I agree with your central point but the difficulty of a name is relative to one's own experience and cultural understanding... what's difficult for an Australian may be trivial for a Thai, the reverse may also be true.People with long, difficult names shouldn't get offended if others can't pronounce their name properly. Otherwise, change / shorten it by deed poll
I think Blair's condescension is a response to a perception of pomposity on the part of Dr. Tim.Which is correct?
Well, both are correct in a way. But both are also wrong in other ways.
Mr. Blair's article is rude and condescending. Not needed to make a point. But he does overtly point out the reasons for the doctors errors.
Dr. Soutphommasanes assumptions as to why western people don't pronounce (or even try) his name correctly are incorrect. But, silence or a lack of willingness to learn (the name) can be a sigh of intolerance. But, you can't just assume that's the reason. Can be many others.
To my way of thinking, both look like fools.
How can one hold up one's DYKWIA status if there's nothing to be be outraged about?My surname is very easy to pronounce even though is looks a little difficult.
So, more often than not, when boarding the pax before me get 'Welcome back Mr X' or similar and I get 'Have a good flight' or similar.
Maybe I have a case for discrimination against the airlines and I should feel outraged.... or maybe not.
..allow me to fill in the blank for you with..... " joke " as my comment is so cowardly for you.It would be a lot less cowardly if you filled in the blank.
For example, "Tim Blair is a not-very-funny idiot".