"what taxiway do you enter the ramp?"
A few things. How do you suggest this be rephrased?
Well, with all respect, that's not my job. Also, see below my last comment regarding procedures.
Also, I didn't really notice an increase in volume, perhaps only when the pilot pointlessly said he was going to "make a report".
I disagree, but I suppose that's in the ear of the listener.
Forgive the controller for not using perfect phraseology, though I don't know what that would be in this situation.
No, I won't, particularly if this really is "standard." Any standard procedure needs well know standard phrases and procedures.
Seems pretty standard since they ask pretty much every pilot which taxiway they're going in.
I have reviewed all AFD information on JFK and significant supplemental information not in the AFD, and I have never seen any discussion of this procedure. Indeed, it is ground's responsibility to select appropriate taxiways. If someone can point to an official FAA publication to the contrary, please do.
Seems, also, that the pilot is suppoed to know that Ground has control over the taxiways.
Right. Which is why the pilot was confused when the controller asked him to select his own taxiway.
I find it odd that people are so quick to forgive pilots that don't understand English and essential operational procedures.
Not the point (even if it is a legitimate observation, which it is). I understand English and had reviewed JFK procedures (before listening to the clip) and I did not know what he was talking about. Also, your statement presumes that it is an essential operational procedure. If it is, in fact, an essential procedure, then the tower/FAA should establish and publish procedures. For example, I am aware that landing pilots are expected to specify their hangar. I have seen that published in JFK guidance. Even if that applies to commercial ops (not sure; didn't have cause to check), that would have been fulfilled by the pilot's first response (gate number).
If you're interested in these issues of procedures and phraseology, I highly recommend Don Brown's columns on AvWeb. http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/