The Macedonian Tendency: "FYROM" a Tongue Twister - LA Times

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"FYROM" a Tongue Twister - LA Times

Tongue-twister names in the U.N.
Los Angeles Times:

The president of the General Assembly, who is Macedonian, got a double taste of name trouble Tuesday. Srgjan Kerim introduced his president as being from the "Republic of Macedonia," although that name is disputed by Greece, and the new country is officially known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM (pronounced officially as FY-rom).

Greece protested, saying that Kerim disrespected the institution over which he is presiding by not using the U.N.-sanctioned name. Kerim said, "I am a citizen of the state of Macedonia, so I decided to abide by my constitution and call it what we call it."

Names are important to Kerim, who has to introduce each of the 192 speakers during the eight-day General Assembly meeting. He studies each slate of delegates to make sure he makes no mistakes, and rolls right through tongue twisters such as Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan and Martin Nduwimana of Burundi.

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