I can’t resist a decent pun, can you?

I’m in the US at the moment and, as you’d expect, the news is absolutely dominated by the Presidential race. This week, it’s the Republicans turn to gather and whoop a lot (though I think they’re less of the whoopy types than the Democrats).

All attention right now is on this lady, Sarah Palin, McCain’s choice as Vice-Presidential running mate. Everyone seems a bit down on her, ’cause her teenage daughter’s up the duff and not married and there’s a suspicion that being Governor of Alaska might not be the most thorough preparation for standing next to the guy with his finger on the button (which, luckily – or perhaps not – is a single-handed job).

She has got other experience of being number two though. In 1984, she was runner up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant! I have visions of Miss Alaska 1984 sitting bitterly in front of the TV this week…”I beat her back then…I should be running for President.” (Actually, the winner in 1984 was Maryline Blackburn, who’s now making shocking records.)

I digress.

I was astonished to see a news item on CNN this morning highlighting the difficulty Sarah Palin is causing Americans. Not difficulty in supporting her position on US action in Iraq, or how to solve the housing crisis, you understand. No, the difficulty they’re having in pronouncing her name.

What?! It’s Sarah flamin’ Palin for God’s sake. How hard is that?

Well, CNN replied, quite. And then presented a number of case studies. “Parlin”…”Praline”…”Paylen”…WTF?

Clearly those of us brought up on Monty Python have a clear advantage in the Palin pronunciation stakes, but even so…