Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pronunciation

I've always loved my last name - Donaghy - partly because it's not all that common (rogue NBA refs notwithstanding). But, I can count on one hand the number of school teachers or other people who pronounced it correctly the first time. Everyone assumes it's 'Don-a-hee' when really we say it 'Don-a-gee' ('g' as in 'geologist' -- not 'g' as in 'geek').

So, I was amused to learn from a colleague that this pronunciation conundrum popped up as a gag on '30 Rock' (the 'Fighting Irish' episode), where Alec Baldwin's character is named Jack Donaghy.
Liz Lemon: Can I help you?
Eddie Donaghy: Yeah, sweetheart: I'm looking for Jack Donaghy.
Liz Lemon: And you are?
Eddie Donaghy: Eddie Donaghy - Jack's brother.
Liz Lemon: Really? 'Cause Jack never mentioned a brother, and his name is "Donagee," not "Donahee."
I couldn't find a video clip online (probably because the first season is out on DVD), but apparently Jack changed his name in order to succeed in business. From what I can tell, the 'Don-a-hee' pronunciation is more common in Ireland, and given the number of times I've had to correct people, it would almost be easier to change it back the other direction. But, what can I say? We're Irish-American - may as well own it.

5 comments:

Jackie said...

"'g' as in 'geologist' -- not 'g' as in 'geek'"? Come on, there's got to be some sort of groan-inducing quip you can put together with that. Like 'g' as in 'genius,' not 'g' as in 'geek.' Yeah, that's much better.

Tim said...

Hey Jackie -- haha, yeah, I'll have to work that into my usual self-introduction. How about 'g' as in 'Jesus'? Too much?

Jackie said...

Hee! Brilliant, but, yeah, probably misunderstood.

Jessica said...

I admit it -- I say Dona-hee most of the time now. I'm a traitor!

Tim said...

Hey sis - we'll hold you to that hard-g when you're at home :)