Saturday, August 21, 2010

LAUren or lauREN?

Last month I was shopping   for my children's school shoes and realized that I should buy myself some new socks for my running shoes.  So off I went to the sock department at Nordstrom, where I found a large bin of Ralph Lauren sport socks on sale.

RL makes both my favorite sport socks as well as my most disliked ones.  The favorite ones are of substantial cotton and hold their shape and fit.  The ones I dislike are also of substantial cotton but manage to slide off my foot while I work out.  This is not an appealing sensation.

I was suspicious about why all these RL sports socks were discounted so I approached the SA at the adjacent bin and asked her why these socks were on sale: would they stay put in one's running shoe or was there a fit issue?

Taken aback and obviously at a temporary loss for words, the SA responded, "They're Ralph lauREN.  They're good."

"Yes, Ralph LAUren," I responded,  and muttered to myself, "and if you are still pronouncing his name like that, you surely won't or can't tell me the truth about these socks."

One of my pet peeves is the misprounciation of this designer's taken name.  It's a Frenchification, with that accent aigu, a move to an even upper class, one further step away from Ralph Lifshitz' less melodious origin. 

But RL has been around for a gazillion years, and I truly thought that the pronunciation of his name would have evened out by now.   I may have to begin a campaign accordingly.


Kannan said...

Good post.

Make Do Style said...

Haha! Yes begin the campaign! xx

K.Line said...

I hate that too!

Toby Wollinh said...

It's not only a 'Frenchification', it's also another reflection of US Jews modifying their names to make them sound less..Jewish. I remember having a teacher in the 9th grade who put the accent on the last syllable in her name, "xxxxx-el". I remember my dad, when he was introduced to her(and we're Jews, so this is sort of the secret handshake thing and is not considered really offensive), said, "Right, Miss "XXX-l" putting the accent on the first syllable, the way it was traditionally pronounced and DEFINITELY the way it was pronounced in 'the old country'. She blushed a little bit and laughed, smiling and nodding her head." Certainly , old Ralph's last name would never have been modified in that way (I think there is no way to do that without the name sounding absolutely ridiculous), but I'm sure this is something coming down from corporate to give the name that little cachet that LAUR-en would never have. Sorry, Ralph - we knew ya when you were selling ties.

Barbara said...

Hi Ms. C,
So Ralph LauRen's socks are slipping why not buy should I say it on such a great style/design blog...socks made for running, etc., Ortho or similiar.

Jennifer said...

Go LAUren! He's a nice Jewish boy from New York, don't you forget it. I'd be happy to support your campaign ;)

Miss Cavendish said...

Toby--Do you really think it comes from corporate? I think it comes from shoppers/SA who are trying to add klass to the product!

Miss Cavendish said...

BarbaraG--I do have proper running socks, but I really do like RL's use of color and stripe, as long as the socks stay on!

Mary-Laure said...

Argh yes I hate it too when the heel of the sock slips off!