Say it right
After a long winter’s nap, baseball is back again. Although perhaps no longer America’s national pastime, baseball continues to have the longest season and the most statistics, and comprises players from at least 17 countries.
What baseball lacks, however, is a course in linguistics, as the names of Latino players are routinely mispronounced.
The most popular of them all is our own pride and joy, Salvador Perez. I have yet to hear his name pronounced correctly on radio or TV. It is not Pe-REZ with the accent on the last syllable, but PE-rez, with the accent on the penultimate syllable, as with most words in Spanish.
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And what about the letter ñ, which is an n capped with a tilde and pronounced with the tongue farther back in the palate to give that distinct sound as in Brayan Peña or Eduardo Nuñez?
The Latino players are too happy and grateful to have the opportunity to play in the big leagues to complain about the mispronunciation of their names, but we should learn how to pronounce their names correctly
Sen. Claire McCaskill had a made-right opportunity to talk the talk and walk the walk this past week. But she tripped on her own high-mindedness and fell into the rut that she spent most of the week deploring: the polarization in Washington.
McCaskill could have shown leadership, independence from party and appreciation for the legal skills and accomplishments of Judge Neil Gorsuch.
She had absolutely nothing to lose (other than her Democratic colleagues’ favor) and so much to gain by voting to confirm Mr. Gorsuch. As a lawyer and former prosecutor, she knew him to be imminently qualified for the position and the right choice no matter who nominated him.
With all the talk about compromise and both sides of the aisle working together, could there have been an easier issue and better place for her to start that movement with a reasoned vote?
It was an opportunity lost, senator. Let’s hope you seize the next one and vote with your instincts for your constituents and not your party’s angst.
Richard F. Thomas Jr.
Sane health care
I am 78 years old and had employer-paid health insurance for myself and family until I retired. There were no subsidies, except expense deductions for my employer. I did not pay income tax on a benefit that increased my disposable income. The tax I didn’t pay was in effect a tax credit.
I do not understand how health insurance can be called an “entitlement.” Government assistance for its purchase by those without tax-free, employer-provided insurance levels the playing field for them. Government subsidies for providers could lower health-care costs, but this would tilt the playing field further in favor of those who get health insurance at work.
It makes complete sense to me, after receiving employer-provided health insurance for 65 years without being taxed on its value, that a minor portion of my taxes help pay for someone else’s insurance.
I understand that insurance works best when everyone buys it and that fines should be used to enforce purchase and help pay for government subsidies for it. Of course, a single-payer financing system for health care would be saner and cost less.
When I was younger, I was naive enough to believe that my vote was important, that it counted. And I argued that point to my young friends.
In fact, when I voted for the first time I felt proud to live in a country that allowed me to vote.
Now though, I feel differently.
If a young person asked me today if his or her vote counted, I’m afraid my response would be nyet. I’m afraid our comrades — I mean our elected officials — don’t seem to be too concerned either.
Myra A. Hyatt
Lack of coverage
I was very disappointed by the lack of evening coverage from the local television news stations on Thursday’s World War I commemoration at Liberty Memorial. I saw only one story on one station, and that really wasn’t about the commemoration itself. After much channel surfing and finding nothing, I gave up.
We have a wonderful and world-class museum. We should all be proud of the sacrifices of those who came before us.
Just because the war took place 100 years ago, that doesn’t make it less relevant than the others that followed.
Come on local “news” stations, you can do better than that.