For having only 6 letters, my last name has been pronounced an infinite number of ways. I can still hear Coach Silly Bean (what was his real name, Sylvester? No, wait, I was never on the Cheerios) shouting at me in 7th grade PE:

Laneer, get over here!

la-NEER, get over here!

I'll answer to any, but the following two are the most correct:

  1. leh-NWAH: Obviously the name is French and if I want to put on airs, I'll pronounce it so. Problem is, my accent is horrible. My wife, whose first language is French, cringes when I try. The opening syllable should almost, but not quite, get caught in the back of your throat. You should tease me with the accented second syllable, will you pronounce the "r" or not? No!

    Indeed, my paternal lineage traces back to France. From what I've heard, somewhere in Normandy. Being Protestants, we were kicked out after the Wars of Religion and landed probably in Charleston, SC.

  2. le-NORE: It's been centuries since my father's gene pool mingled in the home country, so I'm about as French as Taco Bell is Mexican. My last name is usually barked out with no pause between the syllables.

    My father's father was born in Lenoir City, TN, a town named after two of his great(+) grandfathers: William Ballard Lenoir and his father, General William Lenoir. Lenoirs are pretty thick in eastern Tennessee / western North Carolina.

People get pretty creative with my last name. It's usually a good way to screen out those who don't know me. Here are some other variations:

  • LEN-wahr: The American French pronunciation. This is also how computers pronounce my name. Alas, this is how I have to say it when voice dialing anyone in my family.
  • LEE-nore: People who use this seem to realize, once the sound has passed their lips, that this is incorrect.
  • len-ner: This is said without any emphasis, it's almost hard to hear.
  • le-NOY-er: Rhymes with annoyer, which I may very well be.
  • le-HORE: From my childhood, an attempt to purposely mangle my last name as a dig at me. Never worked, I always thought they were talking about that town in Pakistan.

These are the core principles that guide my beliefs and inform my platform:

  • We are all in this together

    We cannot exclude anyone from the benefits our nation confers. All of us, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual preference or citizenship. True, being a citizen confers certain rights and responsibilities, but not being one doesn't put you beyond the pale.

    Let's be careful about using the label "them".

  • We are the government

    There is no other institution that allows all of us to act together. Businesses are beholden to their owners, religions to their god(s).

    If we abdicate our responsibilities as citizens, since politics abhors a power vacuum, someone will step in and they will not likely care about everyone.

    Consider, too, that since we are the government, the government acts in our name.

  • Good guys don't shoot first

    It's tempting, I know. Holding back means good people will get hurt or killed. I agree, it's sucks in the short term. However, long term, it shows to the world who the bad guys are and it makes sure that our wrath, when it is stirred, is properly directed.

    This applies domestically as much as on the international scene.

  • Don't be a dick

    C'mon, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. No action is wholly good. Someone will lose out with any change. Let's not inflict pain on those already suffering.

  • Don't be stupid

    Don't let your principles lead you off a cliff. Constantly evaluate your actions and their impact. If something doesn't seem right, revisit the core principles. Maybe it's an unavoidable situation. Or maybe we need to readjust how we act.