Friday, May 09, 2008

Like Announcing a Hockey Game with 453 Players?

The Associated Press has a report on the plight, made ever more difficult by the growing numbers of foreign students coming to the U.S., of those responsible for calling the names of graduates receiving their degrees. For example, Jayne Niemi has this to look forward to:

A week from Saturday, 453 new graduates will cross the commencement stage on the lawn of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. Among them: Nokuthula Sikhethiwe Kitikiti, Udochukwu Chinyere Obodo, and Baitnairamdal Otgonshar.

Unfortunately, because the bearers of those names are actually present, Ms. Niemi can't follow the advice I used to give to readers in church who had to take on reading publicly a passage from the Bible that included difficult to pronounce and obscure names of people and places. I told them to just rip right through them, pretending they knew how to pronounce them. Most of the people listening didn't know either, and if one read them confidently, those in the pews would assume they most know it was right.

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