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It's MASCARPONE!

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I've heard so many people say marscapone (R on the first syllable, pone as 1 syllable) - countless times on the Food Network, where you'd think they'd know better. It's MAS-CAR-PO-NE. It's not that hard and I'm most certainly not Italian. Does this bother anyone else or am I being petty?

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  1. It bothers me to NO END, especially when it is mispronounced by a professional. I have heard Michael Chiarello call it MARS-CA-PONE and he's Italian! Another one that bugs me is Turmeric being pronounced TOO-MER-IC. Thanks for letting rant in your space ;-)

    39 Replies
    1. re: jacquelyncoffey

      I find it really pretentious when non-Italians pronounce italian food word incorrectly as if they really speak Italian. I have a friend who is IRISH for goodness sake and she does this all the time!!!

      For instance

      braciole (brah-CHO-leh), pronounced as Brah-chol
      prosciutto (proh-SHOOT-toh) pronounced as proh-shoot
      ricotta (ree-COHT-tah) pronouced as ree-coht

      and so on... It just bugs me every which way from Sunday.

      PS does this have anything to do with NY Italians who are not the same kind of Italian as REAL Italians????

      1. re: janetms383

        thats a very new york/new jersey pronunciation, based on a sicilian dialect i believe

        1. re: thew

          that was my point about NY Italian, but we live in California, I'm Italian by blood, and she is IRISH
          so I'll stand by my opinion of pretentious!

          1. re: janetms383

            And the way Giada overpronunces. Sounds phony.

            1. re: billieboy

              Pretentious is when she talks about making paninos. Huh? She also says marscapone but drawls out that rzzzz sound.

              1. re: chowser

                Wow, paninos? So she's overenunciating cluelessness. It irks me that paninis is used even in print media where the editors have clearly made a conscious choice, but it makes more sense than paninos. Does she talk about raviolos and tortellinos, too?

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  I don't see what's so horrible about paninos. That's just the English plural of a borrowed word. Sure panini is the Italian plural, but where's the rule that we have to borrow both the singular and plural form of a word?

                  As to the use or not of raviolos and tortellinos, how many of those do you eat per serving? How many panini per serving?

                  Why use the borrowed words in the first place? Why not just call them sandwiches, or toasted sandwiches?

                  1. re: paulj

                    I guess if we accept pizzas instead of the correct pizze, paninos is not beyond the pale, right....

                    1. re: Karl S

                      I assume Italian has regular ways of constructing plurals from singulars. If so, that is a syntactic feature, as opposed to a semantic one Generally it is much easier to borrow words than syntax. Creole languages often have a 'native' syntax, with many words borrowed from the colonizing language/culture. English has borrowed words from Greek, but has not borrowed its system of modifying nouns to reflect case (use as subject, object of a verb, object of a preposition, etc). It has borrowed Spanish words without consistently using 'o' or 'a' endings to reflect gender. Diminutives are another syntactic feature that are often borrowed as words, and used inconsistently.

                      1. re: paulj

                        Plural of nouns ending in A is usually E; Plural of nouns ending in O or E is usually I.

                      2. re: Karl S

                        Paninos could be defended but not "paninis".

                  2. re: chowser

                    Not a big fan of Giada, but you're either wrong or rabblerousing- she's one of the very few on FN who pronounces mascarpone correctly. And I've heard her talk about panini enough times to know that she has the right singular/plural thing down.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      Hmm wonder what she does to zucchini if there is only one of them?

                      1. re: grayelf

                        zucchino? zucchin?

                        Maybe there's just always more than one...

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          Zucchina or zucchino. Strangely, it exists in Italy in both masculine and feminine forms (well, it's a hermaphroditic plant ...). In Rome, where the zucchini are the best in the universe, it is feminine. Therefore one zucchina, two zucchine, but, yes, they are almost always plural.

                  3. re: billieboy

                    I was just going to through Giada into this mix when I saw your post. It totally bugs me how she pronounces Italian words. She'll be talking, w/ her normal American accent, and then all of the sudden she'll say "ri-COAT-a" or "spa-GET-ee" with the thickest Italian accent she can muster. UGH!

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      Actually, if you listen closely, she pronounces it as "spa-GIT-ee". It bothers the **** out of me.

                      1. re: Alfred G

                        Ditto!

                    2. re: billieboy

                      Giada was born in Italy!

                      1. re: billieboy

                        She is gorgeous. I love her.

                      2. re: janetms383

                        As a woman of partial Irish lineage, I would ask you to consider an option other than pretentiousness. Rather, at least in my case, it has been an attempt to pronounce the words the way I have been told by people who would be expected to know. When I was growing up, we had no terms more exotic than the generic “spaghetti.” I have never been to Italy. I live in a small Eastern city with a large Italian population. So, when I go to a store or restaurant or friend’s house and the person serving tells me I am actually asking for “brazhool” or “manicote,” I make a little mental note and try to ask for it that way the next time.

                        As for mascarpone, I don’t know that I have ever had to pronounce the term, but I’ll admit I had not noticed the reversal of letters until this thread. Now I will have to make a point to get some so I can pronounce it correctly!

                        1. re: meg944

                          I love that, meg944. You're funny! :)

                      3. re: thew

                        There's several Italian dialects, mostly in the south but also around Milan, that drop the final vowel in a word - so something like "proh-shoot" is totally authentic and correct for someone from those areas. Lots of southern Italian immigrants ended up in NYC/NJ around 100 years ago, so the pronunciation's common there. Modern standard Italian is an artificially created language based closely on the Tuscan dialect, spoken by most people these days, but regional dialects vary widely (some can even be considered separate languages). But enough of my linguistics-major word-geekery.

                        As to whether it's pretentious for an Irish Californian to say it? Depends where she picked it up, but probably.

                        1. re: Emmmily

                          There ARE several Italian dialects...
                          otherwise your post is incredibly informative. I'd noticed the dropped final vowel and wondered why.

                      4. re: janetms383

                        It's an entirely an Italian American artifact, as terms and pronunciation devolved over generations, usually modelled on Neapolitan dialect, which can cut off or swallow endings. Neapolitans set the tone for much of what we know as Italian American food and dining. Remember that Italian (and southern European) immigration was cut off in 1924 and only somewhat reopened in the 60s--trapping language and foodways and custom in a time warp. Generations dropped the language, which was usually dialect anyway, except for food terms and imprecations. Also, it was not easy to find many "real" Italian products until the 70s--balsamic vinegar, for one--was completely unknown here before then. Anyway, the "gapagool"ing of Italian started a long way back and has a complicated history. There's much more awareness of all things Italian among Italian-Americans these days, and speaking as one I'm happy as a vongole that the anti-marscapone movement has begun. Next: how to correctly pronounce omerta (forgive lack of diacritic over "a"). It's not OMER-tah but omer-TAH; the accent grave marks the stress. Like in baccala.

                        1. re: bob96

                          So where's the áccent, then? '-)

                          1. re: linguafood

                            Ìt's thè òthèr àccènt, ìncìdèntàlly.

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                              I've never seen an accent grave in Italian, just the 'normal' one, ("egu" I guess).

                              1. re: linguafood

                                Any vowel can have an accent grave on it (ragù, città, mangiarò, c'è, etc.) but only e and o have accent aigu (metró.

                                French café becomes Italian caffè.

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                  Merci beaucoup. I had no idea. (and I'm probably missing one or two accents on those, as well). Pardon my French. C'est pas bon (bien?). hahaha.

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    Ce n'est pas bon, non.

                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                      Ugh. Of course. Oh well. Can't speak every language under the sun :-D

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Not so bad linguafood: they rarely bother saying the "ne" part of the negative in speaking.

                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                          Admittedly, I hear French more often than I read it. That's probably why.

                                  2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    Italians write all accents as grave, even the ones that are just added to indicate pronunciation as opposed to ones that have to be written (such as omertà, tiramisù) and without which the word is misspelled. To distinguish between ancOra meaning again and Ancora meaning anchor, you might see àncora (anchor). Touring Club Italiano maps always add grave accents when a place name has the stress on something other than the penult or an accented final syllable.

                                    1. re: mbfant

                                      I don't know anything about Italian, but based on this Wiki section, I'd say you are both right

                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_...

                                      You are talking about the most common uses, while das Ubergeek is including the rare uses.

                                      "The by far most common option is the grave accent,... the alternative of employing the acute is in practice limited to erudite texts,"

                                      1. re: mbfant

                                        I think you will find that the Touring Club uses grave accents only when the stress falls on the final syllable. In other cases, to indicate stress on the third-to-last written vowel, they use the acute accent (e.g. "Génova", "Trápani", "Sicília", "Reggio di Calábria", etc.). But this does not represent standard usage in Italian.

                            2. re: janetms383

                              Maybe your friend watched too many episodes of the "The Sopranos," just like me. Heheh. Proh-shoot, ree-coht...the way Carmela always dropped that last vowel...so bad-ass.

                              Was that a great show for food, or what?

                              1. re: janetms383

                                The thing is, it's tricky--there is the formal language of Italian which stems from the Florentines, but the truth is that theirs was one many "dialects", of which there about a gazillion. The Florentine dialect became dominant in 13 century, due to the concentration of writers/poets/scholars but wasn't 1870 that Italy was even unified as a country. The words that you have mentioned are very close to a dialect in the South of Italy--where many Italian Americans come from, and so words from this style of dialect--that chops off the ends of the word--was absorbed into the American mainstream.
                                The rolled "r" gets lost in translation when people can't pronounce it all together. It's frustrating to people that love the pure Italian, but it's history, which is the whole truth.

                            3. i could have way too much fun with this thread...both of those irk me to no end.

                              others that get under my skin:
                              - chi-pol-tay (same problem as marscapone - why do people invert the order of consonants like that?)
                              - 4-syllable pronunciation of paprika (pap-uh-ree-ka)

                              there are more, but i can't think of them right now.

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I swear the four-syllable paprika pronunciation crossed my mind earlier today before I even saw this thread. UGH! It's an Emerilism and I'm not a big fan of him, either!

                                Agree re chipotle, too...it's like "nuke-u-lar" which, thankfully, we don't have to hear each time our current president speaks. :)

                                I live in Middletown, CT--a sister city to Melilli, Sicily--and the whole "Let's leave the final consonants off" is rampant here. When I was growing up, my uncle (born here and Italian, but not Sicilian) would proudly pronounce "ri-GAWT" and "mani-GAWT" though I later learned that is substandard Italian...It is all so inconsistent. Why would it be maniGAWT, yet no one ever drops the final "i" when we say "Don't forget the cannoli!" Speaking of which, I will be starting my (first trial) cannoli gelato tonight, made with mas-car-po-ne from the same deli where the man in front of me ordered "mor-ta-dell!" ;) Some folks you just can't reach!

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  NY Italians of certain descent (my guess is Neapolitan) and kids who grew up in proximate neighborhoods definitely drop the final 'i' on cannoli - as well as transmuting the 'c' to a 'g' and the 'o' to an 'oo', so what comes out is a request for a 'ganool'.

                                  As long as it's understood, why on earth would anyone care? There's a lot of underlying class prejudice around pronunciation and accents. To me, the pretension is in the pickiness of the critic insisting on the "correct" way to say something, not the speaker's accent. How boring things would be if we all pronounced everything the same way - the homogenization of the American language, for example, verges on the tragic as regional accents vanish at an accelerating pace.

                                  Three cheers for ganool, I say! Bring on the manigott and the mortadell, and don't bogart that gabbagool!!

                                  1. re: Striver

                                    Well, as my grandfather would say, "Vattay vattay dooey!" It was only about 15 years after he died (and despite taking Italian in school) that I finally figured out what that really was. Even my Italian professor couldn't guess what this pearl of wisdom was that Poppy always said. Can you guess? "Fatti fatti tuoi." In his words, "Keep your nose clean!" or in other words, "You do your own thing!" Kinda like MYOB. :) Enjoy your manigott, mortadell and ganool!

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      Actually, the phrase is "fatti i cazzi tuoi," which means "mind your own f'in business." MADONNA!!

                                      1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                        You're not gonna say that to a little kid, though. I heard "fatti i fatti tuoi" too-- do your own deeds.

                                        The French-speaking part of the family said, "occupe-toi de tes oignons". Worry about your own onions.

                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                          Awwww, that's kinda cute; obviously I was unaware of the kid-safe version.

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  LOL! chi-pol-tay is a good one! Doesn't even sound like a word!
                                  I guess I'm not alone here... For some reason, the R in the first syllable bothers me more than not pronouncing the fourth syllable. Just seems careless to me, like they're not paying attention to how the word is spelled. I can give one a pass for not pronouncing the fourth syllable for an Anglicized pronunciation.

                                  1. re: soniabegonia

                                    Of course chipoltay is a word. It's pig latin for tchipol.;-) You'd think with the big chain Chipotle that people would get it right.

                                    1. re: soniabegonia

                                      I worked with a very sweet Austrian who, no matter how many times we tried to correct him, called his favorite restaurant "Chip-o-tuhl". I still think of that every time I pass one!

                                      1. re: LAcupcake

                                        But that's b/c pronunciation of English words is so freaking inconsistent! Most words ending on -le would have the 'uhl' sound -- like table, people, cable, etc. etc.

                                        Just think how mind-boggling it is to furrners when they have to figure out which sound to make for a word they're not familiar with that ends on -ough.

                                        Silliness. And, of course, you know that fish is really spelled ghoti, right?

                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      THANK YOU GHG! I was beginning to think people knew something I didn't with the pronounciation of "chipotle". So often I hear people say "chi-pol-te".

                                      Don't even get me started with gyros. LOL

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        How about "vin-a- ga-rette" and "buh-li-ni" (for blini). Aaaarrrgghhh!

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          Chi-pol-tay makes me CRAZY. I've heard so many people pronounce it that way that I was beginning to think I was pronouncing it incorrectly!

                                          1. re: BestFriendBritt

                                            How's that 'i' in the first syllable pronounced? an indistinct schwa, or a clear long 'e'? Come to think of it most English speakers will butcher the other vowels as well:

                                            The way the Wiki article writes it in phonetic English is 'chee-POTE-lay'

                                            But then it can be argued that the Mexican Spanish pronunciation is a butchering of the Nahuatl word 'chilpoctli' or its reverse "pochilli" (Wiki citation).

                                        2. It drives me crazy! That has got to be one of the most mis-pronouced words in the food kingdom. And I agree, it's especially annoying when Michael Chiarello does it, because he likes to make such a big deal of speaking Italian. (What's the English word for that? Oh yea, crunchy!) The guy grew up in California speaking English. Well, his mis-pronounciations give him away.

                                          19 Replies
                                          1. re: Kathleen M

                                            just out of interest, why do Americans say pahsta instead of passta? Italians do not pronounce it with a long 'a' sound.

                                            1. re: smartie

                                              what Americans are you talking to? I've never heard anyone say it that way

                                              1. re: janetms383

                                                Might be a southern drawl.

                                                1. re: billieboy

                                                  I was thinking poster might be referring to a regional accent.

                                              2. re: smartie

                                                Standard Italian does not have the a as in had sound. Maybe this is a Sicillian thing?

                                                1. re: smartie

                                                  Wouldn't a long 'a' be Paysta??? To see how Italians do pronounce it I found this on one site:

                                                  * a-A: This letter denotes a single sound, whose pronunciation is always similar to an English a in cat, fact, black; an "o" in how, cloud, house, mouse. Also, It sounds like the word �a� in the English word ah! Examples:

                                                  Pretty confusing if you ask me. Seems to say BOTH are right. Then I found this:

                                                  http://www.cyberitalian.com/en/html/a...

                                                  That site would make Pahsta the correct pronunciation (as in Casa). The only time I ever hear it pronounced Passta (in the US) is when someone like Gordon Ramsay says it, so it's likely one of those British things.

                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                    apparently Canadians favor the Passta pronunciation as well. it irritates me every time Kevin Brauch says it on Iron Chef America.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      The Canadian long a. They (I'd say "we" but I'm an American immigrant here and still haven't adopted this one) also pronounce "Viet NAM" to rhyme with "Spam."

                                                      Kevin is Canadian, so why this would irritate you is beyond me...

                                                      1. re: John Manzo

                                                        it irritates me because it sounds wrong to my American ear.

                                                        1. re: John Manzo

                                                          I've never heard anyone around me (live in Alberta) pronounce Vietnam like that. We pronounce it where "Nam" rhymes with "bomb"

                                                          I also pronounce it passta.

                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          Apparently it irritates Batali too. I heard him correct Kevin's pronunciation of pasta.

                                                      2. re: smartie

                                                        Do you mean the difference between American "pah stuh" and English "Pass stuh"? The Italian pronunciation is ah for a but I've never heard anyone say pay stuh with a long a sound.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          yes Americans say pah sta, English say pasta with a short a (as in pass the way Americans say pass not how English say pass - really round the other way!!).

                                                          Italians say it the same way as the English.

                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                            There seems to be lots of evidence that the Italians don't say it the same way as the British. I'll repost from above:
                                                            http://www.cyberitalian.com/en/html/a...

                                                            Not trying to be argumentative but this is getting confusing. I've never heard an Italian say Passta.

                                                            1. re: Midlife

                                                              It makes sense considering "a" is pronounces "ah", not "aa".

                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                Neither have I, and I've spent a fair amount of time in Italy. Never been to Sicily, though, so maybe it's the "passta" bastion.

                                                              2. re: smartie

                                                                It might be a regional thing but I've been taught (and told by many Italians) to say pah sta. But, there are quite a few regional variations of gnocchi, too.

                                                          2. re: Kathleen M

                                                            LOL so, what, he makes a comment in Italian and then acts like he doesn't know how to say it in English.. Oh My, and I thought I had the lock on pretentious!!

                                                            1. re: janetms383

                                                              yes! or not really a comment (I'm not sure that he could form a complete sentence in Italian!) but he will say a word and then say "Oh, how do you say that in English?" and then pretend to come up with it. It would be hard to sound more pretentious if he were trying!

                                                          3. Egregious examples: van-ella, pa-preek-a, saulmon, (pronouncing the 'L"), creme berlee. I'm so with janet on the BS Italian thing. I grew up in Jersey around a lot of Italian families who said "mooz-a-rell", "gabba-gool", etc. Sorry, but you'll never catch me tawkin' like dat dere. Especially not after taking an Italian class. The language doesn't have any silent letters. If it's there, you say it. ciao, adam

                                                            25 Replies
                                                            1. re: adamshoe

                                                              I hear the gabba-gool alot from her as well, what the heck is that? The spoon thing bothers me too. She always put a spoon out when she make "macaroni" and our friends that were born and raised in California use it!! All of a sudden they become pasta twirling challenged!

                                                              1. re: janetms383

                                                                You know it's "capicola" (gabba-gool), right? I tell you this even though I do twirl my spaghetti with a spoon. ;) Same with pasta fazool--is really pasta fagiole.

                                                                Here is a kick for folks on this thread. It's a link to a song about scungilli that used to play on the jukebox at my uncle's restaurant (now closed), "The Italian Delight" a.k.a. "The Scungilli Song"--notice the singer pronounces a lot of the words just the way we're all raggin' about (scun-geel, pasta fazool):
                                                                http://www.box.net/shared/9vdhj1eql1

                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                  I say them all how they were pronounced growing up- but I thought pasta fazool was actually spelled out pasta e fagioli - no? There must be 100 different ways.

                                                                  And I say Gabba-gool, or cappy ham because that's how the girl that slices it recognizes it. I also ask for More-ta-dell and they look at me like 'huh wha?' - I'm sure I bastardize other food items, not just the ones I grew up eating, but these seem to come up often.

                                                                  Hey- we also twirl in a spoon- it's neater that way. I'm not married to it, I don't necessarily insist on putting spoons out with spaghetti, but if I don't, someone will usually go and grab one to use!

                                                                  Gyro (YEAR-OH)
                                                                  ricotta (Ree-Goat or Ree-Got)

                                                                  I don't call it a sammy or a sammich unless I'm drunk and slurring... but I do call it a Hoagie when it's got cold cuts, oil & vinegar dressing and produce...

                                                                  1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                    Yes, pasta e fagiole is the real spelling vs. the phonetic "fazool."

                                                                    "Hoagie" is another regional difference--I know what you mean when you say "hoagie" but don't know why that is. In this neck of the woods, we call them "grinders," which makes no sense, really, but that is what we have always called them. What makes best sense literally is a "sub" but I never say that.

                                                                    And, believe me, having grown up with alternate pronunciations most of my life, it is difficult to shake "pro-ZHOOT" and "riGAWT" and the like.

                                                                    Keep twirlin', DB! :)

                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                      grinders were because it as initially a shredded meat sandwich on a hero roll.

                                                                      hen i as in school in boston i as asked if i wanted a grinder and a frappe. i said no, i wanted a hero and a milkshake

                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                        I have to say, one thing i loved about moving back to CT is that people knew what i was talking about when i said grinder.

                                                                    2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                      God, that was terrible!!

                                                                  2. re: adamshoe

                                                                    va-NEL-la drives me nuts too.

                                                                    others that now come to mind:
                                                                    - car-muhl (caramel)
                                                                    - sammich (sandwich)
                                                                    - jy-ro (gyro)

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                      Gyro= yee-ro.

                                                                      1. re: adamshoe

                                                                        i know, which is why i cringe when i hear someone say jy-ro.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          As in I jyro'd to the The Scungilli Song??

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            Let's not forget moo-SAKA for moo-sa-KA.

                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          We beat the caramel one to death on another thread.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            i remember it - the one about regional dialects. pecan was another topic in there IIRC.

                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            Oh, carmuhl and carmuhlize bug me no end!

                                                                          3. re: adamshoe

                                                                            Jacques Pepin has a rather strong 'L' in his 'salmon'.

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              Which is kind of funny, given that the French saumon has none.

                                                                            2. re: adamshoe

                                                                              What's wrong with pa-preek-a? Do you prefer pap-rick-a? I don't think this is a right and wrong difference so much as a regional variance of pronunciation.

                                                                              Now, pa-pur-reek-a as mentioned above is clearly in the wrong.

                                                                              1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                I think the distinction is between PAP-rick-a/PAP-reek-a (correct) and pap-REEK-a (incorrect).

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  Well, as it often turns out, both pronunciations are correct:

                                                                                  http://dictionary.reference.com/brows...

                                                                                  pap⋅ri⋅ka Show Spelled Pronunciation [pa-PREE-kuh, puh-, pah-, PAP-ri-kuh]

                                                                                  And the audio pronunciation at Merriam-Webster has it as "pah-PREE-kah".

                                                                                  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictio...

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    Yes, we pronounce things every which way in American English, which makes any which way commonly "correct." But just because M-W says ricotta can be pronounced ric-oh-ta or ric-ah-ta, for example, doesn't make the latter truly correct AFAIC.. Sorry, Sarah Moulton, love ya, but ricotta and salata aren't meant to rhyme, even if the "voice of authority" says what the hey.

                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                      Ricotta Salata
                                                                                      (ree-coh-tah sah-lah-tah)
                                                                                      A dry salted ricotta cheese that has a sharp, almost tangy flavor
                                                                                      http://www.agferrari.com/index.php/it...

                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        I know what it is and how it's pronounced. To clarify my post above, Merriam-Webster's slogan is "The Voice of Authority." M-W says ricotta can be pronounced with the middle syllable as ah or oh. Sarah Moulton pronounces it ri-cah-tah, so when she says ricotta salata, the two words rhyme, wrongly. It grates on my ears, much as I respect her.

                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                        So, tell me, why is your pronunciation of Paprika more authoritatively correct?

                                                                                        I understand why ricotta would be pronounced the way you would prefer; but, I don't understand what is wrong with either pronunciation of paprika.

                                                                                        1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                          I'm not saying it's not correct in American English; as LindaWhit showed, it is. The same sources say either pronunciation of ricotta is correct in American English, and in either case one can argue that they're adapted words and that's that (unlike marscapone and chipolte, which seem pretty clearly to be mistakes however you pronounce the vowels).

                                                                                          My personal preference goes back to where the emphasis is placed in the language the word comes from. If I'd grown up hearing, or ever lived around people who said, pap-REEK-uh, we might not be having this conversation, but I guess I like to connect food words with their sources. Believe me, I'll only argue it here, I don't get dogmatic about it or correct people's pronunciation.

                                                                              2. Warshington
                                                                                Arnge
                                                                                using I instead of me
                                                                                saint croiks
                                                                                fageeohlee
                                                                                sammich
                                                                                prolly

                                                                                Then however what's his name does on Jeopardy--it's too much

                                                                                I will admit that having heard marscapone most of my life, it took awhile to get it back to mascarpone. And I'm from Italian-rich Chicago.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Caralien

                                                                                  hahah warshington and arnge is what everyone says here in the Baltimore area!

                                                                                  Nothing wrong with that (:

                                                                                  but on another note, I hate when I hear Ming Tsai try and pronounce gochugaru. He calls it "koshikari"

                                                                                2. If you are not Italian, how do you know that you are right? OK, the misplaced R make sense, but what about the stress, and final 'ne' or not? I've learned by now that when someone makes a dogmatic statement about pronunciation of a word like this, there is often more to issue than they think.

                                                                                  Anyways I poked around, and found this self-proclaimed cheese expert's opinion, and bit of history on the cheese.
                                                                                  http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main...
                                                                                  mas-car-POH-neh.
                                                                                  And according to the Wiki article some Italian journalist has argued that it really should be 'mascherpone'. There are multiple ideas of where the word comes from.

                                                                                  1. The language my grandparents spoke (emigrated to New York from Sicily in the early 1900's), didn't sound anything like what is considered the Italian language today.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Demented

                                                                                      My father moved here from Calabria in 1957. He says he actually learned Italian when he took a course in college. Calabrese (and I'm sure Sicilian, since the dialects are related) doesn't even come close to Italian.

                                                                                      I visited my great aunt and great uncle a few years back in Sambiase and I couldn't understand a word they said. I'm not great with Italian but usually I can understand it - a great celebration ensued when I finally picked up on something my great uncle told me!

                                                                                      Dialects are dying out in Italy, but you can still find them if you look.

                                                                                    2. May be you should start at home - HOME COOKING to be specific. Do a search for 'marscapone', and then weigh in on each of the threads, correcting their spelling. It would be a good way to make friends and influence chow hounds. :)

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        LOL, how many pages of posts would that be?

                                                                                      2. I noticed on an episode of Top Chef, one of the chefs mentioned bruschetta twice and pronounced them two different ways -- "brus-ket-ta" and "bru-shet-ta." Did she not know how to pronounce it so she was covering all bases?

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                          who did that? maybe she heard someone else say it differently after the first time and changed the pronunciation.

                                                                                          speaking of Top Chef, way too many people have called blinis "bellinis" on that show.

                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                            It was definitely a female. I think it was Jamie, and it was around the 4-7th episode. If not Jamie, my bet is on Ariane.

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              bellinis are most certainly a bubbly with peach nectar. oof!

                                                                                          2. Risotto drives me crazy. I hear "rizzuto" all the time. It's "riz-otto" not Phil Rizzuto. I am so surprised when what's his name -- the Good Eats guy -- does it all the time. He's Mr. Precision and should know better!!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                              Besides all the mispronouncing, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that technically mascarpone and ricotta are not really cheeses as such, but by-products. I've often heard certain Italian chefs on FTN refer to both as "ricotta cheese", etc. I know they're trying to relate to their viewers, not intimidate them, try to elevate their awareness and eagerness to try new things, but I guess I don't like misinformation, or am I being too nit-picky?

                                                                                              1. re: markabauman

                                                                                                Well, ricotta is traditionally made *from* the by-product of cheese making (the whey left from making mozarella), but it still has to be made by adding acid and forming a curd, which is sort of the definition of making cheese (creating curd). Ricotta and mascarpone are fresh, soft cheeses (like cream cheese, cottage cheese, and the French fromage frais). So, to answer your final question: yes.

                                                                                            2. Not horribly irritating to me. Could be because I'm the one that irritates others!! And I no doubt will continue to pronounce words the way I always have, please don't take it personally... ;o)
                                                                                              For the record- I say 'ma-ska-pone' - I realize this may be offensive to you. I could run down the list of words I butcher, but it would take too long.

                                                                                              1. If we're going down this road...

                                                                                                Sake does NOT rhyme with hockey.

                                                                                                And Tokyo only has 2 syllables.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                                                  waddaya mean Jennalynn? I had some awesome sock-ee in To-kee-yo ;)
                                                                                                  adam

                                                                                                  1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                                                    <<And Tokyo only has 2 syllables.>>
                                                                                                    That may be true, but not in the Blue Oyster Cult song...sing it with me:
                                                                                                    "Ohhhhh, no! There goes To-ky-o! Go, go, Godzilla!
                                                                                                    History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men."

                                                                                                    Oooh, here's another one:
                                                                                                    "Swored-fish" instead of "soared-fish" (swordfish).

                                                                                                  2. It works the other way, too. Not so long ago I was at the local Italian grocery and asked for a pound of bruschetta -- I pronounced it brus-ket'-ta -- and the guy behind the counter had no idea what I was talking about. He finally asked, "Do you mean bru-shet'-ta?" I wasn't about to make a big deal of it, so I just nodded.

                                                                                                    Oh, and here in the Philly area, Acme (as in the supermarket chain) has three syllables (Ac-a-me).

                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                      I thought bruschetta was something you made at home on the grill, not something you could buy by the pound :)

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                        You're right, of course. Technically, the grilled bread is the bruschetta, and the stuff I was buying was the topping, but if I'd asked instead for the chopped tomato bruschetta topping, the language barrier would have kept me there indefinitely!

                                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                          You could have asked for some of that basil pico de gallo :)

                                                                                                      2. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                        If you asked for a pound of bruschetta, you should be given one pound of bread slices that have been rubbed with garlic and grilled. Perhaps you mean bruschetta "topping," which for some reason in the US has defaulted to mean diced tomatoes, parsley and olive oil.

                                                                                                        1. re: joc1234

                                                                                                          I know! I know! And I said as much in my post above. But in that particular shop, the tray in the case that holds the product has a label with the price, and the name of the product: "Bruschetta"

                                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                            Stand your ground! Defend the h in bruschetta! Bruschetta is not one of those words that was brought over to the US by Calabrian immigrants three or four generations ago. Those words have taken on an independent identity (arugula I presume is one of those, also stromboli, which is a dactyl in Italian). Bruschetta arrived in very recent memory, so there's no excuse for the mispronunciation.

                                                                                                            1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                              Perfettamente d'accordo. But my Calabrian folks, who arrived in 1920, are completely innocent, linguistically if nowhere else, and could roll a lovely "sfogliatella". They never had any occasion to use the word "bruschetta", though we always enjoyed crisp pane biscottato (or freselle) with a garlic, oil, and tomato topping. None of my DOC Brooklyn Italian friends or relatives have any idea of the etymology of stromboli, and wouldn't order one anyway. However it's said.

                                                                                                        2. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                          I ordered bruschetta from a caterer last fall for my mom's surprise 70th birthday party and the surprise was on me.....I got melon with proscuitto!

                                                                                                        3. I watched a bit of Michael Chiarello today and wondered where the pronunciation of "balsamic" as "balzamic" came from.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                            I think it's some obscure rule where an s followed by a vowel but preceded by a consonant = a "z". Not sure...it was a long time ago that I took Italian. I've never heard it said as "balzamic", though. adam

                                                                                                          2. Having studied phonetics and recently having taken up a foreign language I believe some mispronunciations are not due to a lack of education but due to auditory perception. Mascarpone translates for some as Marscapone. Additionally, Marscapone may be more consistent w/ general american pronunciation than Mascarpone.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                              Attributing the shift of the 'r' from second to first syllable to English morphophonemics may be a stretch (except maybe for the 'Warshington' crowd). Still, the 'mar-sca-PONE' version fits English speaking patterns more comfortably than 'mas-car-PON-e' (or -PO-ne'). With the right inflection, the latter reminds me of Chico in 'A Night At the Opera'.

                                                                                                            2. These pronunciation threads are always simultaneously fascinating and infuriating. The idea that there's only one way to say a word, and your way is the right way. Language is not static. It's always evolving, expanding, absorbing. The purpose of speech is to communicate ideas; if an idea is communicated and understood correctly, why the pretension?

                                                                                                              Not to pick on one particular chowhound, but just as an example: the British IPA pronunciation of pasta is /pæstə/. (Standard) Italian doesn't have the vowel sound /æ/. If your Italian teacher told you this was how to pronounce the Italian "a", you need to get your money back. There's also no schwa (/ə/) in Standard Italian. And anyway, it doesn't matter. Pronounce pasta in whatever fashion is natural to you. It's an Italian word. It's a British English word. It's an American English word. We all say it; we eat all it.

                                                                                                              1. This is a slippery slope. Do we really want people to refer to Munich as Munchen, or Pairs as Pahree? I gag whenever I encounter someone who has been to Saint Petersburg and yatters on about "Lairmitahge."

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                  But the English word is mascarpone. It's not that the Italian word is mascarpone and the English word is marscapone which is along the lines of your example.

                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                    Exactly... this is not a mispronunciation... it's rearranging the letters.

                                                                                                                2. From a page on food in Lodi (in Lombardy)
                                                                                                                  'Mascarpone
                                                                                                                  Il formaggio mascarpone è un lodigiano purosangue deve il suo nome alla parola dialettale lodigiana mascherpa che indica il fenomeno di agglomerazione della panna del latte. Infatti il vero mascarpone è il prodotto della coagulazione della panna fresca precedentemente riscaldata a bagnomaria a 90 C°."

                                                                                                                  http://www.zerodelta.net/speciali/gui...

                                                                                                                  http://www.turismo.provincia.lodi.it/...

                                                                                                                  So the English 'marscapone' is a distortion of the Italian 'mascarpone' which is a distortion of the Lodigian 'mascherpa' (and some even claim that is derived from Spanish 'mas que bueno').

                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                    I guess that all makes sense if you understand Italian.

                                                                                                                    Anyway...................Is there a difference between a 'distortion' (maybe due to regionalized pronunciation or meaning) and a dis[placement of a letter (more likely due to laziness in hearing properly or bothering to see how a word is spelled)??? Is the 'Nucular' and nuclear thing a distortion or the latter (no political commentary intended)?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                      Why attribute one change to 'regionalized pronunciation' and the other to laziness?

                                                                                                                      When I took linguistics classes some years ago, the focus was on how people actual speak a language, and what we could learn about languages and thinking from it. The intuition of the 'native language speaker' determined what was correct or not, not the rules developed by a grammarian. Linguistics papers are full of examples where speaker A accepts this pronunciation or construction, but rejects that one, followed by attempts to derive general principals from the data.

                                                                                                                      In this case, the spelling and Italian derivation point clearly to one pronunciation. But the fact that many people do pronounce it with the r first, and even spell it that way (do search on this board for 'marscapone', suggest that something else is going on. Did one person make a mistake, and everyone copy them? Or is the 'r' first version easier to say in English? A strict grammarian would say that is wrong, slap your hand, and move on to the next error. A modern linguist might want to dig further, looking for regional patterns, or wondering it there are other words which exhibit the same sort of switch.

                                                                                                                      I have no idea when I first read or heard of this cheese, but both pronunciations sound equally valid to me. In fact, if I was in a setting where I had to quickly choose one without much thought, most likely I'd choose 'marscapone'. There's just something awkward about 'mas-car' sequence. The only word with similar spelling that I found in the dictionary is 'mascara'.

                                                                                                                      'mascara' is derived from the Spanish word for mask. The spelling is the same (except for an accent symbol on first 'a'), but the English pronunciation is quite different. Since I know how it is really pronounced in Spanish, may I should start complaining when people use the common English version. :) And the dictionary traces the Spanish back to the Italian 'maschera' (same as the Lodigian cheese, except for the 'p'). How about a new pronunciation for the cheese: "mas-ker'-pa" ?

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                        Oh, no, so then the Spanish have been mispronouncing the Italian "maschera" all this time?! Someone should really educate them on how it ought to be said; and spelled.

                                                                                                                        On the topic of mascarpone, I checked the price of a small tub of it in my grocery store recently. The stuff was six bucks. I could get the same amount of cream cheese for a fourth of the price. And perhaps I'm missing something, but mascarpone tastes pretty bland considering the price.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                          I found recipe that just added lemon juice or cream of tarter solution to hot cream (185F), kept it at that temperature for a bit, and then cooled it overnight, followed by draining in cheesecloth.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                            i find it has a much fresher brighter flavor and texture than cream cheese; cream cheese is denser and has a sour note not found in mascarpone

                                                                                                                          2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            I'm sorry but while I don't believe everyone cares enough to be sure they put the letters in the right places when they say them, I do believe that excusing that by romaticizing such errors as simply the study of language is to obscure the underlying issue. The study of words that change by continued incorrect use is not, in my humble opinion, a justification of it.

                                                                                                                            I would submit to you that, in this particular case, 'mascarpone' is not an easy word to say if you aren't careful, so people get the sounds reversed and then spell it they way they think it should be. That doesn't make it right. To turn what really starts as linguistic laziness (there I go again) into an academic curiosity seems to suggest that it's OK for a language to be corrupted that way. A few words here and there aren't that big of a concern, but then the slope gets slipperier and slipperier.

                                                                                                                            Dictionaries can add 'nucular' as an accepted PRONUNICATION of 'nuclear' all they want. To accept the 'n-u-c-u-l-a-r' spelling is a whole different matter.

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                              ma/scar/po/ne is Italian

                                                                                                                              mar/sca/pone (3 syllables) is ok. wrong, but it rolls off alright.

                                                                                                                              mar/sca/po/ne is the one that is clearly wrong.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jaykayen

                                                                                                                                You're kidding, right?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                  That's right, Midlife. If it were spelled "Marscapone" it would be pronounced mar/sca/po/ne. Mar/sca/pone is just dragging thoses fingernails across the blackboard one more time.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    I DO agree that using the correct Italian pronunciation is clearly wrong with the R in the wrong place, but I'm saying it's unacceptable no matter how you say it.

                                                                                                                                    jaykayen said mar/sca/pone is OK, but wrong. That's like saying it's OK to say nucular so long as you sound like an English-speaker. I'm probably just digging in my OCD heels here but I don't agree that a mis-spelled and mis-spoken Italian word is OK if you sound like you know what you're saying. Maybe I've missed the point.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                      What's the statute of limitations on mispronunciations? In other words, how long does a mispronunciation (and spelling) have to be around before it becomes acceptable?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                        Exactly--an R in the wrong place, is an R in the wrong place regardless of your language. I guess it could be more forgiveable to say mascar pone, if you were anglacizing, vs marcarpony it but not mar sca pone.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                          I don't disagree -- notice my use of the subjuctive: I said if it WERE spelled marscapone, which clearly it is not!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                            I'm saying that whether one knows how to pronounce Italian words might influence how you think it should be pronounced. And you got my point almost right.

                                                                                                                                            Language is always changing. I'm not going to harangue on people who haven't heard the correct pronunciations of mozzarella, orechiette, espresso... pretty much everything on an Italian menu would be pronounced wrong by an American.

                                                                                                                                            Like spaghetti! Americans don't say spagheTTi, they say spagedi.

                                                                                                                                            I'm lucky to have an Italian boyfriend and be a CH'er.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jaykayen

                                                                                                                                              I'm lucky to be an Italian and a CH'er...

                                                                                                                              2. How about 'Expresso'? What? There is not an X sound anywhere in the word!

                                                                                                                                Also, how do YOU say the word 'Almond'?

                                                                                                                                28 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                                                  almond - with the l
                                                                                                                                  salmon - no l (kinda like christmas)
                                                                                                                                  salmond - ????

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                                                    Melanie, thank you for bringing that up. i forgot about "expresso" - drives me nuts.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                      No problem, goodhealthgourmet. The summer after my first year of college, I worked at a Starbucks and the girl at the register would continuously call out 'triple expresso' 'single expresso', etc. to those of us working at the bar, even after we told her how it was pronounced. Drove me nuts.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Melanie

                                                                                                                                        every time a restaurant server asks, after a meal, if i'd like "an expresso, perhaps?" i'm always tempted to say, "no thanks, but i'd love an espresso." ;)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                          I've done that. Does that make me a jerk?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                                            perhaps - i guess it depends who you ask. personally, i'd laugh. anyway, if the server realized *why* you did it and corrected his or her pronunciation going forward, then it was worth it ;)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Melanie

                                                                                                                                      "some dictionaries now accept both pronunciation and spelling as Standard. Be aware, though, that some conservative users of Standard English accept only espresso "
                                                                                                                                      The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993

                                                                                                                                      http://www.bartleby.com/68/76/2276.html

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        You sortof have to believe that the 'x' variant is excused as 'acceptable' to facilitate communication (so that people know what others mean when they use it). The conservative (maybe anal, but certainly logical) side of me wants to say that a change in a language can't be OK simply because people misuse it.

                                                                                                                                        Makes me wonder what the true purpose of these dictionaries is. Are they there to record common usages or to serve as a reference for education..... or both. The Bartleby citation does help with a perspective on that. It explains exactly what the reality is regarding the variations. But.......... who gets to decide when an incorrect spelling/pronunciation becomes 'valid'. Looks like there is more than one ultimate 'decider'.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                          There was a time when I corrected relatives who used the 'ex'. Then I got to listening for the word on TV (mainly FN), and kept hearing the 'x'. So I backed off. So when people make strong pronouncements about 'espresso' (and other words) I wonder, how do they know? Are they just being anal in following the spelling, or have they actually been in Italy and ordered the beverage for afternoon tea (?).

                                                                                                                                          As to purpose of dictionaries, think about how dictionaries are made for previously unwritten languages. The compiler has to collect copious notes about words that he hears - the pronunciation(s), variations, usage patterns. Native speakers may or may not be able to give a definition. Without using a dictionary or synonyms, how would you define a word like 'love'? At some point or other English dictionary compilers had go through the same process. Modern dictionaries have evolved from those earlier ones. I doubt if Noah Webster had 'espresso' in his first edition.

                                                                                                                                          This quote from the Wiki article on Webster is interesting:
                                                                                                                                          "His most important improvement, he claimed, was to rescue "our native tongue" from "the clamor of pedantry" that surrounded English grammar and pronunciation. He complained that the English language had been corrupted by the British aristocracy, which set its own standard for proper spelling and pronunciation. Webster rejected the notion that the study of Greek and Latin must precede the study of English grammar. The appropriate standard for the American language, argued Webster, was, "the same republican principles as American civil and ecclesiastical constitutions", which meant that the people-at-large must control the language; popular sovereignty in government must be accompanied by popular usage in language."

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                            and yet we all use the word terrific to mean good and not terrifying.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                              Take a look at the Great Vowel Shift
                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vo...
                                                                                                                                              to learn how standardization has made life more difficult for us - I have in mind the peculiarities of the English spelling system.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                Which begs the question....why isn't phonetics spelled like it sounds?
                                                                                                                                                :-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                                  In modern linguistics, phonetics refers to the study the sounds of various languages. They have come up with a detailed way of transcribing those sounds, the International Phonetic Alphabet.
                                                                                                                                                  "Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 represent consonants and vowels, 31 are diacritics that are used to further specify these sounds, and 19 are used to indicate such qualities as length, tone, stress, and intonation."

                                                                                                                                                  Phonology is the study of the sounds as used in a particular language. In particular it tries to identify the limited set of sounds that a speaker recognize (typically 20 to 40). That differs from language to language. For English speakers the difference between b and v is much clearer than it is for Spanish speakers. Same for r and l in Chinese. But many Indian languages distinguish between a 'b' and 'bh', which you probably can't hear.

                                                                                                                                                  Most modern writing systems try to accurately represent the spoken language, using letters to represent those phonemes that the speakers recognize. Problems arise when the writing system is modeled after that of another language (Greek, Latin and French in the case of English), or the language changes after the writing is standardized, or when borrowing words from other languages. Many of these Chow threads have to do with the spelling and pronunciation of borrowed Italian words.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                    To tie this back to another part of this topic: Are you saying that 'maRscapone' could become the American English word for the Italian 'MascaRpone'...... and that linguists shouldn't be concerned about that? It's OK to change the spelling of a word because it's just the way people seem to spell it in another language? I guess that's true, but it seems to be a shame on a number of levels.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                      There is no regulator of the English language, written or spoken.

                                                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                                                                                                                                      What is your definition of linguist? In the Wiki article, linguistics is 'the scientific approach to the study of language'. As such, it is more descriptive and prescriptive (what is versus what should be). I'm not sure if there is a good name for an individual who practices linguistic prescription - grammarian?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                        I'm not sure if your post is in response to mine directly above it but you seem to be saying usage is whatever it is. At the risk of repeating myself: "I guess that's true, but it seems to be a shame on a number of levels."

                                                                                                                                                2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                  studied linguistic anthropology a million years ago. i'm there

                                                                                                                                              2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                Didn't you mean to say "disconcerning"? ;) adam

                                                                                                                                                1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                                                                  Disconcerting is correct.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                    My attempt at sarcasm was obviously misconscrewed.... adam

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                                                                      Haha!!! Sorry...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                                                                        How bout this for misconscrewed?! ;) I'm no Paula Deen fan, but in the few seconds I heard her voice before changing the channel earlier today, she announced that she'd be making "room-a-lod sauce"...a far cry from rémoulade, and as that word already means sauce isn't that redundant (like saying you need to hit the "ATM machine!")? I know--we can't help everyone. ;)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                          ever heard Emeril pronounce Sriracha? i *know* it's not the simplest of words, but suh-RAH-chee? come on.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                            I haven't, but there would be a fairly lengthy list of words he says that really dumbfound me. ;) I guess it's fair to say those words dumbfound him as well! HA HA!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                              the emerilism that makes me craziest isn't even mispronounciation - it's "now start to begin to...."

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                Emerilisms are plentiful enough to warrant their own thread. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                  Emerilisms continued (we're watching now):
                                                                                                                                                                  Al-munds (as in you can call me Al with a munds at the end)
                                                                                                                                                                  "I've gut..." for "I've got..." He shares this accent with one of my former teachers. They must be from the same neck of the woods.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                  1993!?!
                                                                                                                                                  Certainly by now, 16 years down the road, with the meteoric rise of the coffee bar culture, the 'standard' has moved more towards "espresso" and away from "expresso"?

                                                                                                                                              3. Why would Americans have a hard time saying "mascarpone"? They manage to pronounce Nascar just fine.

                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                  that isn't pronounced Narsca?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                    Good one !!!!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                      Does adding an accented 'Pon' syllable alter that?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                        Nascarpony is the pre-automobile version.;-)

                                                                                                                                                    2. The OED lists the irregular spellings "marscapone" and "mascherone", both going back to the 1900s. (Did I just write "the 1900s"??? I mean the 20th century.)

                                                                                                                                                      The confusion between "masca-" and "marsca-" is pretty easy to explain, but I don't get the feeling people are that interested in understanding it, just venting about it.

                                                                                                                                                      You might enjoy knowing, however, that the original word may* be derived from a Latin verb "manuscarpere" meaning "to masturbate". Cf. the Southern Italian expression "far ricotta"…

                                                                                                                                                      Please think about this the next time you spoon a big glob of mascarpone into your mouth.

                                                                                                                                                      *"M. Cortelazzo and P. Zolli (Diz. Etimol. della Lingua Italiana, 1983) express some reservations about this theory."

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                        Too much information :-)

                                                                                                                                                      2. Ok, what about a distinctly homegrown example? Vidalia. I die every time Bobby Flay says this word. It's not ved-AHHHH-lia -- now that's TRULY pretentious. "Jeeves, bring me some ved-AHHH-lias." No. Please. Its not British; it's not high falutin', upper class or posh. Vidalia onions come from Vidalia, Georgia, and you say it vy-DAYL-ya. Like a good South Georgia redneck. (We can manage to say Illinois without the S and Tucson without the C -- well, some of us.)

                                                                                                                                                        He's another one who can't seem to say chipotle -- it always comes out chip-o-ta-lay. At least he doesn't invert the letters.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Honestly I say a few words wrong ... I still can't pronounce ammonia and chipolte I still say wrong. I think if they know what it is and can cook with it. I care less. I'm not concerned about their dialect, I'm concerned about their cooking. Is that really that so important even for a professional. Grant it, they should know but maybe they just have a hard time to pronounce it right. Ammonia is not hard but I can not say it. Why let it bother you.

                                                                                                                                                          1. I just ate at Scarpetta (in NYC) and they had "marscapone" on the menu. I was amazed.

                                                                                                                                                            I see "proscuitto" on menus far too often. Mmmmmm, proskweeto!

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: joc1234

                                                                                                                                                              Yup, it's right there, in the description of the olive oil cake:
                                                                                                                                                              http://www.scarpettanyc.com/dolce.html
                                                                                                                                                              "OLIVE OIL CAKE
                                                                                                                                                              marscapone cream, citrus salad & tangerine sorbet"

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                My hair's on fire.

                                                                                                                                                            2. When US descendants of 19th and 20th century Italian immigrants, who have grown up speaking "Americanized" Italian (mortadell, rigot, mozzarell, etcetera) visit Italy, do they add the dropped vowels back? Or are they met with quizzical stares (except, presumably, in Sicily)?

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joc1234

                                                                                                                                                                If they go back to Naples, where something like this practice is common, perhaps, but not much luck elsewhere. When I visit my Calabrian cousins, I try to speak a generally standardized Italian, though it gets real clear I'm not a native speaker. My cousins will move in and out of dialect, and I can, also, to some degree--when I shop in their small town, I've no hestitation asking for, say, petrusino (parsley, dialect) rather than prezzemolo (same, standard). And while it's fun and emotional to join them in what was once my family's everyday talk in Brooklyn, even dialect evolves, and I risk sounding like an oddball time traveller if I thought I could get by sounding like my grandfather. I never assumed anyone would know easily the rigott/gapagool NY slang.

                                                                                                                                                              2. On the ICA episode that played last night - Italian cheese - Mario pronounced mascarpone with the full Italian accent and inflection. Kevin did the same but without the flair. Alton got the r & s right, but left the final e silent (following common English spelling conventions).

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                  LOL - i was purposely listening for that last night because of this thread!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Some of this can be regional too. In St. Louis they pronounce mostaciolli as
                                                                                                                                                                  muscacholli. Drove me nuts for years, as Chicago clearly pronounced it as mostaciolli.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                    I had some contact with the Italian-American community in Chicago, mainly in the near west suburbs, and never heard the Sicilian derived speech that I've read about on this forum (east coast). I can't say there wasn't any of it, since my contact was superficial, in groceries and restaurants, but sure wasn't obvious.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. This is the funniest thread. Can't say I've heard anyone say mascrapone or some such configuration (haha) or chipolte... But, I must admit to being mildly irritated by Giada's over-Italianization---at least, that's what I took it to be...

                                                                                                                                                                    My husband always says "al don tay", and I think that's just incorrect. It's not French, I tell him.

                                                                                                                                                                    Am I right? It should be pronounced "al den tay"????

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                      Seems like being mildly irritated by over-emphasized but correct pronunciation is 180 degrees opposite being irritated by MISpronunciation. Actually, 158 posts into this and I'm thinking it's pretty silly to be irritated very much by either.

                                                                                                                                                                      If I'm going to pick sides, though, I'll pick MISpronunciation to complain about. Can't always control my anal side. We can't all be expected to speak other languages like natives, and there are certainly regional variances, but we should really try to get it right. It shows respect for the original.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not an expert but I'd say it was "aHl den tay".

                                                                                                                                                                    2. i just saw a post on the Manhattan board that reminded me of another common one that irks me - bastardization of both the spelling and pronunciation of mesclun, as in mesclun greens. i often see it spelled as mescalin[e] on signs, menus, and here on CH, and i've heard people pronounce it as if it's spelled that way as well (mes-kuh-lin).

                                                                                                                                                                      it's lettuce, people, not a hallucinogen.

                                                                                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                        Is it ok to add 'greens' to that, or does 'mesclun' already mean 'a mixture of young greens'? Why use the foreign word in the first place?

                                                                                                                                                                        The problem with most of these words is that people start using them based on a few spotty examples, such as on the label of product, or a recipe or menu, often without hearing them pronounced, or properly defined. I could point to a lot of words that I learned that way, and got wrong to one degree or other. For some time I pronounced the hard Mexican cheese 'cojita', even though it is clearly spell differently. I first saw 'bruscheta' on a container of basil-tomato salsa. I don't recall whether it was labeled just 'bruscheta' or 'bruscheta topping'. Regardless, I initially associated the word with the topping, not the bread.

                                                                                                                                                                        I bet that even the pickiest poster on this thread has mispronounced and misused words that he first learned in this informal manner.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                          i don't add "greens" (it is superfluous) but it's so often said that way that i thought it best to include it to clarify what i was talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                          i'm not saying i've never mispronounced a word before. but as you pointed out, people pick up certain terms from numerous sources, not all of which are correct. so unfortunately, unless some big-mouth (like me) decides to point out the error and offer the correct pronunciation and/or spelling, they'll perpetuate the incorrect usage. personally, i'd prefer to have someone correct me rather than allow me to remain unaware & continue to make the mistake.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                            Just yesterday I was in our local supermarket looking for ciabata bread. I know they usually carry it, but non on the shelf. I asked the lovely lady if they had any Chee-a-bata and she said "do you mean keeb-a-ta"? I just said....yes :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                                                              ok, don't hate me for saying it, but neither of you was correct...ciabatta is pronounced chuh-BAH-tah or chuh-BAT-uh

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, now I know. It is not easy with foreign words if you have only read them and never ever heard them spoken. Oh the joys of living in a hick town. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                                                                  it's not just a "hick town" thing, i hear people make these mistakes in NY & LA all the time!

                                                                                                                                                                                  the good news is that you have CH - if you ever wonder about whether you've got it right, you can always ask here :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                    It's OK. Nobody in my town would know the difference anyway, including me.
                                                                                                                                                                                    :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you!!! I just hate the Chee-b-a-ta pronunciation. That one just drives me up a wall.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                    The latter of your alternate pronunciations is the more accurate. In Italian, a double consonant indicates a more emphasized enunciation. Not sure how to convey this, but when your tongue is pressed to the roof of your mouth to pronounce the "t" sound, it stays there for a millisecond, then drops as you forcibly expell the air along with the "uh" sound. The vowel sound that follows any doubled consonant should burst out of the mouth, whereas vowels following a single consonant (or combination, like "st", which does not duplicate consonants) just flows out without any extra force. Have I muddied the waters even further?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ah...I understand now how to pronounce it perfectly.....Slipper Bread :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                                                                        What we need in English is a prestigious language academy that can control the influx of unpronounceable foreign words! Someone who can stand up for the purity of the English language. Surely there are perfectly good English phrases for all these items - slipper bread, mixed young greens, smoked hot peppers, the cream cheese used in that trifle made with coffee, etc :)

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Slightly off topic, because it's not food, but I worked with a man who pronounced minimum as miMiNum. Which to me seems so much harder to say. I always wondered if he pronounced aluminum as aluNiMum.

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                              Funny . . . aluNiMum sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Alfred G

                                                                                                                                                                                Don't we all have that already? It goes with alunidad!!!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                                What about aluminium? I have heard people pronounce it that way, but it seems wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think its spelled that way in British English as well as pronounced that way. It's just a variant.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, queencru, it's legitimate British English.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. gotta bring up this one as i'm catching up on my DVR recordings (currently watching Flay vs Finch in ICA Battle Cabbage). Alton Brown always pronounces miso as "mee-sü" and it makes me want to scream.

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you taking issue with the details of his final 'o'?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                    yep. for illustrative purposes, the closest phonetic spelling of his pronunciation would be mee-soo or mee-sue.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                      So what's the quality of the final 'o' in Japanese? As best I can tell from a limited search, it is like the pure Spanish 'o', not the diphthong that English speakers use.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                        The Japanese vowel sounds are very similar to Spanish, but some words will hold a vowel for two counts while others hold it for one. Miso has a one-count "o" sound, while Tokyo has two two-count "o" sounds. Unfortunately that gets lost when the words are put into the Roman alphabet because it's too confusing for English speakers to see "oo" or "ou" for long "o" sounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. OP: I don't think you are being petty. I also am amazed that people can't pronounce simple words, and if the word is new to you, practice it a few times and get it right can't you? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another example:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Folks, basmati rice is not pronounced "busMAHti".
                                                                                                                                                                                  It's "BAHSmuti" with a soft "t"

                                                                                                                                                                                  Basmati (or shall I write baasmati) means queen of fragrance, while busMAHti doeesn't mean anything ......

                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you expect too much of people.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I suspect that many people who say 'marscapone' (switched r and silent e), do so because that is how they have hear others pronounce it. They may not have seen the word in print, or even if they have, they may not have paid attention to the discrepancy between what they've been saying and what they see. In English we are quite used to seeing things spelled in unusual ways. So unless we have special reason to dig further we stick with the familiar.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As for your example. I've seen 'basmati' in print for many years. I don't think I've ever hear an Indian pronounce it. So the best that I can do is pronounce according to normal English spelling conventions. When I first read your post I thought I was saying in the first 'wrong' way, but the more I listen to myself say it, the closer it sounds to your second version. But there's always some uncertainty in these written pronunciation guides. It has been a long time since I practiced phonetic transcription and use. I even studied Urdu for a semester, though that does not help me in this case.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Is the pronunciation of this word constant across India and Pakistan, or are there variations?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Also keep in mind that if we are too picky about how others pronounce words, they may choose to avoid those words entirely. Instead of risking ridicule they might just talk about Indian rice, Italian cream cheese, or mixed greens.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it's a bit much to expect people to look up pronunciation guides for every language, especially the ones that do not use a Roman alphabet. A lot of times it's because there really are no sounds like it in English, or because a certain spelling would just cause confusion.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                        I disagree that accurate pronunciation is expecting too much: it's hardly a superhuman feat. All one needs is the attitude that it's a worthy effort rather than
                                                                                                                                                                                        "It's too difficult for us folks, we'll say it how we want."

                                                                                                                                                                                        And in other situations non-native speakers of English get plenty of flak for 'accents' (well, EVERYONE has an accent relative to each other) or lack of knowledge of words or pronunciations. So those standards exist for many words other than food words.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Re regional variations in the pronunciation of baasmati: both Urdu, Hindi, and most other sub-continental languages are phonetic, and what you see is what you say. The scripts write: b ah s m uh t ee. There is no scope to mix up uh and ah sounds in these languages (different letters of the alphabet) so there's no regional variation either in spelling or pronunciation. I've lived in a lot of these regions and never heard any different way of saying it.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Baasmati = baas (fragrance) + (mati) queen, i.e. two simple one syllable words are joined together. Not much scope for variation there.

                                                                                                                                                                                        While all that may be TMI for non native speakers, the bottom line is that 'baasmati' is known as the standard pronunciation across possible regions, while 'busmahti' makes no sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                        If people just say "Indian rice", then they'll get asked "which kind"; same as if they say "pasta" instead of which kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                        ETA: just saw paulj's post: nowadays, with Internet etc. there are lots of resources to find accurate pronunciations even if you can't find a native speaker to ask.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                          If you've never heard a native speaker say a word correctly, how would you possibly know you are saying it wrong? I always get annoyed at the pronunciation of "karaoke" but I am not going to spend my time worrying about it. No one says it correctly in the US, so I can't really hold people up to a standard of knowing how it's supposed to sound. It just doesn't make sense. In some cases, we don't even know what words have been brought in from other languages. I learned pretty quickly when I moved to Japan that if I expected a native pronunciation of English words, or even if I tried to pronounce English words with a native accent, I'd get nowhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                          In many cases, people can't even hear the differences if they have not been brought up with certain sounds. It's not necessarily that it is too difficult, it is that it can take years of training in order to be able to train yourself around it. For instance, I had a Japanese friend who lived in London for 5 years. He could say R and L sounds correctly because he trained himself how to do it, but he could never hear the differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm with you... I don't correct the Carry-oakie people.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                            Few English speakers know that basmati has a meaning other than being the name of a type of rice, or that it is composed of two words. So the fact that one pronunciation means something in Sanskrit derived languages, and the other does not, is of no help when choosing the pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                              Sheesh paulj: I specifically said that all that information was TMI for the average person, but was only in answer to your query on regional variations etc. If you hadn't asked, I wouldn't have gone into any of that detail.
                                                                                                                                                                                              You had also said you'd learnt Urdu for a semester, so presumably you have some interest in languages. Pardon me if I was mistaken.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I know that if I had a question about pronunciation in a language I don't know, this kind of detail would help me remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Queencru: IMO in today's globalized eating world, part of learning about a new ingredient is also learning it's name (and how to say it). There's a difference between knowing and trying to say something correctly (at least trying, even if one cannot execute perfectly), and just blowing it off as unimportant. There's web sites that help you hear new words, if you don't know a speaker.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Through this thread, it seems there is another way that people are different (tasters vs non tasters; foodies vs not, etc.): those who try to pronounce right, and those who don't care.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                Rasam, sadly you're exactly right not just in this thread but in life itself...you summed it up very nicely in your last paragraph. Sad, but true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Along those lines, I only learned after eating pho for years that it's not a homonym of foe, but is more like "fuh"...thus, why there is a chain of Vietnamese restaurant named What the Pho? and why it's funny!
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.whatthepho.net/

                                                                                                                                                                                                On a more upbeat note (I know your name isn't actually Rasam, but)...I had a bowl of rasam with dinner tonight. I had never eaten it before. Who knew there was an Indian version of hot and sour soup? I did not, but you're hot stuff, Rasam! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This uniformity in the word 'basmati' across Indian regions, seems to fit with the idea that the best rice of this type is grown in a limited area in the NW corner of the subcontinent. It seems to be a local variety that has gained a huge reputation across India and internationally. I wonder when it spread. Did it spread to places like Hyderabad with biryani and Mughal army?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyderaba...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In contrast, I suspect that food items which have been grown and used locally across India for centuries have local names, or at least local variations in pronunciation. Milk and yogurt might fall in that category.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                Did you also know that "rice" is not originally an English word? No it didn't come from old Germanic across the North Sea. We got it from the Italian "riso" several hundred years ago. Perhaps we should add back the 'o', start trilling the r, and pronouncing a voiced "z" when we talk about this staple grain. In fact, since over half of our vocabulary in English comes from Norman French, Latin, Greek, and other European languages should we also imitate the "correct" pronunciations for all of those words too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                I think we should be grateful that it is so easy to find basmati rice here in the States (or wherever in the English-speaking-HIndi-butchering part of the world you live.) When it becomes so common on grocery shelves, kitchen pantries, and dinner tables across the country that my Aunt Sue is serving it with her field peas instead old Uncle Ben's, hasn't it then become an English word?

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Food Network has a food encyclopedia that includes a pronunciation guide for many words

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://web.foodnetwork.com/food/web/e...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                              well then Alton Brown should take a look and correct his pronunciation of miso!

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://web.foodnetwork.com/food/web/e...

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I feel this way when I hear Martha Steward pronounce marinade MAREH NAHD and not MARIN AID. It's like nails against a chalk board. You know she totally does to be hoity. I realize that she uses the french pronunciation, but give me a break- over pronunciation is a sign of so wanting to be something more...

                                                                                                                                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                                                Now, don't get me wrong, I love Martha too. Grew up in NJ like me; even get her magazine and occasionally watch her show, but the way she says "herbs" (hitting the "H") is so-o-o shudder invoking... C'mon Martha, you grew up Jewish in Nutley NJ...did ANYONE say "herbs" (as opposed to "urbs") ?? Not this Jewish lad.... adam

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, Martha may have had a couple of *Uncle* Herbs (I had one myself), but other than that, I'm right there with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Me too!! Uncle Herb & Aunt Pearl (R.I.P...) in Millburn, NJ.: Home of Wigler's Bakery who had the best rye bread and (drumroll....) chocolate pudding cake; kind of like a jelly roll but with puddin'!!! Ahh....good times. adam

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                                                                                                                    <C'mon Martha, you grew up Jewish in Nutley NJ>

                                                                                                                                                                                                    File under "who cares," but Martha Stewart's maiden name is Kostyra. She's Polish Catholic. Which doesn't excuse pronouncing the "h" in herbs. I'm just sayin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe she had an "Uncle Erb"? '-) The "H"erb pronunciation is more stilted than "marinahde" . Considering the frequency of CH posts which say things like "how long should I marinade the steak?", I'll give her a pass. At least she knows that marinade is a noun, not a verb!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Could ANYONE explain to me why exactly the 'h' in herb is silent in English? What's with the Frenchification? Don't get it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          'Old yer 'orses, there may be a different h'explanation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You be funny, Über.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's only silent in North American English; British, Australian, etc. English pronounce is like yer uncle Herb. Hence: Martha is being pretentious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the word was Frenchified the moment it entered our language - from French. The word was orginally spelled sans -h- for a few centuries and the letter only added in the 19th to pay respect to the Latin source, herba. Seems like the Brits picked up on the anachronistic spelling and started to pronounce it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is an odd one, though. We don't pronounce the vowel in the French manner, we just drop the "h." Weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope this helps to answer linguafoods original inquiry above: The word 'herb' probably entered the language in the 13th century or before. There never was an "h". Erbe [airb] in old (Norman) French became erb [urb] at some point in English, no surprise. Due to the various vowels shifts the English language has undergone, it is likely that it did start out being pronounced as in French. Hundreds of years later due to spelling revisionism which linked words to their Latin or Greek sources (relevant here: herba in Latin), we get a nice little -h- at the front of the word on both sides of the pond. Americans did not change the pronunciation, although the Brits apparently picked up on the spelling reform and change theirs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now, you tell me who is weird. (Insert anthropomorphic punctuation to indicate jocularity.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gratias tibi ago, AO. Mystery solved. :-D (for jocularity's sake)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes in the late 19th century when education became compulsory, people could read that H, and they felt they should pronounce it. The older pronunciation (erb) remained on this side of the pond.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From around 1200 to 1500 there was no H (in the French or English); it was erb. The H was added in the Renaissance when the English wanted spellings to reflect Latin word origins, in this case - herba. But it wasn't pronounced till the late 19th C in England.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  only in American English, Brits, Ozzies and South Africans say herbs with an aitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as it should be...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Canadians say "erb".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not universally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yea, this Canuck says herb with an aitch :-). Unless she's speaking French of course...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Has anyone noticed how many people on CH spell "refrigerator" "refridgerator?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sbp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I notice more often the shorthand--people write "frig" for what I have always written as "fridge"--I know how to spell refrigerator just fine, but when you shorthand it as "frig" it looks more like "what the frig" than, well, fridge. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree that "fridge" is appropriate shorthand (and probably derived from Frigidaire brand). But "refridgerator" just looks wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sbp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You young whippersnappers with your newfangled words. In my day they were just called Ice Boxes :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know--because of my mom, I still refer to that wonderful graham crackers and pudding concoction as "icebox cake!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. i'm not sure if anyone mentioned this already and i'm too tired to scroll through all 200+ posts to check, but something i just saw in another thread reminded me of this one so i hightailed it over here to vent :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                am i the only one who's bothered by the fact that *so many* CHers misspell foie gras? and it's usually when they're raving about how much they *love* it. i've seen a number of variations, but the most common offender seems to be "fois." i personally don't eat it. never have, never will, yet it still hurts my eyes to see it spelled incorrectly. it's only four letters (okay, eight if you're using the complete term)...if you love it so much, learn how to spell it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ok, rant over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Welcome to my nightmare, in which "pre-fix" is prominently featured. And be grateful it's not being spelled fwah grah. Hooked on Phonics!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i'm with you on pre-fix, it's definitely cringe-worthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW, if it also involves declarations about how flavors in a dish "compliment" one another, or complaints about difficulty choosing a restaurant because certain people in the group have finicky "palettes," then i'm pretty sure you & i are trapped in the same nightmare!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Same two also bug me! I can hear one flavor saying "Atta boy!" to another flavor, can't you? ;-) As for palettes, picturing the tongue and roof of your mouth with globs of paint on it all mixed together isn't too appetizing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yep, those irritate me also. I know lots of people probably think, "heck, this is a casual, conversational medium, why be a stickler for correct grammar, spelling and usage?" Those are the people whose posts I generally disregard. Exceptions made for people who are obviously trying, but not fully comfortable writing in English.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's amazing how many times I have seen pre fix or pre fixe on restaurant sandwich boards and menus as I walk by. No wonder consumers can't get it right, if the restaurants selling it to them can't be bothered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          great point, Caitlin. if that's the only reference for some consumers, they really can't be expected to know any better! misspelled culinary terms at restaurants (whether on signage, specials boards or menus) are, IMO, inexcusable. if it's your business/industry you should show respect for the ingredients and techniques you employ by spelling them correctly. and if you're not sure, that's what reference books and editors are for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I may have pointed this out before, but in the original French lyrics to "O Canada" ("et ta valeur, de foi trempée"), if you add an E to "foi", Canada's values are no longer steeped in faith, but in liver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spelling matters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Even if you're a good speller, proofreading is important - on Nova Science Now next week, there will be a feature on studying the genes that influence taste perception. I just posted a new topic to that effect - when I went back to my profile page I saw it: "Taste testes on Nova Science Now".....a quicker click on the Edit button you'll never see! Adventurous eater or no, I wouldn't soon have lived that one down....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, it might have gotten a few more views, I'm sure! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Rather than a point of pretentiousness, this is probably a criticism of the opposite: I HATE the way Guy Fieri puts that extra syllable in "paprika," pronouncing it "pappa-RE-kuh." Talk about nails on the chalkboard. Shouldn't a chef and restaurateur know better?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: h2Bn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe he learned from Emeril--and, yes, that drives me nuts, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've not run across the mascarpone issue (just lucky I guess) but allow me to add a pet peeve: the permangulation of jalapeno (which I'm now adding to because I don't know how to do tildes on CH!). Not just whacky spellings, though they abound, but oh the mispronunciations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Emeril has never been able to that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Probably covered above, but many more people have trouble with chipotle (pepper's version of nuclear).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bobby Flay, King of Peppers, is the worst offender when it comes to chipotle. He pronounces it chi-POTE-ah-lay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BF can't pronounce Worcestershire (sauce) or horseradish either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've also heard him say "irregardless" and "ex-specially".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hate "irregardless" and I put "ex-specially" in the same category as "height-th."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        those two *kill* me. as do "anyways" and "ex-presso." ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Is Ahn-deev the correct way to pronounce endive, or is it an affectation ala Barefoot Contessa and Martha?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ahn-DEEV is the French pronunciation; EN-dive is the English. Which one to use?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Take this easy pronunciation test:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Do you say (a) Parmigiano or (b) Parmesan?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Do you say (a) crwah-SAHN or (b) cruh-SAHNT?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Do you say (a) polenta or (b) grits?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. Do you say (a) chiles rellenos or (b) chilly rellenos?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. Do you say (a) broo-sket-tah or (b) broo-shet-tah?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you fall mostly in the A category, say ahn-DEEV, and make sure you nasalise the N. If you fall mostly in the B category, say EN-dive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a mixed bag when it comes to pronunciation- a bit from column A and a bit from column B. I try to be correct and want to keep learning, but some words are ingrained by now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll stick with the English version of endive ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's a good one, DasUbergeek, but I fall into the A category for a different reason.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I ask DH to bring home EN-dive he brings the curly-ended, long leafed kind. So I have to ask for Belgian ahn-DEEV if I want the elongated pale green speared kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I call the curly-ended one frisée (but I grew up speaking French, so perhaps I can be excused). The other, spear-y kind I know as endive belge (Belgian endive, though there's a slightly mocking connotation of "belge" in France)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Endive frisée requires lardons, a sharp, strong vinaigrette and a poached egg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Endive belge requires toasted hazelnuts and Roquefort, or maybe bleu de Gex.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh yes, he can differentiate frisee from EN-dive. I meant the curly Italian vegetable in the escarole family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, thank god you broke it down for us. ;) "EN-dive" feels wrong both in my ears and and my mouth--ahn-DIVE all the way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I say Ahn-deev. I first encountered this veggie as a teen-ager. Good friends (who had lived in France) grew it, and that's how they said it. Endive was nowhere to be found in American grocery stores in those days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I say chicon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Sorry if this has been mentioned, but does anyone besides TC's Toby Young say Pa-lel-la? For someone with food chops, this one floored me!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But, hey, maybe some people do pronounce it that way. I just couldn't believe Young shrugged it off, saying basically, "hey, that's how it's spelled...why would you pronounce it like a y when it's clearly 2 l's".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The panel, including a Latina, was pretty shocked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Toby caught major hoo-hah on the message boards for that pronunciation as well. I'm wondering if it's a British pronunciation? (Although with Britain's proximity to Spain, you would think that he would have the pronunciation correct.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not the British. They're happy having their ridiculously insular pronunciations. "Loo" for "l'eau", "fill it" for "fillet", "buff it" for "buffet". (Yet they say "courgette" and "aubergine", despite mispronouncing the latter.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wasn't it Dave Barry who talked about the genesis of the stiff-upper-lip British accent (the bane of lipreaders everywhere, because there's little mouth movement) being the desire to stop British food accidentally entering the mouth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How do the British pronounce aubergine?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AW-burr-jean or AW-burr-zheen, and in some places with an "aw" that would do Archie Bunker proud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (French is oh-bare-ZHEEN, in case you wondered.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Italians make it very easy: melan-ZAH-nah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unless you're "see gee lyan", in which case you call it "mulignan".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, I didn't wonder, I know the correct French pronunciation! That's how I say it; silly me, I assumed that was the British way as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              funny - i heard it was about stopping something else from entering a mouth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Some of Britain's mispronouncing of foreign terms comes from the fact that they borrowed these words many centuries ago, often from non-standard dialects. This is especially the case with French terms, most of which have come to English through Medieval Norman French. The vocabulary of this dialect was more or less the same as the contemporary mainstream French, but the pronunciations were far more Germanic. Middle English pronunciations in general are a product of Norman French. In both Medieval Norman and Middle English, aubergine would be pronounced ow-bayr-jee-nuh. Shift the vowels to Modern English and add in the idea of silent final e's, and you get aw-burr-jeen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That and, unlike many Americans, the British realize that they're speaking English. It's nearly unheard of worldwide for a people to make any attempt to pronounce a loanword exactly how it is pronounced in the language it was borrowed from. A lot of people act like we're being stupid Americans if we don't do this. But who does do this? The French don't pronounce aubergine the way it is pronounced in Catalan (albergínia), the language they borrowed the word from. Catalan doesn't use the Arabic (al-baðinjān), which doesn't use the Persian (bâdenjân), which doesn't use the Sanskrit (vātiga-gama). Until the French start calling it vātiga-gama, the English can keep using their unique word as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danieljdwyer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good work on that etymological lineage. You need to pull that one out every time one of these haughty pronunciation threads pops up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: danieljdwyer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Americans don't call it an aubergine in any case, we call it an eggplant, which is a nice native word and not subject to the vagaries of translingustic vowel buggery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I maintain that a bunch of the British pronunciations haven't got the least thing to do with vowel shifts and dropped e's; more like a bloody-minded determination not to pronounce French correctly, the same way the French mangle words like "hamburger" and "pipeline" ("ahm-burr-GURR" and "peep-LEEN", for those who don't speak French).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    AW-burr-jean is just a slurring, a mispronunciation, of aubergine. We do it a lot (hors d'œuvre, anyone?). They don't mangle courgette nearly as badly (it could have ended up as CURR-jit).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I get what you're saying, and a lot of the time it doesn't have anything to do with a long history of pronunciation change. But I don't think it's true that it's anything to do with willful determination. When words get borrowed, their pronunciation is changed to fit in with the borrowing language. That's just the way language works. Every nation on the Earth does this; in my experience, Americans are the only ones to have developed a guilt complex over it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It would be a mispronunciation if they were speaking French and pronounced it aw-burr-jeen. But they're speaking English, and using the proper pronunciation of an English word. It doesn't matter what the source word is. Just about every word we use in English is borrowed from another language. Our language would sound fantastically ridiculous if we kept the original pronunciation of every loan word.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, if the British are mispronouncing it by saying it aw-burr-jeen, then the French are mispronouncing it by saying it oh-bare-zheen. Oh-bare-zheen sounds like a drunken lazy person trying to say ahl-bare-geen-ee-ah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. We're not the only ones talking:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://foodnetworkhumor.com/2009/12/g...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. So, how do you pronounce "turmeric" anyway?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ossauiraty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  toor-murr-ic. Stress on the 1st.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As in the first reply: TOO-MER-IC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have no idea why or where I picked that up. The stressed 'toor' just sounds wrong - even if that goes against the spelling and dictionary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    According to one etymology dictionary, 'Now, in the US, this word is being converted further into 'tumeric', without the R, probably by analogy with 'tumor', which is pronounced the same'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The genus is 'Curcuma', from Arabic 'kurkum'. Many languages use a word that is closer to this Latin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What's with this "tumor/toomer" business :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I say "turr-meric" (first syll rhymes with purr).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The dictionary agrees with me (though it also gives "toor" as an alternative).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with the "turr" too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Mars Capone. Who is that, Al's brother? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. yes! i was just watching a show on the food network and someone pronounced mascarpone as marscapone and i wanted to punch something. as a baking and pastry student it especially upsets me when i hear other students say it. i was so bothered that i actually looked up online somewhere to vent about it and foung here... even though the original post is almost a year old... o.O

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beccasarah119

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what show was it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: beccasarah119

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Welcome, beccasarah! If you stick around, you'll find we 'hounds can really pick a nit with the best of' 'em. I posted a simple reminder, for those who don't know and might care, that "with au jus" translates as "with with juice". Over a hundred responding posts later, it still revives on occasion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. A couple days ago I had the Food TV on while working in the kitchen. Sandra Lee was making fokasha sandwiches.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, foe-KA-sha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And omg, she said it overandoverandoverandover again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought my head was going to explode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Did they have PAPARIKA on them? Bobby Flay & Emerial both add the extra syllable it drives me nuts. And Flay's favorite ingredient is CHIPOTALAY. I might just have to throw something at the TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never heard CHIPOTALAY, but I've heard a lot of people saying CHI-POL-TEE which makes me nuts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              just tune in to any Bobby Flay show & you're sure to hear it at least once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guy Fieri does the paparika thing too. i usually defend him when everyone else is bashing him because i love DDD, but he says it all. the. time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh, and cumino (pronounced koo-MEE-no). yes Guy, we know you're Italian, but at the moment you're standing in the kitchen of a tiny dive somewhere in America...give it a rest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Why does mascarpone never have the date on the container? At many fine places like Citarella, Todaro and Freshdirect there are no dates! Is this legal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. saw something the other night that totally made me think of this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i caught a few minutes of Ultimate Recipe Showdown on the Food Network, and one of the competitors made a cake with ginger, lime and mascarpone. when it came time to present her dish, they flashed a shot of the cake with the name of it underneath, and it was spelled "maRscapone"...which of course, matched perfectly with Guy Fieri's pronunciation when he announced it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's so funny--I thought the same thing! Didn't any editor catch the error along the line? She was a funny competitor, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i've given up hoping that the editors in charge of such things on this network or any other actually care about doing a good job. i see errors all the time on Top Chef and Food Network,...and don't even get me started on the spelling and grammar errors in the news tickers on Headline News, CNN et al.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i ended up recording the show because i wanted to see how it played out - i'll have to watch it this weekend. i was so excited about the flavors in that cake...until she got to the coconut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. How did I miss this awesome thread until now?? Great stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Back in the 70s, I worked at a market in Providence, RI. Another guy there was asked to make a sign for prosciutto. He was not the brightest bulb, so he wrote it as he heard it pronounced: BRESUIT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's a good one, isn't it? If you search under "New Jersey" or "Italian-American pronounciations", you'll find a lot more. I'm reminded of a party at the home of a co-worker a few years back. He and his wife had prepared quite a spread and I was happily munching my way through it when another friend pointed to a spread he had put out and asked him what it was. He said it was equal parts of softened cream cheese and something that sounded like "Brine-schweeger". I didn't recognize the word but tasted the dip which he had served with bagel chips. It was absolutely delicious and took me back to my childhood so I asked again what it was and we figured out he was using the correct pronounciation of what his German born grandparents had served him as a child. In my NJ household, it was called "brown-shwaggah'". Damn that spread was good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Being the stickler I am for correct pronunciation (and given that that's what this thread is about), Braunschweiger is pronounced "Brownschwyger", not 'schweeger'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, if you *really* want to be a stickler, remember that "w" in German is pronounced as a "v" in English and the "-er" ending sounds more like "ah" than an American "er".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe that linguafood is a native speaker of German.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My bad. I automatically pronounced the w as a v when I typed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My SO from Maine has a number of good ones, though my favorite is "salzer" instead of salsa. Even his mother, who's still back there, didn't understand him the other day. Oh, and he likes to stop at expresso huts for coffee when we're travelling - no amount of correction will fix it, so I stopped trying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But then again, he always refers to my purse as my "pocketbook".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's hysterical! Maybe he just wants his coffee REALLY FAST. :) Or maybe my old friend Todd can help him see the light (yup, he sings it correctly):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apUfkX...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, shoot, I say pockebook, too, but I'm a Yankee. Maybe it's a New England thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Could be.... At least he laughs about how he says things Mainer here in Oregon. I find myself mentally saying things the way he does and just giggle. Yeah, we need a life!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm watching Diary of a Foodie, and a French Chef from Montreal is featured. He pronounces sorrel as sor-EL. I've always thought the emphasis was on the first syllable, as in SOR-el.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, as do these gals:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.forvo.com/word/sorrel/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks! I thought I had it wrong, as the host, an American, was following the French guy's lead and pronouncing it the same way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The French guy was was just guessing at the proper pronunciation. "Sorrel" is an English word. (The French call it "oseille.")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              With the accent on the second syllable, bien sûr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Isn't Sor-El the father of Superman?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. We heard 2 Top Chef judges refer to Turbot as "Turbo." What a hoot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And....if people from Worcester, Mass can pronounce their town's name "Wooster," it shouldn't be too difficult to refer to Worcestershire Sauce as Wooster-shuh (or just Wooster) Sauce should it? But then how do Americans who are NOT from Up North pronounce Worcester? Hmm..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. It's my hugest foodie pet peeve!!! Can't people READ the damn word??? The most shameful mispronunciation of "mascarpone" I recall was perpetrated by 3 tarty Italian Jersey girls on a food truck competition... SHAME on them. Actually, ANY Italian who mispronounces the word should never be allowed to eat it again, humph!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mangiamania

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When it became OK to say "nucular" all bets were off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. So, I'm watching Giada do a Thai-themed show today, and she's sitting down at the end, with her sister.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They're eating a noodle dish and Giada refers to it as "spaGEETi"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oy vey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I can almost understand mispronouncing mascarpone. It's not commonly used and easy to mispronounce after just quickly glancing at it. I'll never forget the day I was in line at Pei Wei behind 2 air headed teenage girls and heard one of them tell the other she wanted "thigh noodles"....when I realized she meant Thai noodles, it was all I could do not to laugh at them. Good lord.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it's easy to mispronounce mascarpone and many other culinary terms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're right- most people didn't grow up with "mascarpone" rolling off their tongues or even uttered in their households or social circles, so I cut them a break.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I cut myself a break, too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I still pronounce pho, "fo", more than I pronounce if "fuh", and darn well know the difference, so don't go all nucular on me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder, three years later, if this is less mispronounced because it's more frequently used, or more because it's also mispronounced/spelled. I've seen it misspelled often, especially on Food Network.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm constantly noticing mispronunciations on Food Network shows. The two that drive me nuts - "chipoltay" and not a mispronunciation, but misused more incorrectly than correctly, "au jus." Do you want au jus with that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As an English speaker with just a smattering of French knowledge, "Do you want au jus with that?" is much more understandable than "Do you want that au jus?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To come up with that last sentence I had to think: 'au jus' translates as 'with (its own meat) juice', and then think how would ask the question using that Engish phrase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But you are not the first to complain about this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/658294

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FN seems to allow (maybe encourage) its hosts to mispronounce food terms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chipotle has taken a beating for years by Flay, who said Chipohtahlay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He's recently knocked it off, but I always thought it ironic that this King of Peppers and SW cooking would mispronounce such an ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it's one thing if someone mispronounces mascarpone(although I expect better from professionals) but I can't count the number of times I've seen it misspelled on Food Network. If your job is to write down what the dish is, learn to spell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just did a recipe search on FN and got:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your search for marscapone returned no results, showing results for mascarpone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/sea...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A general search turned up 8 examples, mostly in old episode descriptions (e.g. Emeril Live, Boy meets grill, etc).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On the TV show. If you read the description of dishes, mascarpone can be misspelled as mascarpone. Thankfully, they must have a better editor online. CH is flagging both as misspelled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it's your browser that does the flagging -- not the site.