing for the most part, as my nose has been to the grindstone on a daily basis lately, I wanted to pause and celebrate ESPN Radio, which I listen to with some regularity--mostly as I fall asleep or occasionally in the car.

At some point in the last couple of weeks, someone at ESPN made the decision that all of their employees would be required to pronounce Tour de France in a uniform fashion, and of course, they decided that France rightly rhymes with pants and dance. Now, certain of the talking heads had already taken this bold step, and asserted their God-given right to bastardize Americanize the name of this event, but you have to appreciate the uncharacteristic fortitude required to impose this mispronunciation on an entire Sports Entertainment Corporation.

What has really earned my admiration, however, is their decision to inject the Americanization into a French phrase, retaining the French for 2/3 of it, and daringly Americanizing the final 1/3. No sirree, no "France Tour" or "French Tour" for these forward-thinking leaders. It's Frenglish all the way! I can't help but experience a little vicarious joy de vivre when I think about it. Tour de France-rhymed-with-pants just has a certain je ne know quoi about it that makes me proud to be an American, proud to live in a country where, when the pronunciation of a single vowel crosses the line, we know what to do. Because, you know, who cares if it happens in another country? It's an American Sports Entertainment Corporation providing the gossip "coverage," and in America we rhyme France with pants.

That is all.


When I watch Tour coverage on OLN, I always giggle when I listen to Bob Roll pronounce it Tour Day Frants. Bob Roll is an incorrigible rube who achieved a high level of professional cycling and who does good on-air jouranlism at Tolur time.

ESPN? Not funny. Just sad.

While I do not follow these particular sporting events (I've let go of most sports-fan-activities, though I do miss amateur boxing), I always enjoy NPR's ruminations on how to pronounce stuff--like the whole Torino/Turin discussion. Why individuals must be in lockstep on such things is beyond me...

Collin wrote:
>>which I listen to with some regularity--mostly as I fall asleep or occasionally in the car.

Just as long as you don't combine these...

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on July 28, 2006 12:25 AM.

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