Conspiracy of the American Accent
I‧raq /ɪˈræk, ɪˈrɑk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[i-rak, i-rahk]
Pronunciation Guide - [ i ] it, big, finishes, [ a ] apple, can, hat
Why is it that every single soldier interviewed on TV or Radio pronounced this country Eye Rak?
It feels like nails on a chalkboard to me. I listen to the BBC in my office, and it makes me all the more embarrassed to hear it pronounced this way for an international audience.
I wonder sometimes if either (a) soldiers use this expression as a way of demonstrating disrespect for the Iraqi people, (b) the military/government picks these soldiers as spokespeople as a way of parochializing the discussion (only internationalists and French people say I-rak), (c) the press picks these soldiers/officers to make fun of Americans, (d) 95% of 'Mericans are ignorant.
There was a CNN commercial a while back with Christine Amanpour, where she was interviewing someone who was speaking of Eye-rak, she corrects him, then he says, "oh wait maybe I was thinking of that other country..... Eye-ran" - she (and I) sighed heavily.