This is snipped from the AP news feed. Many of us Americans have great
difficulty coping with Slavic names, particularly when the squiggles have been
stripped from the letters, tho' a majority of Americans have not the least idea
what the squiggles stand for.
I offer this as a prime example of AmE 'eye-spelling', our home-grown,
hopelessly unscientific, hopelessly imprecise phonetic spelling system.
Prounouncers for Key Yugoslav Newsmakers
The Associated Press
Panic - MEE'-lan PAN'-itch
Milutinovic - MEE'-lan mee-loo-TEE'-naw-vitch
Pavkovic - NEH'-boy-shah PAHV'-kaw-vitch
Tomic - DRAH'-gahn TAW'-mitch.
Even tho' I do know better, 'Milan Panic' is sounded in my mind's ear as
with terror in a northern Italian city. 'Nebojsa' is about as alien-looking as
Even before he became notorious, the name 'Slobodan' provoked giggles in
English, first because of the apparent element 'slob' in his name, and among
older Americans, associations from the old comic strip L'il Abner and
it's joke nation of 'Lower Slobbovia', a frozen realm where everyone spoke a