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How Do You Say 'Gorsuch'?


There were plenty of disagreements at the Senate confirmation hearings for, of course, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, but Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina tried to get Committee consensus on at least one point.


THOM TILLIS: Judge, my first very important question, please pronounce your last name.


NEIL GORSUCH: I've answered to a lot of things, Senator. Gorsuch is how I say it, but...

TILLIS: The reason I ask that question is we had probably four or five cheat sheets up here with different phonetic, so that is Gorsuch, right?

GORSUCH: That's how I'd say it.

TILLIS: It's Gorsuch, and I give my staff credit for actually getting it right. But I had a crisis of confidence when I saw the other cheat sheets.

SIMON: But phonetic spellings can differ, and as some of us know, phonetic spellings with their slashes, dashes and emphasises (ph) can be harder to read than the actual name. So some distinguished senators still struggle.


LINDSEY GRAHAM: Judge Gorsik (ph).

MAZIE HIRONO: Judge Gorsich (ph) - Gorsist (ph).

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Judge Gorsitch (ph).

CHUCK GRASSLEY: Judge Gershitz (ph) - Gorsuch.

SIMON: (Laughter) Those were Senators Lindsey Graham, Mazie Hirono, Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley, all addressing the nominee in their distinct ways. Senator Jeff Flake encountered another problem. Turns out that spell-check autocorrects Judge Gorsuch's name.


JEFF FLAKE: I had a speech to deliver a while ago, and when it was fed into the teleprompter, your name wasn't as familiar as some, and it replaced it with Judge Grouch throughout the entire time and I had to be careful.

SIMON: If Judge Grouch (ph) - excuse me, spell-check again - Judge Gorsuch gets confirmed, the threat of a filibuster notwithstanding, he will serve a lifetime appointment. And that should be time enough for U.S. senators and journalists to try to get his name right. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Scott Simon
Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.