Television and Radio Broadcasters: Please Stop Mispronouncing "Itzcoatl"

Categories: Crime-iny
Thumbnail image for Izzy Ocampo OCDA.jpg
Folks in the media: just because Itzcoatl Ocampo is accused of butchering six people to death doesn't mean it's okay to butcher his first name. Oh, it's understandable: outside of food terms and a couple of other stray words, Nahuatl didn't exactly penetrate American English like, say, Vulgar Latin. But in the month or so since authorities arrested Ocampo for murdering four homeless men in northern Orange County, it's been a verbal massacre.

I've heard announcers, reporters, and people pronounce Itzcoatl as everything from "Iz-coat-l" to "Iz-co-ate-el" to "Itz-coat" to "Is-Kuwait-l" and every other possible pronunciation--except the proper one.

So how do you pronounce what's now the second-most notorious Aztec name in Orange County after Montezuma's Revenge?

Very simple, if you know Nahuatl pronunciation rules, which roughly follows Spanish. So the Itz- prefix is prounounced "eets," because the I is pronounced like the "ee" in "beet", and z's in Spanish are pronounced like s (see "mezcal").

The -coatl suffix is a bit trickier. "Coat" is not pronounced like the garment we'd wear on this gloomy day but two syllables: a co- like "taco" in Spanish (just don't linger on that final o so you make it an "oh"), and the infamous -tl of Nahuatl, which is pronounced fast and in its own separate syllable--though if you really want to be down, you'll elide the l altogether.

Got it? Get it? Good! Next lesson: how to pronounce the county seat as "SanTana"...

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17 comments
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Grieving family member
Grieving family member

I don't give a rats a$$ how you pronounce his name. This psycho BUTCHERED my uncle John, as well as 5 other innocent people. Maybe when he decides to confess and explain how he thought he had the right to deprive people of their beloved family members people will worry about something as petty as pronunciation.  

Bill T.
Bill T.

Tilting at windmills, you're not going to penetrate the denseness of the Channel 7 news personalities.

It hurts my ears too.

Fe Fo
Fe Fo

Um thanks for being advent about pronouncing his name right, but I don't think people will forget the fact he butchered 6 people either way his name is pronounced.

Albahaca071
Albahaca071

Uh...did someone else write this sign your name to it? This really doesn't sound like you, Arellano. I mean, yes, you're clever and witty, but, "... since authorities arrested Ocampo for murdering four homeless men in northern Orange County, it's been a verbal massacre." ¡¿Really now?!

Jerry
Jerry

What did the MILITARY do to him? Another EXPERMENT by the MILITARY gone wrong! Many sopldiers have been coming back and killing there wives or comiting suicide. Someone needs to invistigate.Remember there had been thousands of experiments on soldiers.

ssheng
ssheng

Hey buddy. There are no experiments that the military does on troops. Don't you think that if everyone in the military goes crazy, you'd already be stabbed to death...

tecolote
tecolote

Youre joking, right? Just trying to get a rise out of people? Otherwise this is one of the most tasteless things you've ever written and you should be ashamed of yourself.

mitch young
mitch young

Tecolote, another Aztec word. 

It's buho or lechuza in Castillian.

mitch young
mitch young

And English 'o' is more like an 'o' with a 'u' sound at the end -- at least that's how Spaniards write when they want to make fun of English speakers trying to ispiki espanich

BetaRayBill
BetaRayBill

Don’t pay attention to this guy, he has too mucho time inhis hand and no creativity to find a productive way to spend it in. Hey Mitch,where are the other two skid marks, 909Jeff and 20ftJesus?  You know, the ones you normally spendcountless hours polluting the OC Weekly articles with your pointless crap.  

mitch young
mitch young

I think they are DP-ing your wife.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I applaud your effort.  You are posting more concise and grammatically correct posts. Not that I hang everything on grammar because mine is atrocious from time to time and I tend to forgive bad grammar on a message board. But your previous posts were a crime to the English language.

Next its time to work on your presentation style... The most basic and the one you should learn to master is the "Fusion" format.

1) Tell the audience what your going tell them.2) Tell them.  3) Tell them what you just told them.

It reinforces the power of 3s... Look it up!

But better effort, and good to see you growing! 

You'll get'em one day slugger!

BetaRayBill
BetaRayBill

Doubt it. Fist, I don’t have a wife, second I highly doubt you are capableof thought.  That would imply you have intelligenceto which I just don’t see any evidence

mitch young
mitch young

Seeing as how the people first transliterating Nahuatl would have been peninsulares, wouldn't that 'z' be a 'th'? 

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