How Should We Pronounce That Name, 'New York Times' Obituary Writer Margalit Fox?

From Shulamith Firestone’s obituary: “The family Americanized its surname to Firestone when Shulamith was a child; Ms. Firestone pronounced her first name shoo-LAH-mith but was familiarly known as Shuley or Shulie.”

From Paul Roche’s obituary: “The author of several well-received volumes of poetry, Mr. Roche (pronounced ‘rawsh’) taught over the years at colleges and universities throughout the United States, among them Smith College; the University of Notre Dame; Centenary College in New Jersey; and Emory & Henry College in Virginia, where, his family said in a statement, ‘He used to wander stark naked through the woods carpeted with violets.'”

From Giorgio Tozzi’s obituary: “At his death, Mr. Tozzi (pronounced ‘TOT-zee’) was a distinguished professor emeritus at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he had taught since 1991.”

From José Argüelles’s obituary: “Originally an art historian at Princeton and elsewhere, Mr. Argüelles (pronounced “ar-GWEY-es”) was known afterward for books like ‘The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology’ and ‘Surfers of the Zuvuya: Tales of Interdimensional Travel.'”

From Hugh Prather’s obituary: “An aspiring poet with a cache of rejection slips, Mr. Prather (pronounced PRAY-thur, with a soft ‘th’) sent the journal on impulse to a small publisher with limited distribution capabilities and no national advertising budget.”

From Gitta Sereny’s obituary: “A resident of London who had lived most recently in Cambridge, Ms. Sereny (pronounced “suh-REE-nee”) was long considered one of the foremost investigative journalists in Britain.”

From Huguette Clark’s obituary: “In the hospitals, Mrs. Clark, whose given name is pronounced hyoo-GETT, was attended by round-the-clock private aides and surrounded by the fine French dolls she had collected since she was a girl.”

From Brent Grulke’s obituary: “Mr. Grulke (pronounced GRUHL-key) was South by Southwest’s creative director, a post he had held since 1994, when the festival presented some 500 bands.”

From Beate Sirota Gordon’s obituary: “The daughter of Leo Sirota and the former Augustine Horenstein, Beate (pronounced bay-AH-tay) Sirota was born on Oct. 25, 1923, in Vienna, where her parents had settled.”

From Else Holmelund Minarik’s obituary: “The first of many books by Ms. Minarik (pronounced MIN-uh-rick), ‘Little Bear’ appeared in 1957 as the inaugural title in the I Can Read! series.”

From Arthur Lessac’s obituary: “Over the years, singers flocked to Mr. Lessac, whose name is pronounced LESS-ack, with saxlike accentuation of the first syllable.”

From Antonio Tabucchi’s obituary: “Mr. Tabucchi (pronounced ta-BOO-kee), who was also a scholar of Portuguese literature, divided his time between Lisbon and Tuscany.”

From Salvador Assael’s obituary: “Mr. Assael (pronounced ah-sigh-YELL) was known in particular for creating the modern market for black pearls, which had traditionally languished in the shadow of their brilliant white cousins.”

From Linda Riss Pugach’s obituary: “In the years since, the strange romance of Mr. and Mrs. Pugach (pronounced POOH-gash) has seldom been far from public view.”

From Gerre Hancock’s obituary: “(His given name is pronounced Jerry.)”

From Keith W. Tantlinger’s obituary: “(The family name is pronounced TANT-lin-gurr, with a hard ‘g.’)”

From Dino Anagnost’s obituary: “Mr. Anagnost (pronounced ANN-ug-nahst), who succeeded Mr. Scherman as music director in 1979, conducted the orchestra in more than a thousand public concerts, appearing at Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Zankel Hall and elsewhere.”

From Stephen Huneck’s obituary: “(The family name is pronounced HYOO-neck.)”

From David Rakoff’s obituary: “For his incisive wit and keen eye for the preposterous, Mr. Rakoff (pronounced RACK-off) was often likened to the essayist David Sedaris, a mentor and close friend.”

From Stanley H. Biber’s obituary: “A former Army surgeon, Dr. Biber (pronounced BYE-ber) was among the first doctors in the United States to perform sex changes and for years was one of only a handful to offer them.”

From Sam Chwat’s obituary: “Mr. Chwat’s very surname foreordained him for the phonetical life: It is pronounced ‘schwa,’ like the vowel sound (‘uh’) symbolized in dictionaries by an upside-down-and-backward ‘e.’





Previously by this writer: The Mystery Of The 1969 Naked ‘Esquire’ Photo Shoot


Elon Green is a contributing editor to Longform.