Should Mexicans Pronounce Their Last Names Correctly?

DEAR PHONY MEXICAN: One of my pet peeves is Latinos who pronounce their last names with Anglo accents. For example, Rod-driguez instead of Roh-driguez. I would love it if you would address this. Personally, I believe we Latinos should educate Anglos on correct pronunciation.

Gomez the Groper

DEAR WAB: Before you start correcting Anglos and pochos on how to properly pronounce Hispanic surnames, you might want to take a remedial course—it's Roh-drEE-gehz (emphasis on the second syllable; hence, the use of an accent over the i in Rodríguez). But your question reminds me of a Hollywood story that just might be apocryphal but is a good one. Seems there was a Mexican who wanted to make it into the film industry as a—take your pick—writer, producer or director. His last name was Torres, and he couldn't find a gig. Desperate, the man changed his last name to Towers, and he cried all the way to the bank. Moral of the story? While custodians of Cervantes want everyone to pronounce all Spanish words in a way that satisfies the Real Academia Española, people are going to call themselves whatever they want and change how they pronounce their own names if it makes them feel better. Of course, if a gabacho does it, then we cry racism all the way to the banco.

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DEAR MEXICAN: I dated an illegal Mexican from Oaxaca for almost a year and a half. We would sit in my car on his breaks from work, or go for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. He never wanted me to call him at his work and never wanted me to come to his apartment. He said he didn't have a phone where he lived, and he wasn't willing to get to know my family or even meet them. Whenever I would question him and ask him when he was going to spend time with me and my family, he would say, “Next time” or, “Almost.” Are all illegal Mexicans this vague? Was he afraid of being caught? He has lived in the U.S. for almost 10 years. Would you please shed some light on the living arrangements and the lifestyles of the illegal Mexicans and their thought processes?

Gabacha No Comprendo

DEAR GABACHA: It ain't the undocumented part of your Oaxacan that caused him to keep you at arm's length; it was the man part. Ever heard of Leykis 101? This hombre seems to have followed it to the teeth, so kudos to him and sucks to be you. Hey, Tom: Blow me up, ¡Ask a Mexican! style!

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DEAR MEXICAN: I suggest you replace the ¡Ask a Mexican! column (as they are a dime-a-dozen, and don't we already know by now what they think) with Ask an Anglo, Social Conservative Male as we are the new minority and ready to be embraced, welcomed, defended and promoted as a victimized demographic. I volunteer.

Iowan Idiot

DEAR GABACHO: Sorry—Hugh Hewitt already took that pendejo gig.

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