Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 24 16:14:37 UTC 2009

At 9:34 AM -0500 8/24/09, Joan H. Hall wrote:
>Fred Cassidy's variant of choice was "hopedly" (in three syllables).
>Unfortunately, it didn't get much traction.
Speaking of syllables, I was a bit puzzled by a claim in yesterday's
NYT Sports section piece on how outfielder Ichiro Suzuki came to
become just plain "Ichiro" back when he was still playing in Japan,
before he became a star for the Seattle Mariners:

Because Suzuki's magical season [210 hits in a 130-game season]
happened to coincide with a wacky marketing gimmick concocted by his
manager, Akira Ohgi, his name will forever be rooted in the mystique
of 200 hits in Japan...Hoping to capture Japan's fancy, Ohgi replaced
the surname across the back of Suzuki's jersey with his first name
during spring training and registered him with the commissioner's
office as Ichiro. Surprised, to say the least, Suzuki, who was 20,
had little leverage to protest.

 From that moment, scoreboards across Japan would identify him as
Ichiro and the rest of Orix's starting lineup by their surnames.
Public-address announcers would shout out only the two syllables of
his first name when introducing his at-bat.

I was wondering whether one of his three syllables (the middle one I
figured) was actually silent in Japanese.  But I see from the version
appearing in the online version today that this was just a typo; the
last sentence above now refers to "the three syllables of his first
name"  Whew.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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