Stop digging

STOP DIGGING…. The National Review‘s Mark Krikorian received quite a bit of criticism yesterday (including some from me) following a couple of posts about the pronunciation of Sonia Sotomayor’s name. Krikorian argued that the proper pronunciation, preferred by the judge and her family, is “unnatural in English,” and “something we shouldn’t be giving in to.” It wasn’t clear which group of people constituted “we.”

Krikorian added that “newcomers” should “adapt” to how “countrymen say your name.” To do otherwise would be a failure of “multiculturalism.” He knows how to pronounce the Supreme Court nominee’s name, but he doesn’t like it, and would like others to join him in pronouncing it incorrectly.

Today, after noting the variety of responses to his argument — Olbermann labeled him the Worst Person in the World last night — Krikorian thought it wise to return to the subject again today.

[F]or those actually interested in the point, here’s what I was trying to get across: While in the past there may well have been too much social pressure for what sociologists call Anglo-conformity, now there isn’t enough. I think that’s a concern that most Americans share at some level, which is the root of the angst over excessive immigration, bilingual education, official English, etc.

I’m not sure how this helps.

The right would be less reactionary on issues like immigration and English as the “official” language if more families like Sotomayor’s would say their names without their accent? If more Spanish-speaking families would simply give up some of their culture and heritage, conservatives would be less narrow-minded?

Krikorian probably should have quit while he was behind.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.