With one of my favorite things in the world being language, and one of my least favorite things being pretense, I've got to fire a quick one off this morning before I head down to the gym: President Obama's Latinization of English speech.
Don't worry, this won't be anything political about what we should or shouldn't do regarding the nation of Honduras, but it is a strong-held belief about the way we should say 'Honduras.'
If we were in a coffee shop or diner right now, I could *speak* this entry, but we're not, so you're going to have to bear with me. For a person speaking English, for consistency's sake, an Anglicization of place names is the smoothest, least-pretentious way to speak. So France is "Franse," not "Fraaahnce." In that same vein, Honduras is "HAHN-DUR-US," not the forced "OWN-DURE-US," that we're hearing from our President.
For some reason, people wanting to express some type of sophistication or political correctness feel the need to do this with Latin American proper nouns, even though the same standard doesn't seem to apply anywhere else. Someone would take the "H" out of Honduras, but when could someone speaking with a straight face take the "S" out of Paris? (As they would if they were speaking in that city's mother tongue).
They wouldn't over-Germanize words, either. Our language is crawling with German roots and proper nouns of German origin, but I don't see anyone going out of their way to turn "Ws" into "Vs." Besides, even if they that when talking about listening to 'Vagner' or the author 'Max Vay-ber' there's no attempt to put some kind German accent spin on it.
You know why we don't do it?
Because it'd sound silly.
But somehow we can do it with Spanish, and, at least to someone, somewhere, it makes sense. It's not consistent, it doesn't show extra sensitivity or awareness, and quite frankly, it makes the speaker sound like a pompous ass, all the way from here to TUH-GOOSEY-GALPA!