|Miss Lauren Bacall|
(Her first name is correctly pronounced "LOREN")
|Miss Sophia Loren|
(Her last name is correctly pronounced "Loh-RENN")
I suppose that people think pronouncing Lauren as "law-RENN" somehow makes it sound more posh, or "classy," or (Heaven forbid) French-ified.* But it is none of these, Dear Reader. I am here to tell you that pronouncing it that way sounds ridiculous, ill-informed, and affected. Because it is!
No one who works at Ralph Lauren pronounces "Lauren" as "law-RENN." And I have that on good authority, Dear Reader, since I have done a substantial amount of professional advisory work for the company over the years, and believe me, not one person in senior management there or in the stores pronounces it any way other than how it should be pronounced, which is "LOREN."
Now, Reggie is well aware that the "Lauren" in both the names of Miss Lauren Bacall and Mr. Ralph Lauren doesn't appear on their birth certificates, and was adopted by them at later dates. He doesn't give a fig about that, nor does he believe anyone else should, either. What he does believe, and he believes vehemently, Dear Reader, is that "Lauren" should be pronounced correctly, which is "LOREN," and is not—and never has been and never shall be—"law-RENN."
So, if you—or anyone you know—has heretofore misguidedly pronounced the name Lauren emphasizing the second syllable, I insist that you (and they) stop doing so immediately!
And that is a Reggie Rule.
* Which is even more perplexing to this writer, given that the company's design vision is so firmly rooted in quintessentially Anglo-American sources
Photograph of Miss Lauren Bacall courtesy of mptvimages.com; photograph of Miss Sophia Loren courtesy of the Mathau Company; Ralph Lauren corporate logo courtesy of same