Hello, My Name Is…

This Selena Roberts column raised my ire, not because it’s beyond horrible (which it is), but because she makes a mistake common these days amongst those who should know better or at least have the resources to find out.  A few paragraphs in she offers us this:

And like most legends of Japanese fairy tales, Dice K, as he is known, possesses a magical aura in what has become a modern variation on “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.”

Let’s get something straight: "Dice-K" is not how the pitcher "is known", it’s something more like a transliteration of the pronunciation of his name, a lazy man’s typography (the real transliteration would probably be "Dice-Kay", or something like that..  In other words, IT’S HIS NAME.  Though it conjures up images of stupid signs brought by fans to ballgames, a la the "D"-"FENCE" tandems brought to football games (the first 200 members of RSN to bring fuzzy dice and a K sign to the park should be barred from the Fens forever), it’s simply NOT a nickname, though it is a kind of proxy for his given name, pronounced exactly the same way.  Put this one in the "pet peeve" category.

33 comments… add one
  • man, if you’re that peeved about the dice-k transliteration, it’s gonna be a long season for you…it’s not going away any time soon, and i’m sure the permutations on the dice and the k sign will be endless.

    beth February 16, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • completely off topic, but i landed tickets to a yankee game at fenway during this afternoon’s virtual waiting room fun-time hour.
    really excited.
    add to that the bit in mlb.com’s matsuzaka article today that says that he should pitch the april 11th game at fenway, and i’m a very happy man.
    (i got me some tickets for that game, too… his first boston start? i’ve been hoping for that since i got them.)

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • I psyched about the first showdown between Dice-K and Matt-Sue-E (as he is known). Ok, that’s a bad joke, but I’m posting it anyway.

    Nick-YF February 16, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • My older sister actually got into baseball because she was living in Japan when Matusi signed with the Yankees, and the game broadcasts were the only English TV she could get. She’s spent the last three years angrily yelling about how his name is pronounced. I imagine this is only going to make her angrier…

    Reb February 16, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • What is the correct pronunciation of Matsui? Would be cool to know.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 16, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Trisk, Matsui’s name should be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable. My brother’s fiancee, who is Japanese American and whose parent grew up in Japan, says it sounds like this:
    MAT-swee (at least that’s how it sounds to my ears when she says it)

    Nick-YF February 16, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • is someone gonna put up a foulke retirement thread? i’ve got some parting shots.

    sf rod February 16, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • How about I stick with Hit-Deki, much easier to say! But thanks Nick!

    Triskaidekaphobia February 16, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • We could always go with “Pudwhacker”, no?

    SF February 16, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • only if we can call ortiz Davey McBonerPills.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • “McBonerPills with another dagger through the hearts of Yankees fans everywhere!”
    Works for me, I suppose.

    SF February 16, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • I Googled “hideki matsui versus daisuke matsuzaka” but didn’t come up with any stats. Can Hideki hit Dice-K?

    john February 16, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • I don’t think so john, but that Ichiro clip is pretty good.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • please, the name only works if you also use “davey.”
    or… potentially “little davey mcbonerpills.”
    “pudwhacker”, on a strictly phonetic basis, almost sounds tough…
    …until you get past the phonetic and into connotative and denotative meanings…
    but until then, sweet.
    as for the head to head, i think matsui did alright against daisuke, but how old would the kid have been then? i think it was a small sample size anyway.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 3:11 pm
  • That’s your problem, SF? But he is known as Dice-K or Dice K all over the place, and whether or not it’s a transliteration seems irrelevant to me. Call me crazy, but I love the D-with a fence signs at football games, and I’ll totally think it’s fine when they start hanging dice off the Fenway facade for every one of his strikeouts. As a writer, I’m all for linguistic games and puns. Lighten up!!!

    YF February 16, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • Dice-K and Matsui were in different leagues, kind of like the AL-NL before interleague play – they can meet each other in the Japan Series, but that’s it..

    Lar February 16, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • I think that first AB between the two is going to be crazy. I’m sure that both are so respectful of each other’s abilities, and the bulbs will be going off like crazy. I bet it’s going to be one of those moments where they both nod in synch at each other out of a respect for what each has been able to do. I can’t friggin wait!
    I know it’s been said a zillion times, but his first pitch in America will be against Ichiro, and that’s going to be crazy too.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • the april 11th start against seattle will be his second of the season, but his first in fenway.
    (have i mentioned that i’ll be there for that?)
    his first start will be in KC. slightly less intense.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • the april 11th start against seattle will be his second of the season, but his first in fenway. that is the game against seattle.
    (have i mentioned that i’ll be there for that?)
    his first start will be in KC. slightly less intense.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 4:36 pm
  • oops. sorry.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • actually, his first pitch at fenway will be against ichiro.
    april 11th.
    and i’ll be there.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 4:48 pm
  • yeah, that’s what I meant, I think. Congrats on the tix YFIB. I missed out, but that’s going to be a huge game!

    Brad February 16, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • yeah, that’s what I meant, I think. Congrats on the tix YFIB. I missed out, but that’s going to be a huge game!

    Brad February 16, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • what? how did THAT happen?

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 16, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • I’m LOST. Something’s screwy here. Maybe we were trying at the same time or something.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • it’s the robots. they’ve been acting up all day.

    sf rod February 16, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • I’ll take the position between SF and YF (insert your own juvenile humor here). I agree that the origins are aggravating, though I think Roberts is merely aping the fact that people have started calling Matsuzaka “Dice-K” in print with no pronunciation explainer. So, in a sense, Matsuzaka iS known IN PRINT as “Dice-K.” Verbally, of course, it sounds exactly the same.
    My beef is: Why, when you’re writing for print, would you call Daisuke “Dice-K” when they’re pronounced exactly the same? Why not use the one that is actually his name? It’s not like calling Rodriguez “A-Rod,” which actually is a nickname of sorts. I’ve seen Globe writers just call Matsuzaka “Dice-K” with no quotes or acknowledgement whatsoever that they’re basically dumbing down the Japanese and English languages simultaneously.
    On the other hand, the plays on words that the pronunciation of “Daisuke” entails are great fun. K placards with dice on them? Awesome. “Dice-K” signs (easier to print)? Awesome. But, c’mon, newspaper writers.
    So there you go. Complete and utter equivocation.

    Paul SF February 16, 2007, 5:52 pm
  • I’m 99% positive that USA Today referred to Daisuke as “Dice-Mat” today. Which makes absolutely no sense, no matter how you slice it.

    Kazz February 16, 2007, 6:52 pm
  • YF: no longer a closet stupid sign fan and now, we have to disclose, a FACE PAINTER. 


    By the way, lest I be accused of being uptight (can we put a moratorium on using the phrase "lighten up" please?), the title of this thread is an homage to a book my grandfather wrote.  He was a semi-professional humorist and wrote a couple of storied volumes on puns.  He was an encyclopedia of groaners, and the person who took me to my first Sox game.  I inherited a similarly silly sense of humor, to be honest.  I question YFs charge.

    SF February 16, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • Whatever ever happened to the original Diceman, Andrew Dice Clay? Is he still in comedy? Or is he just living off all his money like Vanilla Ice another 1980s faded pop star?
    I wonder if the Red Sox will invite Dice Clay to Fenway Park as one of their DICE-K promotions?

    Devil Rays' Fan February 16, 2007, 9:23 pm
  • Baby, do you understand me now
    Sometimes I feel a little mad
    But don’t you know that no one alive
    Can always be an angel
    When things go wrong I seem to be bad
    But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

    john February 16, 2007, 9:38 pm
  • …the only beef anyone should have with dice-k’s nickname is if it were unflattering, which it’s not…i see most sf’s having fun with it this year…lighten up sf, your protests don’t make you seem uptight, hypersensitive maybe, but not uptight [smiley face inserted here]…

    dc February 17, 2007, 6:54 pm
  • My long and extensive work with asian studies have taught me at least one thang ’bout the pronunciation of asian names; each syllable is pronounced separately. As in “Toyota”, “Yamamoto”, “Yokohama”, and the erstwhile “kalamazoo”. So along comes Di Soo Ki (phonetic), and youse guys want Dice K. Pah-lees!!

    Dabby P July 17, 2008, 8:21 am

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