June 10, 2003

THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLFOWITZ: Christopher Hitchens points out something noted here a while back, that the BBC seems to be making a . . . special effort to make Paul Wolfowitz sound extra-Jewish:

"Yes that's all very well," said the chap from the BBC World Service, "but what about this man Vulfervitz who seems to run the whole show from behind the scenes?" For the fifth time in as many days, and for the umpteenth time this year, I corrected a British interviewer's pronunciation. You see the name in print, you hear it uttered quite a lot in American discussions, you then give a highly inflected rendition of your own. ... What is this? In my young day, the BBC had a special department for the pronunciation of foreign names for the guidance of those commenting on Thailand, say, or Mongolia. But this particular name is pronounced as it is spelled. "Very well," said the BBC chap, with a hint of bad grace. "This man Wolfervitz ..."

We know why, don't we?