Wrangling among logocrats in the Anglo-Empyrean over how to pronounce something in the common language that separates us is good for a brief detox from the trumpical pandemia.
In August a Twitter-turd toss from Down Under landed on National Public Radio for pronouncing “emu” to rhyme with “poo” instead of “pew.”
(A few Texans have imported this native Australian and tried to reimagine it as a monetizable meat-bird. I don’t know that the enterprise has prospered.)
“Emu” is said to be an anglicised-Portuguese name in the first place. Who needs it?
According to reporting from NITV, the Warlpiri mob call emus “yankirri”, and the people of both the Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri nations referred to the bird as “thinawan” or “dinawan”.
(Matilda Boseley, “Ee-moo?! NPR’s ‘absurd’ pronunciation starts new emu war in Australia,” theguardian.com, 8-24-20)
I say let the native nations have the last word. It’s their bird.
(c) 2020 JMN