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Dear Mr Sauce, please rerecord with a spondee

12 Oct 10 | Re: Awkward big name

I remember a minor television personality, I can’t recall who, once complaining about what a difficult interviewee Barbra Streisand was. She said that she knew it would be a tough few minutes when, right after being introduced, Streisand interrupted to correct the pronunciation of her surname. Apparently it’s supposed to be pronounced STREI-SAND, with the stress equally on both syllables. In poetic terms, Streisand is a spondee, not a trochee. Not content with having a silly, individualistic spelling for her first name, Barbra Streisand apparently also insists that her surname be voiced with a meter not normally assigned to any word in the English language. You could make a case for compound words like highbrow, or maybe lowbrow, or culinary loan words like bearnaise, but it’s hard to think of a normal, everyday English word with that stress pattern. Only global megastars like Barbra Streisand can demand double stress from their interviewers.

This brings me to the new single by dance act Duck Sauce, which you can listen to rightchere. It’s called Barbra Streisand, and its lyrics are just the words Barbra Streisand repeated over and over again, to a jaunty disco-house beat. (It’s much better than Barbra Streisand’s last single.) Scandalously, not one single instance of the words Barbra Streisand in the song Barbra Streisand is pronounced the way the singer Barbra Streisand thinks the words Barbra Streisand should be pronounced. Maybe the singer Barbra Streisand will release her own version, replacing the jaunted up disco-house with syrupy strings and pronouncing her name as only she can, thus putting the matter to rest once and for all. Come on, Barbra, educate us. Show us how your name should be pronounced, in defiance of all the ordinary rules of stress in the English language.

I hope she does.

Posted by ERIC CARTMAN at 13:51

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