President Obama referred to the game of soccer as "football" in a press conference in Brussels on Thursday, another folly in a long line of Obama eschewing wholesome American words for those of fancy-pants internationals.
The Washington Free Beacon highlighted video of Obama's comment on Thursday, in which he tells a journalist to ask British prime minister "about football."
Not soccer. Not the kicky-feet game. Football. Sure, that's the preferred way to refer to the socialist game across most cultures and languages, but it's decidedly not the American way of referring to the sport.
"Hearing someone (any American, that is) refer to soccer as 'football' is one of the most definitive signs that you should never be friends with that person," the Free Beacon jokingly writes. "Kenyan anti-colonial thinking," Slate's Dave Weigel calls it.
Obama clearly has a preference for "proper" language and pronunciation, and by proper we mean the language of non-Americans. "In Obama’s view, pronouncing someone’s name or hometown correctly is a simple way of showing respect, [his aides] say," Politico wrote in 2009. "It’s a sort of baseline diplomacy." Here are some examples of his greatest un-American pronunciations.
In the American accent, Pakistan is regularly pronounced like "Pah-kih-stan." Obama, though, has long favored pronouncing Pakistan the way Pakistanis do — "Pock-kee-stahn."
That pronunciation was "ostentatiously exotic," National Review's Mark Steyn wrote. "Drinking Game: A shot every time the candidates pronounce 'Pakistan' or 'Taliban' in an annoying way?" Ramesh Ponnuru wrote.
Thankfully for Obama, he's got Marco Rubio on his side now.
The Taliban is the "Tall-ee-bahn" in Obama's phrasing, as opposed to the Americanized "Ta-lih-ban."
Obama's phrasing is a bit more foreign-sounding, although The Economist says it's not sure if it's authentic.
Obama employed some faux-intellectualism when he said the middle syllable of derisive like "rihs" rather than like "rice." It sounds fancy, but it's completely incorrect.
Obama goes with "KOH-rahn," rather than the Americanized "Koh-RAHN." Judging by this conspiracy video titled "OBAMA the Muslim - HIS OWN WORDS," you can tell how some people have responded to that pronunciation.
Instead of the Americanized "chill-ee," Obama goes with the Spanish phonetics of "chee-leh."
This one is just bad, Obama. The great state of Massachusetts will not be disrespected by "Mass-a-too-setts." We'll chalk this one up to a gaffe.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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