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November 23, 2021 9:02 pm  #1


Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

By now you've probably heard the terrible story about an out-on-bail felon who drove a car into a Christmas parade in a small Milwaukee suburb, killing six people. It happened in the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin and has become a big headline. 

Even local stations have picked up on the tragedy, but the one thing that's driving me crazy is that so few seem to have bothered to learn how to correctly pronounce the name of the place where it happened. I've heard Walk-Key-Sha, Wah-kesha and I'm honestly not sure what Alex Pierson is saying. (On Tuesday, she had someone from the city talking about the incident and he pronounced it correctly. Despite that, she still said it wrong.)

For the record, it's Walk-Ka-Shaw. What bugs me is that many newsreaders on CFRB, GNR640, CityNews 680, CTV Local News and several others I've heard in the past few days never thought to ask anyone how it's actually pronounced. That's basic newscasting 101. I know it's nitpicky, but it matters.

I used to come across names, titles and places that I had no idea about. But I always did my best to find out what they were supposed to be. Apparently, no one thought of that in this case. 

It baffles me how, after so many days since this story broke, they somehow keep getting it wrong. 

 

November 24, 2021 11:25 am  #2


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

Who cares? It's close enough. Much like how we are not Tawranah but nobody cares.


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

November 24, 2021 11:33 am  #3


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

Agreed. If you don't know for sure ...ask... as things aren't always as they seem. 
Growing up in Southwestern Ontario we always used to hear new  Newscasters on the local station refer to the town of  MER-lin .( like the magician)  . It is actually pronounced mer-LIN. 
While working briefly in Calgary I discovered that the Alberta town is bow-NESS. Not BOW-ness. I always told colleagues if you hear an incorrect pronunciation...please correct me. I won't be offended.  No sense in sounding like an idiot..twice !
 

Last edited by fyshtalk (November 24, 2021 11:34 am)

 

November 24, 2021 11:34 am  #4


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

All my news directors drilled into me that accuracy matters, no matter how small the issue - including proper pronunciation. It also makes the newscaster and the station sound bad when they continually get it wrong. And it's not that hard to find out how to say it right. So some of us do care. 

     Thread Starter
 

November 24, 2021 11:40 am  #5


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

fyshtalk wrote:

Agreed. If you don't know for sure ...ask... as things aren't always as they seem. Growing up in Southwestern Ontario we always used to hear new  Newscasters on the local station refer to the town of  MER-lin .( like the magician)  . It is actually pronounced mer-LIN. 
While working briefly in Calgary I discovered that the Alberta town is bow-NESS. Not BOW-ness. I always told colleagues if you hear an incorrect pronunciation...please correct me. I won't be offended.  No sense in sounding like an idiot..twice !

You can always tell when someone didn't grow up in a specific place. How many times have you heard Port Dalhousie mispronounced? Or Strachan Ave.? I once heard a new newscaster pronounce "Yonge St." as though it rhymed with sponge. Doesn't make them stupid, just uninformed. As you rightly point out, you can always tell the out-of-towner from the local when they're doing news on the radio. But it makes everyone sound bad. 

If you're unsure, the best way is to just ask someone in the newsroom. Believe me, somebody there will know. It's why the Canadian Press still uses pronouncers in their copy when needed to remove any doubt.

I remember keeping a Perly's in my desk at work in the pre-Internet days. Not just to check spelling but also to confirm if a certain thoroughfare was a street or a road or an avenue. Nothing sounds worse than when somebody tells you about a crime that took place on Lawrence St. or Wilson Rd. (Both are avenues.) Small points, yes, but believe me, the audience that grew up here knows it instantly and it hurts your credibility if you get it wrong.

     Thread Starter
 

November 24, 2021 11:51 am  #6


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

Used to tell students that listeners  will very often give you a "pass" on mispronunciations but don't get on the wrong side of the Sports people.  You have to know that the soccer team is not  Ajax ..as it looks..but
Eye-yaks. My favourite is still the reference to legendary quarterback  Johnny Unitas as Johnny Yoon-i-taw!!

 

November 24, 2021 11:58 am  #7


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

100% agree. Sports fans are very unforgiving if you get the name of a team, player or coach wrong. I hear it all the time. Also sometimes in the scores. Especially when I hear a soccer final expressed as "Toronto FC won two to zero." Not really wrong, but you can tell that's not how a soccer fan or broadcaster would put it. 

     Thread Starter
 

November 24, 2021 1:46 pm  #8


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

RadioActive wrote:

Doesn't make them stupid, just uninformed

Unfortunately, this is all too common not only with pronunciation, but also with many of the stories they report.

Tough to find any news report that is accurate and unbiased.
 

 

November 24, 2021 2:25 pm  #9


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

My very first newscast at my first full-time job was at CKWW in Windsor.  My lead story dealt with a fire on Pierre Ave. If I hadn’t taken the time to learn that Pierre was pronounced “PEER-ee” in Windsor, my on-air days might have been numbered at one.

Last edited by Maybo (November 24, 2021 2:27 pm)


- Chris Mayberry
 

November 24, 2021 3:18 pm  #10


Re: Why Are So Many Cdn. Newscasters Getting This Wrong?

Radiowiz wrote:

Who cares? It's close enough. Much like how we are not Tawranah but nobody cares.

Amen