Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Unlike my fellow junkettes, I've been pretty lackadaisical about the Olympics this year. I've tuned in once or twice, some fancy and painful-looking mogul skiing here, a few minutes of hockey there, but women's figure skating last night was the first time I'd tried to actually watch for any sustained period of time NBC's Olympic coverage and . . . HATE. Not the filler, not the sappy commentary, not the painfully boring efforts on the ice, no these weren't what had me squirming on the couch. Every time Scott Hamilton or one of the other Olympics announcers said "Torino" I wanted to reach through my TV, smack them upside the head, and say: you're an American, broadcasting to a largely American audience, just say TURIN!

Maybe I'm alone, but every time Katie Couric says Torino I'm reminded of that obnoxious girl who came back to school after a three-week summer bus tour of Europe raving about the sights of Paree and Roma. I wanted to yell at her too: "just because you now know that the Spanish pronounce Seville Seveeya, doesn't mean you have to too."

Feel free to call me a cranky bitch, but please don't jump down my throat for cultural insensitivity. I would never go to Italy (part of what's bugging me is the inconsistency, why aren't the announcers calling it Italia while they're at it?), and ask for directions at the station for the train to Turin. I'd call it Torino, because when in Italy . . . I also call Nevada Nevaaada and not Nevahda because that's the way they pronounce it out west. I'm sure there's some good reason NBC has mandated this Torino instead of Turin nonsense. Maybe it was an obligation imposed on them for being allowed to broadcast the Games in the first place (though if so it's a new one because I don't remember them calling Athens "Athena"). But I'm so grateful not everyone is doing it: the NY Times, NPR, Sports Illustrated all call it Turin, and this cranky bitch for one is thrilled that it will all be over soon and she may go the rest of her life without hearing Katie Couric say "Firenze" when talking about Florence.



Blogger Red Fraggle said...

I think that the difference with Torino/Turin is that it is not a city like Rome or Athens--a place where most Americans have heard of it and called it by its "American name" for years. With all of the billboarding that says "Torino" I think it is fine (if inconsistent) to call it that. In fact, see my post below, where I refer to it as Torino!

2/24/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

Um . . . Shroud of Turin?


2/24/2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

And you think that the average American knows about this because...?

2/24/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Isaac, your bartender said...

But didn't Jesus call it Torino?

2/24/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

Because they love Jesus?

2/24/2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate it when people from the US pronounce "Chile" as "Chil-A."

2/26/2006 8:56 PM  
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