The Proper Way to Pronounce Our Congressman’s Last Name
It's almost Election Day and the negative political commercials are in full swing and still, after years in public service, only about half the political spots airing right now pronounce Anthony Brindisi's last name correctly.
The sounds in question are "in" versus "ee," although there's also a debate over the sounds "S" versus "Z," as well. I should also clarify that there really isn't a debate on this issue, because it's the person who decides how he or she pronounces his or her name, right?
Brindisi even admits that the way his family pronounces his last name is different than the way relatives in Italy pronounce it. Still, in the 22nd Congressional District, whether you're voting for him or not, we owe the guy the respect of addressing him properly.
Now, when you watch a few of the "anti-Brindisi" commercials on television during this election, you'll find that people featured are actually pronouncing it both ways. One testimonial calls him Brindisi and the next one calls him Brin-Deezy. Remember during the Gulf War when President George H. W. Bush used to refer to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as "Satt-Uhm" versus the proper pronunciation, "Suh-DAHM," as a way to get under his skin? I'm not saying that's what's going on here, but who knows? These are crazy times!
A few other places you might want to turn to as proof of pronunciation would be his father's law firm, and the commercials for the law firm that air on TV. I'm pretty sure they pronounce it correctly there.
So, before someone makes me call the whole thing off (note the musical reference) - let's get down to the big reveal. According to Anthony Brindisi during an interview on WIBX in 2017, the correct way to pronounce his last name is indeed, Brindisi. That is, Brinn-DIHSS'-zee, with a soft "I" and with a very slight "z" sound at the end. It's almost as if you're pronouncing the word "dizzy" at the end.
A fellow media person this week told me, I've been pronouncing it Brihn-Deezy for years and he's never corrected me. I said, "Well that's the kind of guy he is."
Now to be fair, because I wouldn't want anyone to think we're paying unfair attention to one candidate and not the other, Brindisi's opponent, former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney pronounces her last name just like the coin "penny" with a "T" at the beginning instead of a "P." But, you probably already knew that.
So there you have it! While we haven't solved world peace, we have corrected one of the great local misconceptions here in the 22nd Congressional District. Boy, do I feel like we accomplished something! Next time, tune in as we finally come to a conclusion on the pronunciation of the word tomato. It's sure to be compelling!
Below, check out the interview where Brindisi actually sets the record straight during a 2017 interview on Keeler in the Morning.