Since the beginning of October, I have written three posts about Arrested Development in real life for no apparent reason. I probably should have collected a few examples and posted them all together, but they generally came up one after the other, I can’t help myself, and that idea didn’t occur to me until just now, so — acknowledgement this post probably doesn’t deserve to exist out of the way — let’s get this over with.
Sometime over the past couple of days, I noticed that McClatchy currently employs a journalist working in Irbil (Arbela), Iraq, who goes by the name of Mitchell Prothero. After I noticed his name the first time, I started noticing it on other articles, as well. But who is he really?
You might be wondering, “Mitchell Prothero. Sounds like a name. What am I missing?”
Well, allow me to start at the end, since non-chronological is how AD rolls these days. To many native speakers of Arabic, “P” turns into “B” — think Neapolis/Nablus or Piguim/Biguim** — which would render the man of mystery not Prothero, but Brothero:
So we know right off the bat the name is intended to disclaim some alleged identity. Who is this Prothero trying hard not to be? Well, let’s have one more look at his first name:
Wow, look at that conveniently-placed arrow I didn’t even have to draw myself. Obviously, Mr. Hurwitz couldn’t tramp around Iraq with a name like that or he’d lose his head. Enter “Prothero”.
And what brings him to Iraq in the first place? Either he’s there for the usual “light treason” or he’s just using his media credentials as cover to get in some good location scouting for Season 5 and/or a movie *crossing fingers*
Speaking of crossing, let’s just hope Prothero didn’t get his map from Tobias.
*I can’t promise
**One excerpt from the linked article (dated August 8) that still bothers me two months after it was published:
When the song was first released, there was much of it that Israelis couldn’t understand. Partly, this is because the Gazans doing the singing can’t pronounce all the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. So a crucial word like piguim (the Hebrew word for “terror attacks”) comes out as biguim—a nonsense word that doesn’t mean anything at all in Hebrew. Imagine a song in English that calls dozens of times to mount horrific “terror attacks,” but in each case uses the expression “terror aggacks” instead, and you get the idea.
That example would actually take the song to a whole nother level of absurdity, because why can the singer pronounce the t in “terror” but not in “attacks”?