Names you can’t pronounce

Where possible, names should be pronounciation-friendly. Didn’t we all struggle with Prince, when he went by that funny-looking symbol? When he was mentioned in the news, he got referred (in a very long mouthful) as “The Artist formerly known as Prince”

Today we were walking around Santana Row. We walked past a store called “De Cre”. How would you pronounce that? “Der Ker”? “Dee Cree”? “Decor”? On one hand the curiousity factor would draw one into the store. One the other hand, why go into a store whose name is so fancy that one can’t figure how to pronounce it?

Similarly, you shouldn’t sleep with someone whose name you can’t pronounce. (True to form, I can only remember the punchline, but not the plot of the story…)

However, I’m usually fairly adventurous when it comes to dining. I will order things I can’t pronounce, or don’t even recognise on a foreign menu. It’s OK to play Russian roulette with a name on a menu, after all, someone must consider it edible, tasty even, if it got placed on a menu.

[And even things I can read on a menu, sometimes I misundertand. Like when I saw “Roast Duck Egg Noodles” on a menu in a Vietnamese restaurant in the Bay Area, I thought it was “roast duck egg” with “noodle.” I was curious what roasted duck eggs would taste like. Then someone pointed out that the item probably meant “roast duck” with “egg noodles”, like the typical Cantonese dish. (In Thailand, I used to see vendors walking around with portable charcoal stoves, with eggs on the brazier, but I never had them. I wondered what they tasted like. After all eggs are typically boiled, fried or even steamed, but rarely grilled or roasted.)]


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