What’s in a name?

 1575531074 
1654597320

Every so often, I hear from listeners who politely (or sometimes not so politely) take WBHM to task for mispronouncing words. As Program Director, it’s my job to make sure we sound not just consistent on the air, but credible as well.

Whether it’s a classical composer or name or place in the news, this is easier said than done.

For foreign names and places, a reasonable approach I’ve always taken is to sound like an informed American. Using pronunciation guides can help. But this only gets to part of the issue.

The other part is that language and cultures are always evolving. Something that may sound correct today can easily change over time.

That’s why I was so impressed with this article from NPR: How we pronounce Uvalde says a lot about the power of language in mixed communities

I don’t want to spoil the entire article. It’s an excellent read, and I think you’ll like it, too.

One thing that public media is known for is taking time to explain things in a meaningful, informative way. Most of the time, the news isn’t just one single thing, it’s many shades of grey – very nuanced and worth taking the time to connect the dots and learn.

Oh, and when I wrote earlier how something may sound correct today but can easily change over time? Well, I speak from personal experience – Krulevich, Krilivitz, and Krell were all forerunners to Krall.

(Through “Programming Notes,” we hope to keep you connected to what is happening at WBHM both internally and on-air. Have feedback you’d like to share? Or a programming question? Let me know!)

 

Incoming Transmission! Pt. 2

You may remember earlier this year when WBHM held a special Transmitter Drive. With your support, we raised the final $50,000 to purchase and install a new transmitter. In total, this project cost $230,000. For this edition of Program Notes, I checked in with WBHM’s engineer Darrell McCalla who oversees this project for an update […]

Meeting You Where You Are

Last week, I attended the Public Radio Content Conference – the premier gathering for non-commercial programmers, content managers and leaders in the public media ecosystem. This was the first in-person conference in more than two years and, it was good to reconnect with my colleagues in person — not just because of the pandemic, but […]

Rise and Shine

I spent early August substitute hosting Morning Edition for Miranda Fulmore who was on a well-deserved vacation. And while everyone has their routine, I thought I’d share a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes in the very early hours of the day. I get up at 3 a.m. which also means I really try […]

There’s Lots of Moth’s in the Air

This week, I’m writing about The Moth – not the insect, the storytelling phenomenon! If you haven’t heard, The Moth is true stories told live, without notes. It’s personal storytelling that connects us as human beings. These stories are told in different ways to millions of people each year including right here in the Heart […]

Welcome Back to Program Notes!

I spent a (mostly) restful two weeks off visiting with extended family – most of us hadn’t seen each other since before the pandemic. But even on vacation, I still listen to public radio wherever I am. Sure, I could (and often do) listen online, but there’s a part of me that’s also a fan […]

Deliberate Indifference – Inside Alabama’s Prison Crisis

You’ve probably heard of our new narrative podcast, Deliberate Indifference. And, given all the heavy news the past few months alone, you may think this is the last thing you want to listen to. I urge to reconsider. As citizens, we have a right to know how more than 500 million of our tax dollars […]

More Michael Krall's Program Notes Coverage