Senate, House to Vote on Pronunciation of "Gyro"
Debate over popular Greek pita-bread sandwich has gone on "long enough"
Washington, DC - Both legislative branches of the United States government will vote next week on the pronunciation of "Gyro". The bill, introduced by New York representative Bill Burnett, hopes to end years of debate about the popular pita-bread sandwich by giving it an "official" pronunciation.
Burnett, a Republican and native New Yorker, got "increasingly frustrated" when he would hear consumers order a Gyro, but pronounce it with a soft "E", sounding like the European currency, the Euro. He insists that Gyro should by pronounced with a harder "G" sound, sounding like JIRO.
Burnett lead the debate on the floor of the House of Representatives, which at times became heated.
Said Burnett, "When ordering a Gyro, you are not ordering European currency. You are ordering a Greek pita-bread sandwich, usually made with lamb meat, and that really good cucumber sauce. And, doesn't the word begin with the letter 'G'? My fellow representatives, don't you think there's a reason for that?"
Opposition mostly came from House Democrats, most of whom pronounce the word "Euro", and others who had no opinion, but vowed to vote along party lines.
Carla McGee, a Democrat from Nevada, believes strongly that the soft "E" pronunciation is correct. "All my life, when I ordered a Gyro, I said it the same way, like 'Euro'. Not once was I brought a plate of European currency. I always received the delicious pita-bread sandwich that I wanted."
McGee also refuted Burnett's argument that since the word begins with the letter "G", that the "G" must be pronounced. "The English language has hundreds of words that contain silent letters", she argued.
When pressed by Burnett to name a word that begins with a silent letter, McGee could not. The tension level was palpable as Burnett pounded his fist and said "Ms. McGee and members of the House, I rest my case."
Libertarian leader Andrew Parson, from Minnesota, said that he "really didn't care" how the word should be pronounced, and added "this is just another example of 'Big Government' wasting taxpayer time and money. We could call (the Gyro) a 'GreekBurger' for all I care." Parson added that he would most likely vote for the Republican pronunciation, because "that's how they said (Gyro) on 'Seinfeld'".
The bill, which will declare Gyro to be pronounced with the harder "G" sound, is expected to pass by a slim margin, after which it will be introduced to the Senate. If the Senate also passes the bill, it will go to President Bush to be signed into law. Burnett, for one, does not expect a veto. "The President knows that this pronunciation is the correct one, and will allow this country to move forward fighting terrorism and improving the economy."
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that Bush will "most likely" sign the bill, adding that "however the word is pronounced, the President is a big fan of the Gyro (McClellan used the Republican-backed, harder "G" sound). And, I'd like to officially state that Mr. Bush has never choked on a Gyro, or on any other pita-bread sandwich."