Thursday, March 20, 2008

Since I have a slightly unusual last name -- not exactly one-of-a-kind, but not exactly common, outside Ireland -- I have spent almost five three and a half decades on the receiving end of mispronunciations and misspellings. I think you all know this (if not, please don't tell me), but 'Byrnes' is pronounced 'Burns.' Not BY-er-ness... not Bur-NESS... not any other strange combination of sounds that I occasionally hear. Maybe I'm rude, but if you can't pronounce my last name, I don't want you talking to me.

I'm also pretty particular in how you spell my name. Acceptable: Byrnes. Unacceptable: Burns, Brynes, Burnes. I have actually read book reviews in which the writer has called me 'Burns,' which means the reviewer was too lazy to look at the top of the page where the name is spelled correctly.

Also, don't call me 'Bob.' But that's a rant for another day.

I tell you this not because I have been victimized recently. No, I tell you this because it's my opening to mock Queerty and Gothamist. Obviously. And for once I was actually a nice guy and gave each web site 24 hours to correct their own errors. They did not, so allow me to correct the errors for them.

The story: Polish President Lech Kaczynski uses gay activist Brendan Fay's marriage as anti-gay political fodder.

The coverage via Gothamist: "The two men in the video, Brian Fay, a documentary producer..."

The coverage via the Q-Word: "Speaking to his nation, Kaczynski used Brendan Fey and his husband, Tom... While Fey’s certainly offended..."

True, the writers at these self-proclaimed news sites are not exactly known for their intellectual or journalistic abilities, but is it so fucking hard to get a name correct when you're looking at it?

Never mind. I answered my own question.