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298Re: Fw:

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  • navhist1
    Mar 31, 2002
      Another thing that bothers me, though I don't think we'll have much
      chance of changing it is when individuals in the media, and even, as
      much as I regret to say, the Navy, call the ship the USS Teddy
      Roosevelt. As anyone who has served on it knows, it is called either
      the THEODORE ROOSEVELT, the "TR" or simply by those who love it, "The
      Big Stick." Calling it "Teddy" seems to imply the individual
      speaking is familier with the ship, but all it demonstrates is their
      lack of familiarity.
      Jerry Hendrix

      --- In tr-m@y..., "John A. Gable" <TRA_Gable@s...> wrote:
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: John A. Gable
      > To: throosev@l... ; Luke Hornblower ; Buz@c... ; Janet Smargie ;
      erenehan@y... ; normparsons@m... ; tr-m@y... ; wfdailey@f... ; Philip
      Wogart ; Margot_Roosevelt@t... ; david@r... ; RoginaJ@c... ;
      > Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 3:44 PM
      > Subject: Fw:
      > Notes
      > Ed Renehan in Rhode Island protested to WJAR News (NBC) that
      in their reports on the homecoming of the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT
      (CVN-71) this week the station consistently mispronounced the name
      as "rewsavelt," "rews" as in noose, loose. Gene Valicenti of WJAR
      responded to Ed as follows: "I've heard it both ways. In fact
      Webster's New World Dictionary says both pronunciations are
      acceptable (p. 1235 of the 2nd college edition, special school
      printing, 'roos'ze, ' by some). However it does list your preference
      first. "
      > So the pronounciation of Roosevelt is a matter of preference
      or opinion, is it ? Since when ?
      > I think it would be enlightening for the public (not to
      mention the people who work at WJAR), and good for the ship, if WJAR
      interviewed Ed Renehan on the subject, made an interesting story of
      this. If you agree that this is a good idea, why not contact by e-
      mail Gene Valicenti at
      > Wjarnews@n...
      > John Gable
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: John A. Gable
      > To: Wjarnews@n...
      > Cc: erenehan@y... ; Philroose@a... ; Tony Roosevelt ; Tweed
      Roosevelt ; trooseve@l...
      > Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 3:26 PM
      > To Gene Valicenti, WJAR-News Channel 10
      > Subject: How to Pronounce the Name of Roosevelt
      > The attempt of Webster's New World Dictionary, and of WJAR-
      News, to instruct the Roosevelt family on the CORRECT pronunciation
      of their name reminds me of the time in 1903, during Theodore
      Roosevelt's presidential administration, when one Richard E. Mayne,
      Chairman of the Dept. on Reading and Speech Culture, New York State
      Teachers Association, wrote a letter to the New York SUN protesting
      that the President mispronounced his name as "rose-uh-vel;t" when it
      should be "rews-uh-velt," the way "the majority of us pronounce
      it." Mayne concluded, chiding the President: "What is there to
      justify him in his endeavor to perpetuate a practice against which
      are set the principles of usage."
      > Theodore Roosevelt's "Uncle Rob," former Congressman Robert
      B. Roosevelt, responded to Mayne in a letter to the SUN, May 8,
      1903, which reads in part:
      > "...It is a rather dangerous proceeding to assume that a man
      does not know how to pronounce his own name, and the writer who
      attempts not only to criticize but to dictate may find himself in
      that unhappy position in which 'angels fear to tread,' even if he be
      a 'chairman of reading and speech culture.' A little culture and
      even less reading would teach most men and might teach a chairman
      that there is no analogy or usage of pronunciation according to
      spelling in the English language...... As there are readers of your
      paper who are justifiably anxious to know the proper pronunciation of
      the President's name, I will explain that it is Dutch.....In English
      when we try to distinguish the long from the short 'o' we get into
      trouble. In Dutch they do not. The double 'o' is simply a long 'o.'
      The word 'Roos' means rose and is pronounced identically the same way
      under all circumstances and in all combinations. So the first
      syllable of the President's name is 'Rose,' pure and simple. But the
      following 'e' ...is slightly aspirated. An English analogy is the
      word 'the'....So the name is 'Rose-(uh)-velt,' in spite of whatever
      mistaken analogies misdirected chairmen may strive to find to the
      > Further, we have Theodore Roosevelt's own testimony. TR
      wrote to the Rev. William W. Moir, October 10, 1898: "As for my
      name, it is pronounced as if it was spelled 'Rosavelt.' That is in
      three syllables. The first syllable as if it was 'Rose.' "
      > Since the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) is named after
      President Theodore Roosevelt, the above material should make it
      abundantly clear that it is NEVER CORRECT to call that ship "rews-a-
      velt." Webster's New World Dictionary, like Richard E. Mayne,
      appears to base its judgment on popular usage. But surely this is a
      form of mob rule or perhaps mass hysteria. Just because thousands of
      people use the word "ain't" in conversation does that mean that
      announcers on WJAR will or would use that word on television ?
      > There remains the question of whether the Hyde Park
      Roosevelts, or any others with the name of Roosevelt, pronounce
      Roosevelt differently than TR and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts. The
      answer is a resounding NO. Eleanor Roosevelt was TR's niece who
      married her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Did
      they pronounce their last names differently,or did Eleanor switch her
      pronunciation of the name when she married FDR. Of course not, as any
      descendant of ER and FDR will tell you. The myth that some Roosevelts
      pronounce their name one way, and others another way, is just that--
      a myth ! True, many Americans persist in pronouncing the name as
      if it were English, coming up with "rewsavelt," but the name is
      Dutch and they are dead wrong.
      > Isn't this worth a short note or story on the air to make up
      for your constant errors in pronouncing the name of a great ship
      named after a great man ? Why doesn't WJAR interview Edward Renehan,
      the noted author who wrote a book on the Roosevelt family ? He lives
      right there in Rhode Island.
      > Best wishes from Oyster Bay, Long Island,
      > John Allen Gable,
      > Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt
      > P.S. I once lived in Rhode Island, and I received my Ph.D. from
      Brown University. Ed Renehan is a member of the Executive Committee
      of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.
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