Our long national confusion is over


Getting back to this, Mr. Ignatieff’s office declares the correct pronunciation to be:

“Igg – nat (like gnat) – ee – eff.”

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Our long national confusion is over

  1. You should tell them they’re wrong, and refer them to yesterday’s comment thread on the topic.

  2. They actually used “gnat” in the description? Somebody should lose next year’s Christmas bonus…

    • … or read Lileks less often.

    • The gnat probably came from the same guy who used introduced puffins into Canadian politics.

  3. so, who’s going to let the NDP in on this?

    • I think they are calling him other names at this point.

  4. Did they also provide tips on how to pronounce Iggy? Is it Igg-ee or Igg-eye? And which part is emphasized? igg-EEE or IGG-ee?

  5. one thing is actually still not quite clear to me…

    Do you pronounce the “t” at the end of “gnat”, or do you do an “intervocalic flap,” that sound between a “t” and a “d” in words like “butter”, the way (I think) Susan Bonner does it?

    • Listen to Ignatieff on video — he pronounces the t.

      • cool, thanks!

        so: “Igg – nat – tee – eff.”

        anyway, everyone knows Chantal Hebert’s pronunciation is best: “een – ya – tyef”

        • Yes! I concur. Chantel’s delivery is delicious, it makes me tingle all over and i absolutely don’t want to know why!

        • C’est parce que’elle est francophone et c’est comme ça que l’on prononce Ignatieff en français.

          • Good old Chantle Heebert.

  6. OoOo.
    Could I have gotten it any MORE wrong?

  7. Easier to just say “The Count”.

  8. Like “Chretien” I can’t be bothered to quickly learn the spelling of a Liberal leader’s name. Iggy he is for the time being.

    • It’s always floored me how much trouble people had spelling Chrétien, or if you like, Chretien. I don’t know how many times I was called a Lackey of the corrupt Cretian government. And I was always like, That’s not how he spells it when he signs the cheques over to me.

      • Just a guess but when gentle-folk of the right persuasion use Cretian they’re not being ironic, of course some of them maybe projecting? But then so am i?How do you get Chuck to countersign those cheques?

      • Sponsorship cheques, or the other, regular, kind.

      • Until you see a complicated name eleventy billion times, there is little incentive for the average Canadian to know how it is spelled unless they are in grade school social studies.

      • They may have spelled it in strange ways, but come to think of it they pronounced it even more strangely. There’s:

        KRET-ien (w. correct nasalisation)
        what else? . . . oh, well, Chrétien every now and then.

        • In Alberta it’s definitely ” Cree tan”

          • Thus proving that Albertans are willing to be wrong for the sake of insult?

          • Ah, that’s interesting!

            It’s cool in a way that everybody has their own way of saying these names. I always say that when people are so familiar with your name that they can create their own pronunciation and still be understood, you’re on the way to joining the greats.

        • Funny that nobody in English Canada ever butchers Jean Charest’s name too badly. I’ve never heard either of the last two letters pronounced, and the vowel is always EY, i.e. Jean Sha-RAY. Which isn’t too bad. Also I’ve only ever heard it emphasised on the last syllable. Maybe confirms my hypothesis that you only start inventing your own pronunciation if you can get away with it and still be understood by everybody.

      • That’s cuz they were signed by the Dauphin Paul Martin. Don’t look one bit alike.

  9. Odd that he pronounces the “i” so prominently. In the original Russian, it’s a soft sign, which would not be pronounced (it shows that the preceding consonant should be palatalized).

    Also, I would have assumed that the “a” would be pronounced as a schwa, so that it sounded more like “not” than “gnat”.