Kean University wants to clear something up. They want to clear it up so much they're willing to spend $313,000 on it. They launched a billboard ad campaign to once and for all get people to pronounce their name properly.

Some people with the last name Kean actually pronounce it Keen, as in 1950's jargon, "Gosh that was a keen movie!"

Others, like former Governor Tom Kean, pronounce it Cane, as in the assisted walking device.

They've had enough. Having achieved university status 20 years ago and now the 3rd largest institute of higher learning in the state, it's about time people stop calling them the wrong name.

The billboard campaign involves 10 boards, 48 feet long, placed in Jersey as well as Delaware and Philadelphia. The billboard is clever and simple. They list it like a word in a dictionary, as a noun, with 'cane' as the pronunciation, and the definition is NJ's most affordable comprehensive university. I like it.

And with the last name Deminski I can appreciate it. It's not that people can't pronounce my name; usually they can when they see it spelled out. It's that if they hear it without seeing it very few can spell it. So it's the reverse of the same problem.

Do you have parents who gave you a creative first name, or a last name where all the Zs and Ks and Gs are silent? (Our own Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno still has people pronouncing the second G out loud.) Or do you live in a town like Forked River or Bogota and outsiders can never pronounce it properly? Then you know what Kean is going through.

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