In October 1937, the president of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo, devised a simple way to identify the Haitian immigrants living along the border of his country. Dominican soldiers would hold up a sprig of parsley—perejil in Spanish—and ask people to identify it. Those who spoke Spanish would pronounce the word's central "r" with that language's characteristic trill; the Haitians, on the other hand, would bury the "r" sound in the throaty way of the French. To be on the receiving end of the parsley test would be to seal, either way, one's fate: The Spanish-speaking Dominicans were left to live, and the Haitians were slaughtered. It was a state-sponsored genocide that would be remembered, in one of history's greatest understatements, as the Parsley Massacre.The modern-day equivalent is to sort out true intellectuals from fake ones by their knowledge (or lack thereof) of how certain names are pronounced.
Paul Klee (clay)Here are some of the other names:
Michel Foucault (foo-coe)
Walter BenjaminMany more at The Atlantic. Brush up before that next cocktail party. You can argue all you want that language is flexible and fluid, but the same principle doesn't apply to specific people's names.
John Maynard Keynes