Not to cut President Donald Trump the slightest bit of slack, but we can probably assume that when he stumbled with the pronounciation of La David Johnson‘s name (as Johnson’s widow has recently claimed), it was over the first name. He probably said “David” and then checked himself with “uhhm, I mean La David” or something in that realm. I don’t know that this happened, but what are the odds that Trump stumbled with the pronunciation of “Johnson”?
Well, I experienced the same kind of stumble when I attended a party for Crown Heights last July. I was talking to a publicist about Lakeith Stanfield, and I said “Keith” only to stop mid-sentence and say “I mean LaKeith”. I mentioned right away that the “La” (an African-American culture thing) was a relatively recent add-on as Stanfield’s Wikipage was still referring to him as “Keith.” (Not now — the spelling has since been updated.) And keep in mind that Lakeith has no space between “La” and “Keith” while Johnson’s first name is spelled “La David.” Given the recent “La” prefix add-ons and general spelling flexibility, it seems as if a little stumbling might be forgivable.