Pronunciation

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aestheteboy
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Pronunciation

Post by aestheteboy » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:14 pm

I've always thought giving authentic pronunciation is important . . .
because no one likes it when people say his or her name wrong.

NAQT rule says, "A plausible or phonetic pronunciation is usually acceptable,
unless it demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the correct answer."
Pronouncing Hugo phonetically is incorrect, but I'm sure they will accept it.
But pronouncing Charles de Gaulle's first name like English Charles is, to me,
"fundamental lack of understanding." Likewise, calling Munch "munch" as in eating is too much.
I've seen both answers accepted.

How would ACF and other tournaments rule?

I guess the moderators have no choice but to accept
because the American society not only allow but encourage anglicizing everything.

Also, when moderators encounter foreign names,
which pronunciation (authentic or anglicized/phonetic) are they expected to use?

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Post by Leo Wolpert » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:26 pm

I generally accept anything reasonably close when I read. "Munch" as in "crunch and munch" is fine. After all, the player might have read about Edvard Munch, in, say, a book, rather than hearing about him on the TV. I know I mispronounce all sorts of answers because I read about them (or wrote questions on them) before I ever heard them pronounced correctly.

Does it really matter if someone pronounces Charles de Gaulle the French way or the "anglicized" way? They still demonstrated knowledge of the correct answer when they buzzed.

And what about players with speech impediments or strong accents? Are they to be penalized because they cannot pronounce some name or word the way the moderator thinks it should be?

In short, don't be a pronunciation nazi.

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Post by jbarnes112358 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:03 pm

Leo Wolpert wrote:
In short, don't be a pronunciation nazi.
Speaking of pronunciation Nazi. A few years back, one of my players, who had parents from India, would often pronounce the letter v like the letter w, which is a common Indian pronunciation. He gave "Wenus" for Venus, and the moderator would not accept it. :sad:

We argued about it briefly if I recall. But, since we were not being seriously challenged in the match, we probably just let it slide. That former player may read this. Maybe he can remember what finally happened.

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Post by Matthew D » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:09 pm

Sounds like a story that was told to me about a player with a lisp that pronouced something correctly but the other team captain had a fit about it..
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Post by jrbarry » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:10 pm

I still cannot believe that Santa Monica (in a Sat afternoon prelim match) was ruled WRONG when they answered Betty Freedan instead of Betty Free-DAN. I thought that was poor judgment.

I think there should be little emphasis on pronouncing correctly. I like the NAQT rule and the leeway it provides. Many kids have never AP-US History since 1976 and I mispronounced Roger B Taney's name until I visited his home (in MD, I think) and heard it pronounced correctly. (I used a long A instead of the ah sound.)

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Post by jrbarry » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:12 pm

wow, my editing skills stink.

I meant to say "many kids have never heard such words pronounced at all much less correctly pronounced. I have taught..."

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Post by Sir Thopas » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:23 pm

jbarnes112358 wrote:
Leo Wolpert wrote:
In short, don't be a pronunciation nazi.
Speaking of pronunciation Nazi. A few years back, one of my players, who had parents from India, would often pronounce the letter v like the letter w, which is a common Indian pronunciation. He gave "Wenus" for Venus, and the moderator would not accept it. :sad:
Yeah, this would've almost been acceptable if the letter v wasn't pronounced like a w in Latin anyway.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:51 pm

First off, we live and play in the United States of America. We should speak the language of said United States, and that includes several norms of pronunciation.

But since that line of argument is unlikely to be popular round these parts, I will go with a different one:

Many people learn things by reading, be it by reading books or by reading old packets or by reading (gasp!) Wikipedia. These do not always come with pronunciation parts. Requiring proper pronunciation discriminates against people who learn this way.

I know this from personal experience. At Chicago practices, I am notorious for anglicizing things (just the other day I pronounced "mahdi" with a h and got a dirty look from Selene Koo for it). The truth is that this is only half or even just one quarter political; much of it is because I learned that thing from a book and legitimately do not know the "correct" pronunciation.

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Post by Strongside » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:55 pm

I think quiz bowl should test knowledge and not pronounciation so if it is close I would give the player the benefit of the doubt but sometimes there is a fine line between correct and incorrect. For example I have seen John Coetzee's names pronounced Coo tsee and Cut see uh in NAQT packets. That was harsh ruling on Friedan and I had a similar incident with Kazantzakis but I felt most moderators were generous with pronounciation. I remember there was one question where I answered Paraguay and the answer was Uruguay but the moderator gave it to me and no one argued about it. We won that match by 25. I didn't even know the answer was Uruguay until I listened to the podcasts.
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Post by canaanbananarama » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:11 pm

Bruce writes:
I know this from personal experience. At Chicago practices, I am notorious for anglicizing things (just the other day I pronounced "mahdi" with a h and got a dirty look from Selene Koo for it). The truth is that this is only half or even just one quarter political; much of it is because I learned that thing from a book and legitimately do not know the "correct" pronunciation.
Wait a minute, how is your pronouncing of "mahdi" with the "h," (not that it's really an 'h', but whatever) representative of Anglicizing the pronunciation when it's what one should do in Arabic? And what business does noted non-Arab and presumptive non-Arabic speaker Selene Koo have giving you dirty looks about your pronunciation of Arabic, when yours seems to be more representative of the actual pronunciation of the word?

On the counter side to butchering French, I've always struggled with a notion of how correctly I should pronounce things, as often with more obscure languages, I've given right answers and been told that I pronounced it wrong; CBI Nationals disputed my pronunciation of the word "muezzin" for twenty minutes before allowing my pronunciation (based on Arabic, not the common Turkish). I've kind of had to learn to pronounce things the Anglicized way in order to avoid people's bladders exploding, a la CBI.

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Post by quizbowllee » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:16 pm

The Friedan thing should NOT have happened. The rules are pretty clear that a pronunciation need only be phonetically correct. Friedan could be pronounced any number of ways phonetically and they should all be accepted. NAQT needs to make this clear to all - even the most elitist - of their moderators and make sure that they ALL stick to it!

We didn't get credit for "Ahmadinejad" at the HSCNT. Our current events guy, Mark, pronounced it "Uh-mahd-in-uh-jahd" and the moderator wouldn't give it to him. I protested, but he wouldn't budge. That's phonetically correct, but no points. Mark clearly knew the answer....


I've been involved in this game for a long time, and I've gotta say that there are still a lot of fairly common topics that I'm not 100% sure how to pronounce.

Also, here are some commonly misprounced or ambiguous answers that shouldn't be nit-picked:

Euler (looks like "you-ler" to me)
Huitzilopochtli
Pachelbel
Nietzche (until college quiz bowl, I'd never heard any pronunciation for this other than "Neetchy")
Hesse (rhymed with "guess" to me until a few years ago)
Taney (which I was taught in school had a long "a". I now know different)
Coatzee (seriously, how the *!@@ is this pronounced?)
Goethe (was "Goath" to me throughout high school)
Friedan (I thought is was like "freedom" with an "n")

That's just the tip of a very large ice-berg. I did (and do) most of my learning from reading. Therefore, I simply never heard these words pronouned. You may think that makes me an uneducated hick, but I held my own pretty well in quiz bowl. I might not be able to take some of the best of you out there, but I could hold my own - but I might mispronounce a lot of words in the process.

:wink: :wink:
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Post by conker » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:32 pm

quizbowllee wrote:The Friedan thing should NOT have happened. The rules are pretty clear that a pronunciation need only be phonetically correct. Friedan could be pronounced any number of ways phonetically and they should all be accepted. NAQT needs to make this clear to all - even the most elitist - of their moderators and make sure that they ALL stick to it!

We didn't get credit for "Ahmadinejad" at the HSCNT. Our current events guy, Mark, pronounced it "Uh-mahd-in-uh-jahd" and the moderator wouldn't give it to him. I protested, but he wouldn't budge. That's phonetically correct, but no points. Mark clearly knew the answer....
I don't see what's wrong with the pronunciation for Ahmadinejad. Where was the stress? It is pronounced: "ah-mah-DEEN-uh-jahd."
Euler (looks like "you-ler" to me)
Huitzilopochtli
Pachelbel
Nietzche (until college quiz bowl, I'd never heard any pronunciation for this other than "Neetchy")
Hesse (rhymed with "guess" to me until a few years ago)
Taney (which I was taught in school had a long "a". I now know different)
Coatzee (seriously, how the *!@@ is this pronounced?)
Goethe (was "Goath" to me throughout high school)
Friedan (I thought is was like "freedom" with an "n")
I agree, although I don't see how you could possibly mispronounce Pachelbel (unless I've been pronouncing it wrong my whole life). Putting Huitzilopochtli into any packet is pure malicious. To add to Hesse, Heine is another one that is often mispronounced (including by myself at NAQT during a mental lapse). I think as Americans, we should know how to pronounce Taney and Friedan, but I don't think it's a big deal if it's mispronounced. I've heard plenty of awful mispronunciations on Jeopardy that were accepted as answers.

And for the record, Coetzee is pronounced "COOT-see-uh."
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Post by solonqb » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:43 pm

Pachelbel's first l is silent.

And Charles and Bruce are correct, although the h in mahdi is of the non-guttural kind. Calm down though, Charles.

As far as Ahmadinejad goes, I can see stress going on either the first or third syllable (I stress the first, since Ahmadinejad is a compound name), but uh-mAAhd-ee-najad is wrong, since the vowel is a short a. Nevertheless, I would accept it as a credible attempt at pronunciation.
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Post by DumbJaques » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:46 pm

Sounds like a story that was told to me about a player with a lisp that pronouced something correctly but the other team captain had a fit about it..
I wasn't actually going to bring that up, because someone asked me not to. . . oh well.

You play by the rules. If they suck, then you should complain about them, but you're responsible for the rules of any tournament you play it. If the format is NAQT or, more specifically to this instance, PACE, then having the consonants correct with the correct number of syllables is acceptable. Inserting an extra syllable, leaving one out, or using an incorrect consonant is wrong.

I am perhaps going out on a limb in assuming you're referring to the RM A - Brindlee Mountain A game at PACE. If you're honestly not, then tell me and I'll delete this post, but if you're going to describe how I reacted as "having a fit," then I'm going to respond. Also, it is relevant to the debate as a whole, and I am interested in what people have to say about it.

My teammate buzzed in, realized he couldn't remember how to pronounce, made an effort and said "Lil-ee-ooh-kah-wau-ee," an answer which is clearly incorrect for "Liliuokalani" (lil-ee-ooh-kah-lan-ee). A player on BM buzzed in on the bonceback and said "Lil-ee-loo-kah-lan-ee." I then claimed that he was no more correct than my teammate had been (both had incorrect pronunciation involving consonants that do not actually happen to appear in those places in Liliuokalani's name). There then occurred a brief debate about the player's lisp/speech impediment. I certainly do not fault a player for having anything like that, but I don't believe that it's fair to rule his answer correct and my teammate's answer incorrect (note: the implication in that statement is that both answers are, clearly, incorrect). Matthew D, since I think you are a coach, I would suggest that you avoid making comments like that about a game of which you have absolutely no firsthand knowledge (not to mention a game which your information source(s) specifically requested be kept off forum discussion). If you want to accuse me of throwing a fit or something like that, go right ahead, but I can give a bit more detailed account of who in that room actually got out of line (complete with ambiguous racism!)

To the larger issue, I don't think you have to pronounce things with correct accents or in non-anglicized form. I mean, there are plenty of things that no one really know how to pronounce (I STILL don't know how the crap to pronounce "Sartre"), and like Leo said, you can't fault someone for reading (and/or not hanging out with Norwegians). I don't think consonants/syllables correct is a good blanket rule however, but I do feel like Daichi might be interpretting "demonstrates clear lack of knowledge" a bit too narrowly. For example, I can't imagine how saying "Charles" the English way would be wrong (assuming, I suppose, the competition is in something other than French). If you say "Per-ih-culls" for "Pericles," being mocked will be penalty enough, and you clearly knew who the guy was. However, the mythological figure Argos, who built the Argo, is not the same as that bigass dude with a hundred eyes, Argus. I'll admit it's something of a fine line, but I think the common sense test works 99% of the time.

Sort of.
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Post by Matthew D » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:17 pm

Okay I will tell you, you are wrong.
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Post by aestheteboy » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:23 pm

Thank you for the comments and responses.
I think there are three different things being discussed:
anglicizing, WRONG pronunciation (like munch), and small mispronunciation (like Friedan).
I agree about the last one. Small variations should be accepted.

About anglicizing...
Bruce wrote: We should speak the language of said United States, and that includes several norms of pronunciation.
Is a name something that can be translated . . .? You may think it's ridiculous, but I feel it's very rude to call Charles de Gaulle the english way. But I realize it's not a matter of "should or not," but rather "is or not." It seems majority of people do call him the english way, so I have no valid argument.
About WRONG pronunciation...
I am surprised that people think pronunciation is not part of "knowledge."
I don't think you deserve points simply by "knowing the answer."
I mean, I obviously know the answer if I said "the guy on one dollar bill" for GW.

Maybe I was just having illusions, but I thought one way to interpret quizbowl was that it was a test of culture, sophistication, and education.
To me, calling Munch "munch" is the farthest thing from culture, sophistication, or education.

I understand many books do not provide pronunciations, but that argument becomes very weak if you start considering pronunciation "knowledge." You can't blame question writers for asking something that is not on "your book." Good encyclopedias have pronunciations. It's very easy to look up pronunciations online.

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Post by dschafer » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:09 pm

We need a question on "Vergangenheitsbewältigung." Nobody would get it because of pronunciation alone.

One packet I read in practice had a question on the Houyhnhnms, where the answer key stated "accept reasonable attempts." This seems like a good policy for this particular answer; are there any others that deserve a similar policy?
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Post by Trevkeeper » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:20 pm

The knowledge is knowing that Goethe wrote Faust, not knowing how to pronounce his name. Buzzing in with "Goath" clearly demonstrates that player has the knowledge of the author, while buzzing in with "The guy who wrote the Sorrows of Young Werther" does not.
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Post by dtaylor4 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:01 pm

I think that a good policy is if you don't think you can pronounce it, spell it. At NAQT SCT, I went stupid and said Olmert's name in a French way (ol-mare), and got negged. I protested, and to show knowledge, i spelled his name, and I was given the 10.

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Post by fancynancy » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:05 pm

aestheteboy wrote: About WRONG pronunciation...
I am surprised that people think pronunciation is not part of "knowledge."
I don't think you deserve points simply by "knowing the answer."
I mean, I obviously know the answer if I said "the guy on one dollar bill" for GW.

Maybe I was just having illusions, but I thought one way to interpret quizbowl was that it was a test of culture, sophistication, and education.
To me, calling Munch "munch" is the farthest thing from culture, sophistication, or education.

I understand many books do not provide pronunciations, but that argument becomes very weak if you start considering pronunciation "knowledge." You can't blame question writers for asking something that is not on "your book." Good encyclopedias have pronunciations. It's very easy to look up pronunciations online.
I don't think anyone would disagree with you that pronunciation is an important part of knowledge. However, in any format with bouncebacks, if team A were to buzz in with a reasonably correct although mispronounced answer and was denied credit, the second team could feasibly get the question correctly by only recognizing the mispronunciation and correcting it, even if they otherwise would have had no idea what the question was talking about.
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Post by jbarnes112358 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:07 pm

Bruce wrote:First off, we live and play in the United States of America. We should speak the language of said United States, and that includes several norms of pronunciation.
The United States is not the only English speaking country. Certainly we should allow alternate pronunciations from other English speakers. Ever hear a British person pronounce Aluminum or laboratory? I'm not sure if the former even passes the consonant/syllable test. Maybe these are within the "norms" to which you refer.

I'm not sure you would really want to use the United States norms of pronunciation test anyway. For example, Charles is not pronounced "Sharl" as an American norm of pronunciation. As a math teacher, I hate it when people mispronounce Euler, even after I make a big point of the way it should be pronounced. But, it is asking a lot to expect everyone to be familiar with the intricacies of pronunciation in all world languages. I especially have trouble pronouncing Chinese words. My Chinese-speaking players are kindly tolerant of my attempts, however.

I would want to give fairly large leeway in pronunciation. It is true that much of what we learn is from reading and not from hearing. I would not want to deny credit for anyone who says "Yu-ler" for Euler.

As a practical matter, if you start being overly picky on pronunciation, you open a can of worms with even more opportunity for protest and controversy. I believe the consonant and syllable rule should be adequate in most instances. Furthermore, if we are going to demand better pronunciation, let's start with the moderators.

If proper pronunciation indicates sophistication of education, what about spelling? What if someone pronouces a word perfectly, but butchers the spelling? I know Quiz Bowl is mostly verbal. So, inability to spell is not usually determined, except in tournaments with worksheet and whatnot. Is a person inherently less educated if he learns a word from reading it in a book, than he is from hearing it on the History Channel?

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Post by Chico the Rainmaker » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:37 pm

jrbarry wrote: I still cannot believe that Santa Monica (in a Sat afternoon prelim match) was ruled WRONG when they answered Betty Freedan instead of Betty Free-DAN. I thought that was poor judgment.
Yeah, I was kind of in shock about that one myself. I know that Fionnan (the person who gave that answer) had never heard the name Betty Friedan spoken before, but had read her name in relation to the work that was being mentioned. After he said the answer and I saw the moderator hesitate, I kind of mumbled Free-DAN, but I don't think he noticed. In any case he sped along into the next question (aside: I noticed at HSNCT that a problem with timed rounds is that the moderators have to continue quickly into the next tossup or bonus part, often before I had time to process what had just happened and whether it was something I needed to protest. Maybe I'm just slow-witted. But I digress) and I put it from my mind. Of course, had the game come down to that bonus part we would've protested, but I agree wholeheartedly with you and most of the people in herethat it never should've been ruled wrong in the first place.
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Post by quizbowllee » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:26 pm

DumbJaques wrote: I wasn't actually going to bring that up, because someone asked me not to. . . oh well.
Very true. I did ask you not to bring this onto the boards. I wanted to avoid any more embarassment to the particular player in question. I appreciate you honoring that request.
DumbJaques wrote:You play by the rules. If they suck, then you should complain about them, but you're responsible for the rules of any tournament you play it.
I'm actually quite glad you said this. I am fairly certain that a player is not allowed to question a moderators acceptance of a pronunciation. I know that is the case in NAQT, at least. I haven't checked specifically with the PACE rules, though. You, however, asked my player to repeat an answer AFTER the moderator had ruled it correct. That is overstepping the bounds. The moderator should have kept that from happening and the entire unfortunate event that transpired thereafter could have been avoided.
DumbJaques wrote: I am perhaps going out on a limb in assuming you're referring to the RM A - Brindlee Mountain A game at PACE.
Unfortunately, I think you went out on the wrong limb. "Mattew D" was my assistant coach in the 2004-2005 year. I happen to know the incident he was referring to, and it was NOT this one. But, since the cat is out of the bag....

DumbJaques wrote:My teammate buzzed in, realized he couldn't remember how to pronounce, made an effort and said "Lil-ee-ooh-kah-wau-ee," an answer which is clearly incorrect for "Liliuokalani" (lil-ee-ooh-kah-lan-ee). A player on BM buzzed in on the bonceback and said "Lil-ee-loo-kah-lan-ee." I then claimed that he was no more correct than my teammate had been (both had incorrect pronunciation involving consonants that do not actually happen to appear in those places in Liliuokalani's name). There then occurred a brief debate about the player's lisp/speech impediment.
So far, I agree with most of this. There are some things, though, that you left out.

First, at the point that this happened, you were winning 215-60. Now, if you thought that my team was still a threat to mount a major comeback at that point, then I will consider that a compliment. Also, like I mentioned earlier, the moderator already accepted the answer. You had no right to ask a player on the other team to repeat an answer that was already accepted. Also, it's not like you politely asked for a repeat. You pretty much DEMANDED that he repeat his answer. You had a very confrontational tone from the beginning. Furthermore, I'm not entirely sure he mispronounced it the first time. He did the second time, when you - not the moderator - prompted him. He got nervous and defensive.
DumbJaques wrote: I certainly do not fault a player for having anything like that ...
But, you DID fault him. When I mentioned that he had a speech impediment, you immediately replied "I don't see how you can use that as an excuse for missing a question in quiz bowl."
DumbJaques wrote:If you want to accuse me of throwing a fit or something like that, go right ahead, but I can give a bit more detailed account of who in that room actually got out of line (complete with ambiguous racism!)
Sigh... I take a great deal of offense to this statement. First, I backed out of the conversation the very moment that I was asked, by the player in question, to "Please just drop it." However, I was not about to chastise his PARENTS for sticking up for their kid in a situation in which they felt he was being wronged. Plain and simple, he was penalized for having a speech impediment. He's been playing quiz bowl for five years. In that time, he's been asked to repeat answers before, but NEVER has he been penalized. I completely understand where his parents were coming from. You will too if you are ever a father. As for the "ambiguous racism!," I think you're stretching it. His father asked you if people with different accents or speech impediments, etc. should not be allowed to compete. He then said "There was a moderator earlier today who we couldn't understand a word he said." I don't think that is racism. First off, there WAS a moderator in our pool that we simply couldn't understand. It was a miracle that we won that round. We almost didn't. Andy, our best player, and one of the best players in the nation, looked at me during a score check and said "I'm sorry, I'm useless this round. I just can't understand him." If that comes across as racist, I'm sorry.

During this whole exchange amongst you, my team, and his parents, I was really biting my tongue. But, I wanted to honor my player's request to let it go. I kept HOPING that the moderator would step in and stop the whole thing, but he didn't...


At any rate, I wish the whole thing hadn't happened, but it did. The young man was embarassed. The team was despondent that it happened, and the rest of the round felt like it dragged on forever. I think we all just wanted to get out of there ASAP.

Chris, you are an awesome player. I firmly believe you were the best single player in the nation this past year. Congratulations on your National Championship. I do feel that you could have handled this situation a bit better. Learn some tact. Even if you felt that you absolultely HAD to protest, you did not have to be so confrontational and rude about it. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Anyway, it's over. What's done is done. I'm ready to forget it happened and look forward to next year. I just hope, though, that nothing like this ever happens again to anyone.
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Post by MikeWormdog » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:29 pm

I always wondered why people were so insistent on the "correct" pronunciation of Roger Taney's name as "Tawney" but not of the correct pronunciation of the just-as-dead James Buchanan and Joseph Pulitzer. For those names you often hear people say "Byoo" or "Pyoo" as the first syllable, when the correct pronunciations (at least among their contemporaries) are "Buh-cannon" and "Puh-litzer." It doesn't matter a whole lot, since they're both dead and not around to correct us, but I've often wondered why Taney has had such vocal support for "correct" pronunciation.

Mike, whose own last name is often mispronounced

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Post by quizbowllee » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:47 pm

conker wrote: I agree, although I don't see how you could possibly mispronounce Pachelbel (unless I've been pronouncing it wrong my whole life).
OK... I think I may have told this story before... Anyway, I first learned about Pachelbel from a girl who erroneously (unbeknownst to me) pronounced it "Pash-uh-bul". So, that's how I pronounced it throughout high school. Teams in Alabama were so bad back then, that they were just amazed that I knew who composed ANYTHING, so it was never questioned, and I never learned otherwise.

Then I got to college and took a music history course. Dr. Brooks corrected my pronunciation. So, I then learned that it was "Pok-ul-bell" (which damn near rhymes with Taco Bell)...

So then I went to college tournament in Florida. The Pachelbel question came up, I buzzed and said "Pok-ul-bell." The moderator gave me a sarcastic smirk and asked me to repeat it. I did. He then laughed and, in a very pretentious and condescending voice said "Well, I guess that's how you pronounce it in Alabama."

So... to this day, I still say "Pok-ul-bell." But I'm not 100% sure it's right. It might just be the way I say it because I'm white trash.
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Post by JohnAndSlation » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:21 am

The one pronunciation that drives me CRAZY is "Wag-ner". It should be "VAG-ner", but...
Nietzche is pronounced "Neetz-sche", and Euler is "Oi-ler" (I'm guessing?).

Variations in pronunciation should be accepted UNLESS they cause players/moderators no to be able to understand a word. Or gives away a spelling ("Ep-it-ohm" for epitome).

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Post by dtaylor4 » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:32 am

JohnandSlation wrote:The one pronunciation that drives me CRAZY is "Wag-ner". It should be "VAG-ner", but...
Nietzche is pronounced "Neetz-sche", and Euler is "Oi-ler" (I'm guessing?).
For pronouncing Nietzche: When I learned about him, my coach told me two ways to say it: Nee-chee (rhymes with peach), or Nee-chay (rhymes with OK). There is also Nee-chuh (rhymes with duh). I don't know which one is technically correct, and I've never been negged, and I've used all three.

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Post by quizbowllee » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:41 am

JohnandSlation wrote:The one pronunciation that drives me CRAZY is "Wag-ner". It should be "VAG-ner", but...
Nietzche is pronounced "Neetz-sche", and Euler is "Oi-ler" (I'm guessing?).

Variations in pronunciation should be accepted UNLESS they cause players/moderators no to be able to understand a word. Or gives away a spelling ("Ep-it-ohm" for epitome).
Just to clarify, I know how to pronounce these now. But, it took a while.

There are still several names, places, topics, etc. that I'm not sure about. There are words that I'm not sure if the vowels are long, like "Trimurti". Is that "Try-murt-ie"? "Tri-murtee"? "Tree-murt-ie"? "Tree-murtee"?

I think any of those should be sufficient in quiz bowl.

Come on, folks. We live in a world where "Krzyzewski" is "Shu-shev-skee"!!!

Let's not split hairs about "W"s that are supposed to sound like "V"s and whatnot.
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Post by leapfrog314 » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:46 am

In case anyone was interested, it's PAH-k'l-BEL, though puh-KELL-bell might be somewhat acceptable as well. I don't think music scholars ever agree with any other pronunciations.

As to rulings, just about anything with the right consonants in the right order should be acceptable, even if hearing "Charles de Gaulle" pronounced like English is against your religion. Deal with it. There are many names that I have never heard pronounced, and I know I will butcher them if I try. But I should still get credit for knowing them.

Moderators should not be afraid to ask players for spelling if they are in doubt. On the other end, question writers should not be afraid to put in pronunciation guides if they think the word would likely be mispronounced.

(For what it's worth, nobody can pronounce my last name right, though I've pointed out that it's obviously Italian, so it's spelled AND pronounced the same way as "Giuliani," which nobody ever mispronounces. People get it wrong anyway. ang-WEE-lee it is not.)
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Post by DumbJaques » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:53 am

I do feel that you could have handled this situation a bit better. Learn some tact. Even if you felt that you absolultely HAD to protest, you did not have to be so confrontational and rude about it. A little courtesy goes a long way.
First of all, I apologize for getting this whole thing mixed up today. I certainly didn't want to cause any embarrassment to the player, and I would hope he wouldn't feel embarrassed. It was an honest mistake, and as I repeatedly told you after the game, if you wished to protest it, I would have withdrawn my objections, I sincerely did not want to punish a kid for having a speech impediment.

However, I don't think you have a right to call on me to use more tact. True, you were extremely polite during the entire protest (something I never disputed, and probably should have taken more care to mention). I happen to feel that you were too polite. There is a reason parents are not allowed to confront refs or players during athletic competition, and as the coach of a team, you assume a degree of responsibility for the parents. Obviously if a parent goes nuts, that's not your fault, but I don't believe that as I coach, I would feel comfortable allowing a parent to make an argument for my team on a protest. In that situation, you SHOULD have stepped in. I don't think that decision reflects any superiority of manners whatsoever.

If your tact comment referred to my decision to raise the issue even though we were leading, I think that's an absurd statement to make. First of all, 140 points in PACE is nothing, it's 3 tossups in the final round, and the game was only about halfway done. But more importantly, I treat my opponents the way I would like to be treated. I respect them as competitors, 100% of the time. I shake hands as earnestly when I get demolished as when I'm on the other end of it. Your team was a playoff team. You described your captain as one of the best players in the country. You don't deserve to be coddled, you certainly don't need it, and you shouldn't ask for it. I would be far more offended by a team not taking me seriously than a team over-protesting, and while I recognize you may feel differently, I see that as a difference of opinion, not a lack of tact on my part.

If you were (also) referring to my tone/demeanor/etc. making the protest, I'm not sure what you had a problem with. I clearly heard him say "liliuolukalani." The moderator clearly did not. If I hadn't heard him pronounce it incorrectly, I would have had no reason to ask him to repeat it. Obviously, I couldn't have known this kid had a speech impediment when I said that, so I couldn't have been trying to mess with him, and I'm sure that isn't what you were insinuating anyway. I did feel a bit awkward doing it, but my words were "Could you repeat that?" not "repeat that please, punk!" Simply put, the moderator dropped the ball (here and throughout the whole protest), and your player would have been completely justified in saying "no" or waiting for some cue from the moderator. More importantly, YOU would have been completely justified in saying that he shouldn't have to repeat it, and that I had no technical right to ask him to repeat it. I never claimed that I did. But he did repeat it, the exact same way that I had heard him say it, and the moderator then negged him. If you had a problem with that, you should have said something to the moderator, or to me, and we would obviously have discussed it. Instead, some parents stepped in and were extremely rude and confrontational towards me. I remained completely calm and polite towards them, which is why your accusation that I excersised a lack of tact bothers me. One of the parents mentioned something about "the guy who no one could understand" (something which I did in fact find slightly ambiguously racist, although I'm not clear on his exact language, so it's entirely possible I just misinterpreted this part. I thought he said "that asian guy" or "that chinese guy," but no one else seems to remember it, so I'm probably wrong). I then politely said "I don't think that has anything to do with this" (which, it didn't), to which I recieved an incredibly rude "no, it doesn't" from another parent. The parents went off on a tirade about people from different regions and linguistic backgrounds while I was merely trying to explain why I didn't feel your player should get a question right for doing the EXACT SAME THING my player was negged for. You are misquoting me, my point was more along the lines of a speech impediment not entitling you to mispronounce things, you make me sound like the poster boy for a cultural sensitivity video. I believe I demonstrated a considerable amount of tact, particularly given how incredibly rude and irrelevant the parent comments were, in a situation where the moderator and you, the only actual coach present in the room, should have become immediately involved in. If you use tact to refer to the way I conducted the protest, then I suppose that's just a matter of perception, and I maintain I wasn't anywhere close to the rudest person in that room. If you're referring to the decision to protest itself, you need to realize that at a national tournament between two playoff teams, there's no holding back, nor should there be.
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Post by Deviant Insider » Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:42 am

As a general rule, I think that it is a mistake during a protest when a coach or player says something to the other team. It is much better to tell a moderator that a pronunciation by the other team might have been wrong, giving the moderator the option of having the student repeat it, than to ask the student to repeat it.

I don't mean to be overly critical here--this situation comes up so rarely that I didn't realize what a mistake it is to ask a player on another team to repeat an answer until I had been coaching for many years. It is a mistake that I have made in the past and will not make in the future because it can lead to an escalation in tempers between reasonable people.

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Post by insaneindian » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:17 am

quizbowllee wrote:There are still several names, places, topics, etc. that I'm not sure about. There are words that I'm not sure if the vowels are long, like "Trimurti". Is that "Try-murt-ie"? "Tri-murtee"? "Tree-murt-ie"? "Tree-murtee"?
I think most Indian t's are pronounced with a 'th' sound. I say thri-moor-thee.

Slightly related but not really related: I always have to hold back a laugh when I hear Ghandi pronounced as Gon-di (Not because its wrong, I think thats how the British said it). It's perfectly acceptable to me but in my mother tongue that means arse. :grin: I say Gahn-dhee.
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Post by grapesmoker » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:48 am

If the consonants are in the right place and the answer contains the correct number of vowels, that should be sufficient for the answer to be acceptable. Why is there so much debate on this? I can't imagine very many plausible scenarious (I guess the Argus/Argos is one) where such a test would fail.
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Post by Howard » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:23 pm

quizbowllee wrote:I am fairly certain that a player is not allowed to question a moderators acceptance of a pronunciation. I know that is the case in NAQT, at least.
At the very least, if a player thinks an answer was incorrectly rejected or accepted, he should be able to protest and have the moderator reconsider. Furthermore (and I'm not sure if NAQT allows this), if the moderator is clear on the actual pronunciation by the player, then whether that particular pronunciation should be accepted should be able to be protested to tournament staff. The point of not allowing certain decisions to move outside the tournament room is to not have people deciding matters about which they don't have sufficient information. If the moderator can come tell the tournament staff what the pronunciation is, then they have the ability to make an informed decision.

Here's a counter-example from a Richard Montgomery tournament a few years ago. We were playing another team and received a -5 on a question which was completed but we answered incorrectly. This -5 didn't become apparent until the end of game score check. It was a close game and the -5 affected the outcome. I, of course protested the issue because I verifying the last word I heard of that question was indeed the last word of the question. What happened was that the director came into the room, listened to my side of the story, heard the versions from the moderators and from the opposing team (neither of which agreed with mine). I don't recall who said the question was unfinished or who wasn't certain. As a result, the director upheld the -5 on a question that I knew had been completed. Leaving the room gracefully was probably one of the most difficult things for my team to understand. But, although I knew the director's decision was incorrect, I also knew it was the only decision she could make. She didn't have the facts to change the moderator's ruling. So we indeed left graciously, knowing that we could have asked for little more than happened.
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Post by AKKOLADE » Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:09 pm

I was getting ready to post in this thread, but...
jbarnes112358 wrote:If proper pronunciation indicates sophistication of education, what about spelling?
That pretty much covers my view. I don't think either is really "necessary" knowledge if the question is "Do you know who/what this (famous person/artistic work/mythological figure/Degeneration-X member) is?" I just think there's more important stuff to worry about in quiz bowl than perfect pronounciation.

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Post by aestheteboy » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:15 pm

I might sound stubborn, but my wish is not to antagonize anyone so . . .
fancynancy wrote: I don't think anyone would disagree with you that pronunciation is an important part of knowledge.
I disagree. One person even said knowledge does not include "knowing how to pronounce his name."

Everyone seems to believe in "consonant/syllable" rule.
I don't understand the logic behind this rule, why everyone has so much faith in it.

There was a question on Kazakhstan (Ka-zak-stan).
A kid answered (Ka-za-ku-stan). He was negged.
Ka-za-ku-stan indicates lack of knowledge while "munch" does not. . .?
Besides, according to that rule, saying Hesse with one syllable would invalidate the answer because the correct pronunciation is two syllables. I think I can find more examples.
Does this rule really make logical sense?


In conclusion, if people do believe that pronunciation is important, but not appropriate to assess in quizbowl for technical reasons (difficulty in drawing the line between ok and not ok, ignorance of the moderators, players with speech impediment etc.), then I would understand. (I would also suggest the players and coaches with time get together and devise a system/rule that makes it possible to test pronunciation).

If people do not believe that pronunciation is important(which I believe is the case), then I would be very disappointed and disillusioned, but I would understand. However, I would suggest that consonant/syllable rule be reduced to "consonant rule." It doesn't make sense to not care about pronunciation and still care about syllables.

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Post by Strongside » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:28 pm

One thing that I would like to see or we could collaborate on as a forum would be to create a list of commonly mispronounced answers with the correct pronounciations.

On NAQT's website they have the you gotta know lists and a couple of them talk about common mistakes but a comprehensive list of all the commonly mispronounced answers in the high school canon would be benficial to many.
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Post by NotBhan » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:35 pm

bjb87 wrote:One thing that I would like to see or we could collaborate on as a forum would be to create a list of commonly mispronounced answers with the correct pronounciations.

On NAQT's website they have the you gotta know lists and a couple of them talk about common mistakes but a comprehensive list of all the commonly mispronounced answers in the high school canon would be benficial to many.
That's a damn good idea. Aestheteboy, here's your chance to funnel that disappointment and disillusionment into something positive and instructive. What better way to regain one's appointment and illusionment?
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Post by e_steinhauser » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:05 pm

Proper pronunciation (and spelling) are just trivia compared to the knowledge of subjects which are tested in quizbowl.

Moderators should have broad discretion to accept reasonable equivalents, particularly when a player is demonstrating clear and complete knowledge. I tend to be fairly lenient when moderating, particularly when it comes to foreign-type names. The vowel/syllable rule is a pretty good guideline, and it's pretty comprehensive if you permit vowels to be silent (taking care of the German "-e" problem). When in doubt, a moderator should ask the player to phonetically spell the word/name in question.
aestheteboy wrote:A kid answered (Ka-za-ku-stan). He was negged.
Ka-za-ku-stan indicates lack of knowledge while "munch" does not. . .?
Besides, according to that rule, saying Hesse with one syllable would invalidate the answer because the correct pronunciation is two syllables. I think I can find more examples.
Does this rule really make logical sense?
It makes perfect sense to me. Inserting a random "u" in to Kazakhstan turns it into something it's not. Someone who'd never heard "Kazakhstan" pronounced before would probably read it aloud as "KAA-zack-stan," and he wouldn't be far off. Someone who'd never heard of Munch or Hesse would probably prounounce them as "munch" and "hess" or "hess-ee."
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Post by Kechara » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:35 pm

leapfrog314 wrote: (For what it's worth, nobody can pronounce my last name right, though I've pointed out that it's obviously Italian, so it's spelled AND pronounced the same way as "Giuliani," which nobody ever mispronounces. People get it wrong anyway. ang-WEE-lee it is not.)
Understood. My last name (Connolly) is pronouced like cannoli all the time by people who haven't heard it, to the point where my dad hangs up on anyone who calls using that pronunciation on the assumption that they are a telemarketer. I'm Irish, not an Italian dessert! (and for the record, it's KAHN-uh-lee, although I don't complain about KAHN-lee)

Between the mispronunciations and the misspellings, I'm actually glad to be getting rid of it for Bykowski! (sound it out and you'll pronounce it right)
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Post by Trevkeeper » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:00 pm

bjb87 wrote:One thing that I would like to see or we could collaborate on as a forum would be to create a list of commonly mispronounced answers with the correct pronounciations.
That's an excellent idea!

I can only think of a couple at the moment.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:03 pm

I think such effort could better be spent on pretty much anything else. The rules that most good tournaments have are in effect for a reason, namely to avoid penalizing people for picking up information from books (good!) instead of from previous tournaments (not so good.) Being pedantic about pronounciation is really not conducive to true knowledge; those of you who have taken an intro-linguistics course may have discovered that there is no "correct" or even "standard" pronounciation at all.

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Post by quizbowllee » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:05 pm

DumbJaques wrote:First of all, I apologize for getting this whole thing mixed up today. I certainly didn't want to cause any embarrassment to the player, and I would hope he wouldn't feel embarrassed.
Understood. As soon as I saw MatthewD's post, I knew you'd jump to that completely understandable conclusion.
DumbJaques wrote:However, I don't think you have a right to call on me to use more tact. True, you were extremely polite during the entire protest (something I never disputed, and probably should have taken more care to mention). I happen to feel that you were too polite. There is a reason parents are not allowed to confront refs or players during athletic competition, and as the coach of a team, you assume a degree of responsibility for the parents. Obviously if a parent goes nuts, that's not your fault, but I don't believe that as I coach, I would feel comfortable allowing a parent to make an argument for my team on a protest. In that situation, you SHOULD have stepped in. I don't think that decision reflects any superiority of manners whatsoever.

I had to laugh out loud when I read this. As a coach, I've been called all sorts of things, but "Too polite" has never been one of them....

As for your overall point, I wouldn't allow a parent to make an argument on a protest. I don't really think that is what they were doing. They were sticking up for their kid. They actually did not say a word until you said that having a speech impediment couldn't be used as an "excuse" in quiz bowl. I might not have quoted you exactly right, but I know you used the word "excuse." I can see where that could rub someone the wrong way.
DumbJaques wrote:If your tact comment referred to my decision to raise the issue even though we were leading, I think that's an absurd statement to make. First of all, 140 points in PACE is nothing, it's 3 tossups in the final round, and the game was only about halfway done. But more importantly, I treat my opponents the way I would like to be treated. I respect them as competitors, 100% of the time. I shake hands as earnestly when I get demolished as when I'm on the other end of it. Your team was a playoff team. You described your captain as one of the best players in the country. You don't deserve to be coddled, you certainly don't need it, and you shouldn't ask for it. I would be far more offended by a team not taking me seriously than a team over-protesting, and while I recognize you may feel differently, I see that as a difference of opinion, not a lack of tact on my part.
I didn't mean to imply that you should've coddled us. I think that my team members actually felt like you should in regards to the protest, but they are 100% wrong there. We went in to that match knowing we were about to play the best team in the nation. My team expected to lose, which is something I can't stand. Therefore, they didn't consider themselves any threat to you. I don't think it occurred to them that you did consider them a possible threat. They felt that you were just being rude by protesting when you were up by so much. I disagree with them on that. They've gotta learn to think like champions, but I think that came from being so young.

By tact I meant two things: 1) Your tone/demeanor. You came across very agressive. No, you didn't say ""Repeat that please, punk!", but your tone implied it. Granted, in the excitement of the competition, we can all get carried away with enthusiasm and come across in a way we don't mean to. Perhaps that is what you did, and I can appreciate and understand that. I think if that round had been recorded and you could listen back to it, you'd see where I'm coming from. 2) The comment about using his impediment as an "excuse" seemed really condescending. More about that later....
DumbJaques wrote:If you were (also) referring to my tone/demeanor/etc. making the protest, I'm not sure what you had a problem with.
That's exactly what I was referring to, as I mentioned above.
DumbJaques wrote:Obviously, I couldn't have known this kid had a speech impediment when I said that, so I couldn't have been trying to mess with him, and I'm sure that isn't what you were insinuating anyway.
Understood.
DumbJaques wrote:I did feel a bit awkward doing it, but my words were "Could you repeat that?" not "repeat that please, punk!" Simply put, the moderator dropped the ball (here and throughout the whole protest), and your player would have been completely justified in saying "no" or waiting for some cue from the moderator. More importantly, YOU would have been completely justified in saying that he shouldn't have to repeat it, and that I had no technical right to ask him to repeat it. I never claimed that I did.
I think you claimed you had the right to do it by doing it. But, that's beside the point. I was going to point this out, but, like I have said so many times before, my player looked my directly in the eyes and said "Please, let it go." As a coach who cares deeply about his students, biting my tongue was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

As for your other point, my team will receive strict instructions at our first practice this year to NEVER repeat or give more information unless prompted by the moderator.

DumbJaques wrote:Instead, some parents stepped in and were extremely rude and confrontational towards me. I remained completely calm and polite towards them, which is why your accusation that I excersised a lack of tact bothers me. One of the parents mentioned something about "the guy who no one could understand" (something which I did in fact find slightly ambiguously racist, although I'm not clear on his exact language, so it's entirely possible I just misinterpreted this part. I thought he said "that asian guy" or "that chinese guy," but no one else seems to remember it, so I'm probably wrong).
They weren't just "some" parents, they were his parents. And, he was not being racist at all. In fact, he was being the OPPOSITE of racist. He said quiz bowl should be lenient of individuals who spoke differently whether it was due to an impediment, a nationality, regional dialect, etc. He most certainly DID NOT mention the moderator's ethnicity or nationality.
DumbJaques wrote:You are misquoting me, my point was more along the lines of a speech impediment not entitling you to mispronounce things, you make me sound like the poster boy for a cultural sensitivity video.
This is exactly what upset everyone so much. No, an impediment doesn't "entitle" someone to mispronounce things, it CAUSES them to. Whether this is what you meant or not, it sounded to me like you were implying that someone who can't talk correctly shouldn't be playing. Granted when posed with that question, you said that it "Certainly wasn't" what you meant. However, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what you DID mean. It seems you were saying that players with speech impediments should obviously be allowed to play, but whenever they buzz in to answer, they must miraculously shed their affliction and answer perfectly. It doesn't work that way. Honestly, at this point I'm not trying to make you sound like a bad guy, I'm just trying to figure out what you mean. How do you expect someone who speaks differently to play this game but also expect them to pronounce things perfectly?
DumbJaques wrote:I believe I demonstrated a considerable amount of tact, particularly given how incredibly rude and irrelevant the parent comments were, in a situation where the moderator and you, the only actual coach present in the room, should have become immediately involved in. If you use tact to refer to the way I conducted the protest, then I suppose that's just a matter of perception, and I maintain I wasn't anywhere close to the rudest person in that room. If you're referring to the decision to protest itself, you need to realize that at a national tournament between two playoff teams, there's no holding back, nor should there be.
Again, I don't think the parents were being as rude as you perceived them to be. Obviously, you were the one they were directing their frustration at, so your point-of-view is different. To them, to me, and to my entire team, it appeared that you were being very insensitive to a sensitive situation. My whole team took that one on the chin. In fact, that was probably the single best display of team unity I've ever seen them display. They were all so upset that they completely shut down. We never scored a single point after this incident. That's no coincidence. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming you for that, my team needs to learn to get over things and push on.

As for me not speaking up, I reiterate even again that it was simply in honoring the request of my team. Had I not been asked to let it go, I assure you that you would not be referring to me as "too polite."

Personally, I agree with you that the moderator should have made some kind of solid decision immediately. Had I been the moderator, I would never have let it get beyond someone questioning my acceptance of a pronunciation.

At any rate, it happened. I'm ready to put it behind us, but I think that it raises too many issues that need to be addressed to insure that it doesn't happen again.
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Strongside
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Post by Strongside » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:14 pm

Another reason to be generous is sometimes the correct pronounciation of a word is not what you'd think it is. For example I was looking through old NAQT packets and I saw John Mayer's last name pronounced Mare. if we went by the rule that there had to be the correct number of syllables most people whould get this question wrong unless they spelled which they probably wouldn't do. Therefore most people would this question wrong if they even knew the answer.
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Post by NotBhan » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:26 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:I think such effort could better be spent on pretty much anything else. The rules that most good tournaments have are in effect for a reason, namely to avoid penalizing people for picking up information from books (good!) instead of from previous tournaments (not so good.) Being pedantic about pronounciation is really not conducive to true knowledge; those of you who have taken an intro-linguistics course may have discovered that there is no "correct" or even "standard" pronounciation at all.
There's nothing wrong with putting together a list of pronunciations for educational purposes. That doesn't mean an answer of "Hess" instead of "Hess-uh" has to become unacceptable as a quizbowl answer. If the guy feels pronunciation is important and wishes to spend the time compiling some generally-accepted pronunciations, great. And if other folks want to add pronunciations, great. I wish I'd known in my early qb days that Joan Miro's first name wasn't pronounced like that of Joan Baez. And I too thought the author of Faust was "Goath" until I was 18.
"Keep it civil, please." -- Matt Weiner, 6/7/05

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Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:24 pm

In response to the initial post:

If there's one thing anyone who lives in the United States knows, it is that within this country's borders pronunciations can vary greatly from region to region and even from state to state. British people pronounce things differently than Americans. Every foreign language teacher I ever had told me that the same is true in other countries and languages as well. Word pronunciations vary. Proper names get pronounced differently.

Someone who pronounces Charles de Gaulle in the Anglicized manner isn't being disrespectful. For one thing the guy's dead, so he can't complain now can he? (laughs maniacally). That said, Americans and Brits just say his name differently than the French. I can't think of a time I heard someone use the French pronunciation of Charles de Gaulle, and I just watched a World War II documentary in which a British narrator pronounced "Charles de Gaulle" like "Gnarles the Ball". My Webster's dictionary says the "de" in de Gaulle is pronounced "di" and it gives two pronunciations for Gaulle. Clearly there is more than one proper way to pronounce his name. Heck, there's probably more than one pronunciation of his name within the very borders of France, a country that by your logic should always be pronounced "Fronce".

No, let's please not become pronunciation nitpicks. What one perceives as mispronunciations can be annoying, and there might be some of you who think someone who mispronounces anything is uncultured. Fair enough, but that someone should still get the points they earned by knowing the answer.

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Post by Tegan » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:05 am

I'm not sure anyone has brought this up:

When I took Spanish IV, I learned it from a Catholic brother from Spain .... specifically Barcelona (the region being Catalonia for those with the background). He pronounced words in Spanish differently from how we had learned some of them previously, and in addition, as we learned some of our new vocabulary, he admitted that we were learning things with a Catalonian pronunciation.....certainly different from Castillian, or Mexican or Bolivian pronunciation ..... yet hardly an "incorrect" pronuncaition.

Thus even in foreign words and names, it is possible based on our individual teachers, tutors, or even if some of us spent time in those places for a time, that we do say them as "correctly", as some one from that place would pronounce them ......

True, Waagner for Vagner and Goeth for Gerta are grating on the nerves ... especially because in these cases they are not regional misinterpretations of pronuncaitions, but clearly ignorance. On the other hand I think at some point you need to draw the line. At what point are you certain beyind all reasonable certainty that this person's pronunciation is absolutely wrong. Sometimes its easy ..... others are very difficult.

In a match once, I had a French student pronounce Du-bwah instead of Du-boys (as in WEB), and the moderator refused to eaccept it. I was ticked, and a year later, he apologized because he later felt that he had unfairly penalized clear knowledge.

Just to chime in: I'm not sure what PACE's or NAQT's rules are, but as a moderator I would personally have a problem if one team starts making requests of another team along the lines of "repeat".....I think the best way to go, IMO, is to address the moderator: "could you please have them repeat that?" I know Illinois rules are different from NAQT and PACE, but I wouldn't even permit a coach to request for repeats from another team.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:31 am

aestheteboy wrote:Maybe I was just having illusions, but I thought one way to interpret quizbowl was that it was a test of culture, sophistication, and education. To me, calling Munch "munch" is the farthest thing from culture, sophistication, or education.
So, if someone has read Emile Zola's Germinal (arbitrary choice) and beats you to a tossup on it (as they probably would), should they get the tossup wrong if they anglicize the pronunciation? Clearly, reading a novel constitutes educating oneself, which falls under "education," and literature is part of our "culture," but you're right, at a cocktail party, that person would probably make a fool out of himself because he pronounced the name (and all the characters' names) incorrectly. Looks like he failed "sophistication."

What this boils down to is that you're a huge tool. Quizbowl is not a "test" of anything, much less your arbitrary notions of culture, sophistication, and education. It's a game. The best quizbowl players get that way by reading books. They read literature, they read textbooks, and they read dictionaries/encyclopedias. To my knowledge, neither Encyclopedia Britannica nor Wikipedia features pronunciation guides, nor, obviously, do "works of literature." Even with pronunciation guides, many people have accents or, as the case may be, speech impediments that prevent them from passing your threefold test. Moderators should use their best discretion to tell whether a person is demonstrating knowledge. That is the absolute best we can ask for. This doesn't mean players should make an effort to mispronounce things or not do their best to pronounce them correctly, but it does mean that if a player just randomly read something in a book and thus gives a phonetic but incorrect pronunciation, it should be acceptable.
Eric Kwartler
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Post by Byko » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:06 am

Until moderators get the pronunciations of every foreign word from every foreign language right used in questions without having to have pronunciation keys, we need to be more lenient on pronunciation.

I pretty much follow the consonant rule: get the consonants in the right order, and you've got it. Say the answer in a way that phonetically matches what's written down (e.g., pronouncing Descartes as des-kar-TEZ, which I've had happen multiple times in matches I've read), and you're good. And if you're not sure if a player has it, ask the player to spell it to make sure they've got the consonants in order (NAQT's rules do a very good job of explaining this point).

I've had several times that my pronunciation has been corrected in reading a question because I don't know how to pronounce some words in their native languages or because I've seen it written down only and never heard it spoken. It's going to happen both ways, and players are certainly reasonable with us moderators. Let's do the same in return.
Dave Bykowski
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Post by grapesmoker » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:11 am

At a recent tournament, foolishly attempting the correct pronunciation of a Chinese name, I gave "Cao-Cao" as an answer but pronounced it "Tsao-Tsao." I'm not sure why I thought it was pronounced that way, but upon being prompted, spelled the answer and was given the points.

This whole pronunciation argument just seems misplaced. Even if someone has a speech impediment, that will not prevent them from getting the syllables in the right order or the consonants in the right place, which is why the syllable/consonant rule is so important. Knowing how to properly pronounce "Goethe" is good but is in no way a test of any knowledge pertaining to Goethe, and therefore has no place in quizbowl. Not to mention that 99% of the time, a competent moderator should either be able to tell when something is mispronounced or ask the player to give the response again, slowly. I don't remember the last time when someone's pronunciation actually made a difference in a collegiate tournament.
Jerry Vinokurov
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