Turin or Torino? Depends on Whom You Ask...
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Although there is a question. Turin or Torino? Which is what Italians call this northern city and some broadcasts networks do as well. There are two people I think of immediately who can answer the question, Turin or Torino? One is our veteran Rome-based reporter Sylvia Poggioli. That's an international call, though. I can get NPR's senior librarian and pronunciation expert, Kee Malesky, with just four touch-tones.
(Soundbite of dialing and ringing phone)
MARY GLENDINNING (NPR Reference Librarian): Library, this is Mary.
CHADWICK: Mary, it's Alex. I wanted to speak to Kee. Is she there?
Ms. GLENDINNING: She stepped out for a second, can I have her call you right back?
CHADWICK: Oh, Mary.
Ms. GLENDINNING: Alex. Alex, I can't keep her under my thumb all day.
CHADWICK: No. Should I call back in two minutes?
Ms. GLENDINNING: That sounds good. Oh, wait, wait. She just walked in. Hang on.
CHADWICK: All right.
KEE MALESKY reporting:
CHADWICK: Hello, Kee?
CHADWICK: Kee, it's Alex calling.
MALESKY: It's Al. Hi, Al.
CHADWICK: Hi. Listen, I've got a question, and you are the authority. It's a pronunciation question.
CHADWICK: Turin or Torino?
MALESKY: Oh, no, no, no. You got the memos. It's not Torino for us, it's Turin.
CHADWICK: Well, I missed the memo, I guess.
MALESKY: Oh, yeah. No, seriously. There was a whole lot of discussion by email with Barbara Rehm and Sylvia and me, and blah blah blah. And even Sylvia thought that Turin was the right way to go. Then I did a little survey of other news organizations and discovered NBC and CNN will say Torino, but that most of the print media in the U.S. will say Turin because that's the AP style.
CHADWICK: But isn't really the name of the city Torino, Kee?
MALESKY: Yeah, of course it is; but also the name of the city is Moskva, and we've never said that. It's more going back to what Americans are familiar with. Shroud of Turin, I think, helped to trump this once and for all. But that's -- you know, that's the American way.
CHADWICK: And the way of the NPR librarians.
MALESKY: Yeah, but this, I mean like don't blame me as if this was my idea.
CHADWICK: Kee Malesky, thank you.
MALESKY: Okay. Did you just tape me?
MALESKY: Oh, I hate you, Al. I'm gonna have you fired this time.
(Soundbite of laughter)
MALESKY: Okay. That's it. You're done for.
CHADWICK: Goodbye now.
MALESKY: Good night.
CHADWICK: NPR's Kee Malesky. And that is how you say Turin.
And you can hear more about Turin, read more about Turin and the coverage, because NPR reporters are doing a daily blog from the Olympic events. On it you can read the latest, plus get all of NPR's winter Olympics coverage at our website. It's npr.org.
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