DETROIT, MA – A Caucasian man, next-door neighbors with an Indian family for 11 years, still cannot pronounce his neighbor’s name right.
Rocco Sullivan, 45, first met Abhishek Bhattacharjee and his family when they moved in next door. Mr. Bhattacharjee’s first name is pronounced ‘Ub-he-shek’; Mr. Sullivan has always pronounced it ‘Ab-uh-shake’.
Said Mr. Bhattacharjee, “Rocco kindly introduced himself while we were moving in. I introduced myself, lingering over each syllable to make it easy for him. I even pronounced it slowly and phonetically a second time. But when he asked me how I spelled my name, I knew it was a lost cause.”
“His name just has these strange sounds in it,” Mr. Sullivan stated. “So I asked him how he spelled his name – and Ab-uh-shake just made sense to me. But his eyes fell when I said it so I try to avoid saying his name as much as I can. He’s a nice guy but a little sensitive.”
Mr. Bhattacharjee noted that Mr. Sullivan has no problem pronouncing Bubba, He, or Trek. They engage regularly in light social activities and tend to refer to each other as Man or, when feeling particularly gregarious, Dude. However has not tried to correct Mr. Sullivan in at least 10 years, though he considered it briefly when he was a little tipsy last Tuesday.