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When do you correct incorrect pronunciation?

I usually let it slide when people pronounce the hundreds of words adopted from other languages which we use to refer to cooking techniques or recipes. However, I have a coworker who has fallen in love with the sous vide technique and chatters about it nonstop which is fine but she says "souSSS viDDDe" with a very snake like sssssss. I'm not judging her at all, but feel like many in the world would as she flaunted her sousSSS viDDDe dishes. If it were a random utterance, I wouldn't mention anything but I just feel like a quick correction would save the snakes. When you know it's not a mispronunciation due to a regional dialect or just the manner in which someone speaks, when do you correct others and when do you let it go? I imagine if it's a family member you might make a mention especially for children, but do you do this for friends, coworkers, random people in the store or at a restaurant?

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  1. People who consistently mispronounce words after hearing them pronounced correctly many times are usually just tone deaf. You either have to be direct and correct her (very rude, unless it's your child or student), or you should just let it slide and put up with the annoyance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Isolda

      I think, in the case of family or close friends, it's not a matter of any "annoyance" on my part, but rather a wish that these loved ones are spared appearing to be dumbasses to others in future situations. I do it gently and in a one-on-one, after the fact conversation.

    2. I once had a back-and-forth with a coworker who kept pronouncing "vichyssoise" like visheeswah. I would respond something like "oh, I love visheeswaZ" to try to give her the hint, but she kept pronouncing it the other way.

      I think she thought she was right and was trying to correct me. I didn't like her, so I never bothered to tell her she was wrong. I don't think she'd have believed me anyway.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LisaPA

        Reminds me of one of my (least) favorites: "Conn-see-air" for concierge.

        1. re: sandylc

          I recall a teacher using the word appetizer over hors d'oeuvre just to avoid saying it out loud....as for the spelling, I believe 4 diff ways.

          appetizer is so much easier..

      2. Random people, never. Coworkers, maybe. Friends and family, usually.

        8 Replies
        1. re: grampart

          Agreed. If you choose to say something to the co-worker, pronounce it correctly after she says it. Be ready with a laugh, a semi-hug, and a 'you know I love ya' if she seems embarrassed. Maybe throw in a short story of you mispronouncing something at one time. (Surely we've all done it sometime.) I had a similar issue last Thursday. My salesperson emailed the manager of Tim Love's new restaurant and said somewhere in the email that the restaurant had peaked her interest. The manager emailed back and set an appointment and said 'We're so glad to be open," to which my salesperson replied 'I'm so glad your open to!" Fantastic salesperson, but oh, the spelling!

          1. re: KrumTx

            Cute story, very clever response.

            1. re: KrumTx

              Sending you a laugh and a semi-hug in order to say perhaps it's also okay to let someone who obviously cares about spelling know that it's not "peaked her interest" but "piqued her interest".

              1. re: Chatsworth

                I actually knew that. It was part of the horror of the email. But I'll take the semi-hug!

                1. re: KrumTx

                  Can't believe I missed that, and hope I didn't cause any offence. "Glad your open to" correcting misunderstandings!

                  1. re: Chatsworth

                    Ha! It was my bad ... I should have put it in quotes in my original post. I'm going to leave this thread now before I become the subject of the 'Ignoring an individual poster' thread. Happy Monday, everyone.

                2. re: KrumTx

                  Yes, MANY people do not realize that it's "pique one's interest". It's possible to correct another's spelling, pronunciation, etc., in a breezy way so as not to cause embarrassment. Personally, I am grateful to have my errors corrected. Usually it's a word that I've seen forever in print, but never heard in conversation. (Chimera comes to mind.)
                  I don't consider it rude to inform someone when they are using incorrect pronunciation; correct usage might in the future be the difference between success and failure in a job or social situation.

                1. re: meatnveg

                  LOL! OH GOD does this bring back a bad memory. I had consumed a glass (or two) of wine, and my adult nephew said he did something 'similar' to someone else. Before I could stop myself, the 'ly' popped out of my mouth. I got horrified looks all around (totally deserved) and then before I could stop myself, I started explaining that since the word 'similar' was being used to modify the verb XXX, it should be used in the adverb form; thus-similarly. The whole time in MY OWN head I was sceaming 'STOP!!! STOP this RIGHT NOW!!!'. I have never forgiven myself, and certainly never done anything like this again. My nephew probably wouldn't even remember this if I brought it up!

                  1. re: justme123

                    Ha. Hubby and I are always shouting "ly!" at the television. It doesn't listen. Adverbs have all but disappeared.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      I'm glad I'm not the only one with TV Tourette's!!
                      "-ly" and
                      "more not 'errrrr' "

                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                        Mr S and I always call out the 'mmmm's for who vs whom. Especially during Castle. He's a writer and should know better (and has actually referenced who vs whom on the show).

                        1. re: Sooeygun

                          Oh Castle drives me nuts.
                          In one episode he miscorrected a "just between you and" I/me "error."

                          I also find myself saying "MORE" as opposed to whatever "errr" has been said
                          [funn-er. ugh].

                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                              There was a great New Yorker cartoon I cut out and posted in my study: two guys in a bar, one says "You have no idea what it's like to be a 'just between you and me' person in a 'just between you and I' world." When hoity toity BBC period dramas do it, it really gets my goat.

                              (That cartoon hangs next to the one where the guy in the restaurant orders the "misspelled 'ceasar' salad and the improperly hyphenated 'osso-buco'" and the one where the woman says to her husband "I don't want your apology -- I want you to be sorry.")

                              Worse than "who" for "whom" -- which I believe has a claim to some legitimacy in sermo quotidianus -- is "whom" for "who."

                        2. re: sandylc

                          Which is disappearing, adverbs as a functional category, or that particular method of forming adverbs from adjectives?

                          According to this, adverbs serve a wide range of function, it is almost a catch-all category. Plus there are words that don't change form when used either way.

                          English has lost (or never had) many markers that are common in other languages. We don't have gender markers, or case markers. We readily turn nouns in to verbs, and v.v. (e.g. hammer). So I wouldn't surprise me if there's a tendency to lose the '-ly' marker. I wonder if anyone has studied this.

                          1. re: paulj

                            I wonder, also. I am in my fifties, and I have seen a lot of changes in our language in my lifetime.

                            1. re: paulj

                              "We don't have gender markers..."

                              Thank goodness! I don't understand why these exist, except to torture language learners! (Or to assist in making them sound even more foolish!)

                            2. re: sandylc

                              The tv just never listens. I'm always yelling ly and well not good at it. Along with some frustrated grumbling about verb subject agreement.

                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                I've never thought to "talk" to the TV about a grammar mistake, but if I see CC Sabatthia throw a first pitch breakin' ball with runners on second and third, I howl my disapproval at the screen.

                                1. re: MGZ

                                  Coming from a person who can't be bothered to write words pronounced properly. I still don't get it. Is it supposed to be cute? Funny? Represent how you speak in real life?

                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                    Well, as I've posted several times before, I want other 'hounds to read what I submit in my voice, so I undertook an experiment to try and recreate my speech patterns/accent in what I put up. Until the inevitable happens and we simply record audio files for our posts, payin' attention to the way I speak and offering my thoughts in all their colloquial and last "g" droppin' glory seemed to be the best way to avoid other 'hounds from failing to see the good natured spirit of what I have to "say". Remember, after all, this is a "conversation."

                                    By the way, there ain't nothin' about me that's "cute".

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      <offering my thoughts in all their colloquial and last "g" droppin' glory seemed to be the best way to avoid other 'hounds from failing to see the good natured spirit of what I have to "say".>

                                      "Good natured spirit" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when readin' all that droppin'. At least, not for me.

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        "'Good natured spirit'" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when readin' all that droppin'."

                                        What does? Would you feel the same way if you were sitting with me and I was talking?

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          If you were talkin', I doubt I'd be noticin' that you're purposely leavin' out the letter "g." But you're not talkin'. You're writin'. And writin's different. Your leavin' out your "g"s on purpose makes me feel like I'm readin' an 8-year-old rather than a grown man.

                                          I tend to read a couple of lines of your writin' before it starts drivin' me crazy, and move on to the next poster. It's so affected.

                                          I don't mean to be offendin' you, but writin' ain't talkin', and I thought maybe someone ought to be tellin' you.

                                          1. re: Jay F

                                            I don't even bother readin' a coupla lines any more.

                                            1. re: Chatsworth

                                              Like Jay's, your comment is noted. It's too bad though, because sometimes subtlety is expressed in ways that one may fail to understand without stepping back and reflecting upon it.

                                              Nonetheless, as I have noted more than once, I have a propensity for opacity sometimes. It doesn't bother me that some folks can't see through it. The most important thing* I took from grad school is that, psychologically, people have little choice but to interpret things through their experience. All I have been thinking about, when it comes to this experiment, has been how to mitigate the chances for conflict based upon misunderstanding.

                                              *The second most important thing was that EVERY parent f*cks up something.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                "EVERY parent f*cks up something."

                                                something I refer to on a regular and forgiving basis when musing on my neurotic childhood.

                                            2. re: Jay F

                                              As I said, it's been an experiment -trying to post in dialogue. After many years, I couldn't help but question whether this really is writing or are we blurring lines? I've been paid to write, edited for publication, and have a few pieces of sheepskin hanging on the wall. I understand how the language is put forth in letters.

                                              I also, however, understand that this ain't a Law Review article or a Circuit Court brief. It is, in essence, a conversation among friends. In good fiction, characters speak in their "voices", right? Does that make it bad writing? Or does it help convey a sense of them so as to further what they're saying?

                                              In fairness, an eight year old would have a great deal of trouble "hearing" their own voice and writing dialogue. Writing "by the rules" is easy, trying to understand when you drop your g's and when you don't is actually quite an incite producing exercise to undertake. I find my "Jersey Drawl" is much more Southern California surf than the "New York Mobster" that most people associate with the Garden State. Interestingly, it has made me more attuned to the "voices" of people I deal with in real life.

                                              As you can see, I am still interested in the experiment. So far, I have noticed a decline in the number of times my comments have been misunderstood and reacted to poorly. I do, however, appreciate your thoughts - how else can one analyze such an experiment, right? At bottom, I do little without thought, and I am never afraid to revisit any idea I have had.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                I have never heard the phrase "incite producing exercise". Interesting. Should it be hypenated?

                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                  I'll pass on the punctuation question and note that I think all mental exercises should, ultimately, produce incite. Otherwise, do they have value? You, sandy, however, are welcome to take the phrase as your own. However, when you make millions on a best-selling, self-help book, send this old 'hound a bone?

                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                    Not sure of your meaning on the self-help book? Do I appear to need self-helping? I'm sure I probably do.

                                                    Not sure how to produce incite, as it is a verb, not a noun - ?

                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      "Produce incite" is two verbs, unless it means to incite vegetables. But incite them to do what, prep themselves for cooking? I could have used some "incite" on my "produce" tonight, namely my green beans for dinner. They don't tail and top themselves.

                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        Gee, I hope that incited veggies don't start turning up on trendy menus.

                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                          Maybe I am a music producer and I work with a band named "incite".

                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                          I was just trying to be funny after you spotted my original spelling error. Seemed somehow Dr. Phil-ish to me.

                                                      2. re: MGZ

                                                        "I find my "Jersey Drawl" is much more Southern California surf" interesting MGZ, when I lived in Kansas I heard a lot of SoCal in the voices, especially in the vowels, later I surmised it had something to do with the massive Dust Bowl migration and Route 66 decades earlier.

                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                          characters in literature speak in their dialectal voices all the time.

                                                          i think it is a good communication skill to be able to convey in writing a voice that i can "hear."

                                                          carry on talkin', MGZ.

                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            <<So far, I have noticed a decline in the number of times my comments have been misunderstood and reacted to poorly.>>

                                                            Perhaps fewer people are reading your posts.

                                                            That's a pronunciation/emphasis joke that would do Very Well when said aloud, but is almost indecipherable when written.

                                                            <<In fairness, an eight year old would have a great deal of trouble "hearing" their own voice and writing dialogue. >>

                                                            8-yr-olds write authentically in their own voice without artifice. They don't need to force it.
                                                            And, where is the 8 yr old writer who is relevant to this discussion?

                                                            Finally, see Skitt’s Law.

                                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                              Yeah, I thought it was funny too. I use a device with spell correct because I decided not to post in my "voice" and my "i n s i t" Popped up as "incite". I am very prone to self-deprecation and laugh at myself frequently (otherwise my wife would be laughing alone). Besides, isn't egg supposed to be good for the skin on your face?

                                                              As to fewer people reading my posts, I spose that was a chance I took with my experiment. Nothin' ventured, and all . . . .

                                                              I'm working on my third cook of corned beef on the offset with a new spice rub and have changed fuel slightly. I'll post about that tomorrow or the next day. Folks can skip it if they like.* My progressive brain really doesn't let me care.

                                                              *My cooks tend to be different from those of others since they typically require a chain saw, an axe, and knowin' how to age wood. I always figured that's why there were so few responses. There is, however, a great deal to learn when one has the balls to play with food and break stuff. Like they say about makin' an omelette, right?

                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                You are truly a man among men that we should all emulate.

                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                  Truer words have never been spoken.

                                                              2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                Ah-hh....insight. I was particularly thick-headed on that one; probably the migraine. :-(

                                                        2. re: MGZ

                                                          MGZ, I appreciate your explanation about the conversational tone you choose to use when posting on CH. I, too, have noticed and wondered about it, especially when it seems to require more work on your part.

                                                          FWIW, your doing so has had the effect you intend when I read your posts...there are times when I may wonder where you are coming from when you comment on a thread, but the way you "sound" in your posts conveys good humor and congeniality.

                                                          Thanks for clearing up that mystery for me :-)

                                                          1. re: jlhinwa

                                                            I realized in advance that some people would get it and some wouldn't. That's the way life works, right?

                                                            One of the most interesting things about the experiment has been "hearin'" myself. I actually recorded my voice talking to others and recognized that I drop my g's more with some people than others. My vocabulary also seems to expand more with certain folks than with others. Tryin' to recreate all that is more work, but it's honest.

                                                            Another upside to the project has been becoming aware of how often I would use the word "like" as a stall or an adverb. Consequently, I have gotten much better about it lately. Also, it's funny how frequently people who maybe can write the "King's English" insert random "um's" into the words they say in person. Language is language and as I've gotten older I have realized just how cool it is to watch it evolve.

                                                            That last point, I think, has fueled most of my responses to this thread. I can understand Chaucer, but it doesn't "speak" to me, you know? Although I think the dialogue is brilliant, life is different now. I used to be a corrector, a prescriptivist - then I started listening and concluded that evolution is a positive. Why give a sh*t if someone says "'souSSS viDDDe' with a very snake like sssssss"? Someday that may become the preferred pro-noun-c-a-shin.

                                                            Anyway, as with Jay and Chatsworth, I sincerely appreciate the feedback on my trial. Chow on, right?

                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                              Chow on, indeed! find your observations interesting and thought-provoking.

                                                              As the mother of a 12-year-old with a decent command of the English language relative to her peer group, I find it fascinating to listen to conversations she has with her friends. Sometimes I am dismayed, other times I am highly amused, and still other times I find myself admiring the wit and honesty in their communication. Your point about evolution is very apt, and it would be outright silly for me to spend time correcting my daughter and her friends based on standards that were in place when I was her age.

                                                          2. re: MGZ

                                                            I wouldn't correct someone's pronunciation unless I knew that they would prefer I do so, with the two exceptions being my husband and daughter.

                                                            I grew up with a maiden name that was never pronounced correctly, despite my best efforts to speak slowly and clearly. It is 11 letters long and is a somewhat non-Norwegian sounding name considering the name comes from a farming community in Norway. My relatives cannot agree on how to pronounce it. I decided early on it wasn't worth correcting people and have pretty much taken that approach to all areas of conversation.. (OT sidenote: I still like to tease my husband of almost 32 years that I married him for his last name. 6 letters and easy to pronounce and spell!)

                                                            1. re: jlhinwa

                                                              "[T]he two exceptions being my husband and daughter."

                                                              I s'pose that's the nail on the head for me. It boils down to the difference between being a d*ck and being a parent.

                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                Yeah, I feel obligated to help my daughter learn, especially when it is something she will be embarrassed by mispronouncing later on.

                                                                It's trickier with the spouse....I respect his feelings enough to correct him discreetly if we are with others. At home, though, it's okay for us to correct in front of the kid as I think it's important that she understands learning is a lifetime thing and we don't magically know everything when we reach adulthood.

                                                              2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                jhinwa: same here, 9 letters and the first four are consonants. I just say cheerily "close enough!" when it's inevitably mangled.

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  "I just say cheerily 'close enough!' when it's inevitably mangled."

                                                                  Nine out of ten doctors agree that you'll likely live longer with that approach.

                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                    Close enough...love it! It was amusing to hear how my name got butchered lots of times, but there were other times that it was a PITA. Slight tangent: right now I am up to my eyeballs dealing with my aging mom's medical issues and am on the phone with health care professionals on a daily basis. I always have to say her name, spell her name including the "s, as in sam, v as in valley, e as in elephant," etc. Then I have to spell it again. And then it is still wrong. :-) Lately this has been a 2-4 times a day occurrence, which makes me happy to have my easy last name.

                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                      jlhinwa, I sympathize. Regarding your mom, that is. I am also swimming in the same situation regarding parental health issues. It is a thankless and nonstop task. I can only hope there is some sort of small reward ahead.

                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                        Thanks for your kind words, sandylc. Unfortunately, things appear rather grim right now but the one thing I know about my mom is that she is unpredictable. (She was dx'd with stage 4 terminal metastatic breast cancer 16 years ago with a prognosis of just a few months to live, yet here she is. :-) ). One way or another, we will get through. I find spending time on CH a great escape...love reading about cooking and food experiences, and I can check in from my iPhone even while hanging out in a hospital room or doctor's office.

                                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                          CH is a great distraction/hobby when life is very demanding. We are dealing with kidney failure here.

                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                            Hugs to you, sandylc. That is really hard. We don't know exactly what we dealing with despite a 3-1/2 week hospital stay and a gazillion tests. Her docs joked about calling in Dr. House because she is such a "puzzle." Today the puzzle got a ticket back to the hospital by ambulance...sigh. Getting back to the chow, the hospital she is at has amazingly good food for both patients and hospital guests. The patients can order whatever they like, whenever they like, from a room service menu (well, as long as there are no dietary restrictions). They cook to order and their speed of service is impressive--and no gratuity allowed. :-)

                                                                            1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                              So sorry this has happened to you and yours. Hospital food lesson that I have learned: Order a bunch of stuff all at once and then eat only the things that show up the most edible!

                                                                              Good Luck.

                                                                  2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                    Hahaha, my maiden (and now current) last name is only 5 letters, and a really common English word. NO ONE can pronounce it when reading it, or spell it when hearing it. Out of habit, I always spell it out whenever mentioning it.

                                                                    When I married, I thought the new 5-letter name would be easier, because it wasn't a common word - it wasn't.

                                                                    1. re: tracylee

                                                                      tracylee, that is funny. My last name is Hiller. While infinitely easier than my previous name, I am still amazed at how people will mess it up. Miller, Heller, or my favorite (not!), Hitler.

                                                                      I have a good friend whose last name is Lee. She continuously deals with people who are shocked to find out when they meet her that she is Caucasian and not Chinese. Crazy, huh?

                                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                        I can see how that would be hard.

                                                                        I have a friend (Chinese/American) who's maiden name is Lee. We always joked that I should marry her brother so I could be Tracy Lee Lee!

                                                                        Back to food, I spent a Thanksgiving dinner with her and her extended family when my folks were out of town. Her parents had owned a restaurant, and other than the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes catching on fire, the dinner was great!

                                                    2. Could you perhaps find a video clip to send to her where someone is talking about Sous Vide-ing, and says it 1000 times.
                                                      Sent in that excited "oh have you seen this!!?? Made me think of you!!" way, of course.

                                                      1. Just let it go. It's not worth the angst

                                                        12 Replies
                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                            And how do you pronounce "angst"? :)

                                                            Since I was a German major, mispronounced German words make me fidget a bit, and they have some tongue-twisters. Gewuerztraminer, anyone? Or Zigeunerschnitzel?

                                                            But I'd never correct someone, unless they tried to correct MY German pronounciation. Then I would have to take great pleasure in the misfortune of the soul who thought their German was better than mine as I gave them a German lesson :)

                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                              I cringe on the inside when I hear that "Ängst" or similar......!

                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                  Many people say "aingst" (like "hang-st" without the "h")

                                                                      1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                        I have only heard it pronounced this way and had to look it up. Apparently this is NOT an alternate pronunciation. Going to take some getting used to but hey I learned something new!

                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                          Isn't the American pronunciation different from German?


                                                                          I would feel awkward saying, "onxt" when speaking English. I also say double entendre--duhbul en tahn drah when speaking English. When speaking French, I'd say doobl(e) entendr(e).

                                                                      2. re: Jay F

                                                                        Depending on the specific situation, I might try adding some other information so it didn't look like I was correcting the person. In this case, something like: "I saw a cooking show about sous vide. They said it is French for "under vacuum". It's amazing how many cooking terms come from French."

                                                                        1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                          This is exactly what c oliver meant in the very first response in this thread, "in context."

                                                                          1. re: Steve

                                                                            Yes, and I was just saying that my context would be adding something informative, as opposed to asking a question ("So did you buy a sous vide machine? How much are they?") or providing affirmation ("Oh, I love sous vide too!").

                                                                            And I see that I replied to the wrong poster in any event.

                                                                  1. I have a few friends who's first language is not English or even of the European language group. On occasion I will let them know the preferred way to pronounce something. Other than that, unless I know someone is going to make a fool out of themselves (making some sort of presentation or toast, or ...) I leave well enough alone.

                                                                    1. Generally speaking I would let it go. That's because I really couldnt give a shit if someone mispronounces a food word to me.

                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                        "Generally speaking I would let it go."

                                                                        I'm not sure what that means, specifically. As far as I can tell, you are limited to:

                                                                        1) Stop the conversation dead in its tracks
                                                                        2) Change the subject
                                                                        3) Avoid using the term
                                                                        4) Intentionally mispronounce the word to follow suit.

                                                                        How do you handle the situation?

                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                          Specifically, it means that I would generally let it go.

                                                                          Perhaps "letting it go" has a different meaning where you are, to where I am. Where I am, it's a plain, readily understood phrase.

                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                            You are the one who used the phrase "generally speaking." That's a direct quote. Is it so unusual for me to then ask for a specific example?

                                                                            I already list four possible reactions that might come under the category of 'let it go.' They are all four quite different.

                                                                            Do you use one or all of these strategies? Do you use another one I can't think of?

                                                                            I am genuinely interested in how to handle this situation.

                                                                            1. re: Steve

                                                                              Let me try and explain what "letting it go" means where I am in the world. It would imply doing nothing and just carrying on the conversation, ignoring the fact that there had been an error.

                                                                              Certainly none of your four suggestions would be "letting it go". As I said, I assume the phrase must imply something different where you are, but hope this fuller explanation helps your understanding of the phrase in British English.

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                I'm sorry about my confusion. Now I know you would carry on the conversation.

                                                                                But how do you carry on a conversation about 'sous vide' and not pronounce it?

                                                                                It seems to me you must either avoid saying it, say it incorrectly, or use the correct pronunciation.

                                                                                Which would you do?

                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                  To the best of my knowledge, "letting it go" has the same meaning on this side of the pond as it does on yours and that would include Washington, D.C..

                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                    I think the question is when you repeat the word, do you say it correctly or the way the speaker does? Or do you avoid saying it altogether? Or just change the subject to avoid having to say it? I feel that way when someone might talk about bruschetta, to reuse my example and I want to add onto the conversation. I don't want to make the person feel bad, but I don't want to mispronounce it, either.

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      If the conversation continued and it fell to you to use the word, to not pronounce it correctly because of some weird conception of sensitivity would be ridiculous.

                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                        +1 grampart. To pronounce it other than your usual way of pronouncing a word would, indeed, be ridiculous.

                                                                                        My thanks for the clarification that the phrase has the same meaning on both sides of the Atlantic. I wonder if the British phrase being "wound up" is common on your side? ;-)

                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                          Thanks for the clarification. In other words, the same as the very first response in this thread. Pronounce it correctly "in context."

                                                                                          I was under the impression that Harters was suggesting a different approach.

                                                                                        2. re: grampart

                                                                                          "some weird conception of sensitivity would be ridiculous."

                                                                                          Maybe it's a woman thing to try to be more sensitive to the listener because that's exactly what I was doing when I added the latter part, explaining different approaches. It was clear to me what Steve was asking but Harter's initial response didn't answer the question. As Steve said, "letting it go" could mean many things. For Harter, it's not letting it drop, it's correcting the pronunciation by using it in conversation.

                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                        I believe Harters is now demonstrating one method of 'letting it go'.

                                                                              2. Only when it's my child who is mispronouncing the word, and NEVER in front of anyone who is not part of our nuclear family. and that includes the spouse of a married adult child.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                  Yes; me too. I'm childless but would only correct nieces/nephews if we were in the car together, without an audience.

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                    Good point, I really hate when people correct me in front of others similar to any other feedback in public.

                                                                                  2. Rarely if ever. My husband sometimes pronounces a word in a questioning tone so I tell him if he said it right or not. Otherwise, I don't correct adults unless they're my employees or they've mangled a word so badly that I just have no idea what they're saying.

                                                                                    1. >When do you correct incorect pronunciation?<

                                                                                      What about incorRect spelling?

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. Unless it's immediate family, never. Hypocritical because I'd want to be corrected if I constantly pronounced a word incorrectly. Although, sometimes a person thinks he/she knows but doesn't. I've been corrected on bruschetta many times by the server in a restaurant. "You mean you want..."

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                          "Hypocritical because I'd want to be corrected if I constantly pronounced a word incorrectly"

                                                                                          Excellent point: I'd want to be corrected immediately rather than going on with a blatant mistake. I believe it's called learning.

                                                                                          Especially with travel, it would be a really bad idea to have a grossly mistaken idea when someone could have easily corrected you. You might wind up being taken to the wrong province or state entirely. In food, you could wind up ordering the wrong dish.

                                                                                          1. re: Steve

                                                                                            Exactly. I'll revise my answer because it depends on the situation. No one likes a know it all who feels the need to correct other often but there are times when it's helpful. This reminded me of a recent one--a friend was going to interview at a place that makes Cornish pasties but she was saying pay-tees. I wished her good luck and all, then told her how it is pronounced and what pay-stees are. She burst out laughing and was thankful. A couple of the people in the group and never heard of Cornish pasties said they were wondering what kind of store she was going to work at.

                                                                                        2. Unless there is a reason to help 'em, like they're truly embarrassing themselves, I let it go. If I feel that I can save someone from hurt, I will pull 'em aside. I'd never do it in front of others. Though, I admit, sometimes, in Court, when opposing counsel mispronounced a word, I'd sometimes be a d* ck and work the word, correctly pronounced, into my next statement.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                            I would seriously like an example of 'let it go.'

                                                                                            How do you 'let it go' in a situation like this:

                                                                                            Co-worker #1: I tried that suss veeedy (sous vide) last night and that meat was so tender!

                                                                                            Co-worker #2: Oh yeah, my partner loves it when I make things suss veedy at home.

                                                                                            Co-worker #3: MGZ, you're such a devoted foodie, what are your experiences with suss veedy?

                                                                                            MGZ: (fill in the blank)

                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                "What the hell is suss veedy."

                                                                                                "Oh, you must mean sous vide."

                                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                                  I guess the best analogy I could draw would be construction related.

                                                                                                  If I see a guy holdin' a piece of 'two by' with his thumb near the blade cutout on the chopsaw, I might suggest that he move it. On the other hand, if I see a guy carryin' some 'two by's' under his arm, I'm probably not gonna say a word. I figure he'll learn soon enough that it's less stress to rest 'em on a shoulder. In the former situation, I might help save a thumb, in the latter, well, he can always resort to some Ben Gay.

                                                                                          2. This is always tough, and I normally try not to do it, because I sound like enough of a blowhard without correcting people's pronunciation. But one thing I have contemplated is sending them some kind of link to something that does pronounce it correctly -- if you look up a sous vide cooking video, (not shilling, but CHOW has some, and there are a metic crapton on YouTube) and send her a link because you know she's interested, you can give her an example of someone pronouncing it correctly.

                                                                                            That way, she's not thinking it's you pronouncing it wrong. And it's not you correcting her pronunciation, it's just her getting that info from a third party source.

                                                                                            23 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                              I'm experiencing an odd feeling, almost déjà vu.
                                                                                              A mod has said what I said : )

                                                                                              Another element of the discussion -- most words that are incorporated into English take on an "English pronunciation" instead of only-English speakers mangling the original-- Pwareto Reeeco anyone? -- which offers a further challenge to cooking terms, which can have:
                                                                                              a poncy French pronunciation,
                                                                                              a "correct" French pronunciation, and
                                                                                              a "flatter" English pronunciation.

                                                                                              What do Hounds choose?

                                                                                              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                                Not exactly sure, but there's way too much " poncy" out here already, so not that.

                                                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                                  You know how those Latino/a newscasters in the US will pronounce every single word in perfect Midwestern-flat English. But when they come upon a Spanish word or phrase they will suddenly whip out this dead-on perfect Spanish-accented turn. And then immediately pivot back to their English accent? They are lightning quick!

                                                                                                  I am all for correct foreign pronunciation if there is no highly familiar English alternative. I wlll say caw-cut' with a French accent when pronouncing the word cocotte, instead of the rather English coh-caht. But I will say the familiar Paris instead of Pareee.

                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                    I love Sylvia Poggioli on NPR for that same trick, only it's Italian and English that she can turn on either dime.

                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                      You shoulda seen the folks at my last gig when I sang the German version of 99 Red Balloons in flawless German.

                                                                                                      Never fails to impress '-D

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          Hmm...can't sing Neunundneunzig Luftbalon auf Deutsch, will you settle for "Da da da, ich lieb dich nicht, du liebst mich nicht, uh huh"?

                                                                                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                            Trio and Da Da Da....had me hooked when I first saw the VW commercial and the video? Fahgettaboudit!!

                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                              Shocked to hear someone mention Trio after all these years....

                                                                                                              ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht

                                                                                                                1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                  For any of you that have never had the pleasure of getting creeped out by this video. Strange? Definitely! Haunting? Somewhat. Over 30 years later and it still "reaches" me.


                                                                                                                2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                  woudn't that be Fahrvergnügen?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                      I think it is pronounced: Fartfignewtons which are very different from burpless cucumbers.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                        I love fartfignewtons. For some reason, however, my wife does not.

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    Did you record it? Tried to find it just now.... :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                      Alas, no recording of that one. We've only recently picked up the song again, and our new bassist is still catching up with repertory and, um.... learning bass -- he's actually a guitarist, but we don't want no stinking guitar!

                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                      Lingua - I shall forever have an image in my mind of you looking like Nena (1983 vintage, of course). I always preferred 99 Luftballons to the English version.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        Well, I do shave my armpits (unlike dear Nena), and I'm not a brunette. But apart from that.... spot on, Harters :-D

                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        99 Luftbalons! Thanks for the 80’s earworm. And now for the useless fact of the day - it was the German version that charted in the U.S., not the English "translation".

                                                                                                                3. It is tricky but after all no one knows every language and there are bound to be mishaps. As c oliver says repeating it correctly after the mispronunciation, or if you know the person really well just coming right out and saying, that's wrong, would work. I lived in New Orleans for a long time and am having trouble with fellow workers here in Texas saying cream instead of creme brulee, it drives me nuts!!

                                                                                                                  1. I'd work in the phrase, "the French pronunciation is {xxxxx}." I'd be pointed in not saying "the CORRECT pronunciation" to let her save some face. If I were the one mispronouncing a word, I'd want to learn it correctly, but I'd also appreciate some tact in pointing out my gaffe.

                                                                                                                    1. Like ordering a gimlet at some German cocktail bar, only to have the waiter say "a gymlet". Not worth my time.

                                                                                                                      1. To go around correcting others is to cause embarrassment, make oneself unpopular and, as you have noticed, fail to make any impression on the person you attempted to correct. Cringing seems a small price to avoid all that. My and Miss Manners' opinion.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Samalicious

                                                                                                                          And yet there are threads and threads where 'hounds practically fall over themselves correcting others. A generous crowd, indeed '-D

                                                                                                                        2. I would more than likely either let it go entirely or put the question on me ie: am I pronouncing this xyz word correctly.
                                                                                                                          Maybe out of that simple gesture we'll get to the bottom of the correct pronunciation. I know I've gotten into giggle matches over dialects with others and surprise, surprise we survived without issue.

                                                                                                                          How complicated does word life need to get? Patience, humor...works for me and mine. SMILE...amazing what a kind face can achieve.

                                                                                                                          1. Unless pronunciation is the topic of discussion, not only do I let it go, but I'll go to some effort to try to avoid embarrassing others by not bringing attention to their mispronunciations. Unless it's my BIL, of course. I'll correct him every time, because he's a pretentious ass.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                              Ricepad, I, literally, laughed out loud for two minutes straight from your comment.

                                                                                                                            2. How about having one's pronounciation corrected by a waiter?

                                                                                                                              At a special dinner, I ordered several bottles of Veuve Cliquot, pronouncing it in the french manner, only to have the waiter respond "Oh, you mean Veu-Veee Cli-Cot".
                                                                                                                              No, I did not mean "Veu-Veee Cli-Cot", I meant exactly what I said but did not correct his mis-pronounciation since it would have made an awkward situation even more awkward (especially if he defended his position).
                                                                                                                              NB: I speak French.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                Punchline: It's a good thing you didn't ask for a bottle of Champagne from Reims.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                  I've had waiters do that often. I just ignore them and say the word properly. In your specific case, I would have just repeated the order in the correct pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                  If I don't know how to say it (I've never studied Italian, for example), then I'll just assume their pronunciation is correct, or equally as bad as mine, and let it go.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                    I hope you left him a nice shiny penny for a tip

                                                                                                                                  2. I've thought of this often over my lifetime.
                                                                                                                                    I said a word that wasn't one once and our friends' wife corrected me. she also does that when I'm singing to a song and thought I knew the words but apparently I don't. I keep my mouth shut because it's not my business to correct. I'm at fault too sometimes.
                                                                                                                                    these I hear all the time and think oh well...

                                                                                                                                    all of 'the' sudden
                                                                                                                                    this dish needs washed
                                                                                                                                    get out the house

                                                                                                                                    I have a famous cousin who won't toot his own horn, sing his own praises or discuss his wealth and stature. he would never correct anyone or call them out. I choose to shadow his demeanor however lacking I am.

                                                                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                      Or "nucular". But I would never correct anyone because the mispronunciation is so common.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jettthecat

                                                                                                                                        THAT is my biggest pet peeve. and even nuke-u-lar physicists say it that way ---> jimmy carter, being a notable graduate in nuclear physics..

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jettthecat

                                                                                                                                          <because the mispronunciation is so common.>

                                                                                                                                          Except who is the one mispronouncing it?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jettthecat

                                                                                                                                            Let's get "re-luh-tor" and "chip-pole-tay" out of the way.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                              Oh yes, "re-luh-tor." I am employed in that industry and am astonished at now many realtors cannot pronounce their own occupation. Sheesh!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                Some people must have a disconnect between what they hear/see vs. what they say; that's all I can figure out here. My mother says "drougth" instead of "drought"; she must see "th" rather than "ht".

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                  That is an interesting explanation, and one that makes more sense to me than general carelessness or ignorance.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc


                                                                                                                                                    Dyslexia is a possible explanation, particularly in a language like English which has a complex orthography.

                                                                                                                                                    And even if dyslexia isn't issue, many of us read by paying more attention to the whole word, its shape, and context, and glossing over the individual letters.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                      The "th" is actually the original pronunciation, and the form "drouth" survives in some British dialects. If your mother is neither British nor dyslexic (and she didn't grow up speaking Middle English in the 13th century), she may be restoring the regular form of the suffix, which is found in many abstract nouns in English: width, truth, health, wealth, filth, sloth, dearth, length, breadth, depth. (This also explains why many people say "heighth" instead of "height". It's non-standard in current-day English, but it's completely logical and sensible.)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                        She says "heighth" as well. But, oddly, she grew up in rural middle America. She has some college, but not much of it soaked in, from what I can tell!! She is quite far from being British! Historically, the area of her birth was settled by people from the Carolinas.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                          "abstract nouns" -- i like that classification. very interesting that the forms have the "th" ending.

                                                                                                                                                          is there a similar concept in other languages -- by that i mean a unique spelling marker to indicate the classification of the thing described as an "abstract" thing?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                            There are many suffixes for forming abstract nouns in English, most of which are much more productive than "-th", for example "-ness", "-ity", "-hood", "-dom", "-ship", "-age", "-ment", etc. And yes, you can find the same thing in other languages, like German "-schaft", "-heit/-keit", "-tum", "-nis" or French "-té", "-age", "-eur", "-esse".

                                                                                                                                              2. My pet peeve is the frequent use of "Um!" I do my best to get my co workers to refrain from "Um." When speaking with clients.
                                                                                                                                                If I ask a server their name and get "Um, David" I ask if it's spelled U M D A V I D? Maybe I am being obnoxious as my lovely wife says? Maybe not?

                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                  Like in the Firesign Theatre album:

                                                                                                                                                  Computer: Please state your name.
                                                                                                                                                  Clem: Uh, Clem.
                                                                                                                                                  Computer: Thank you, "Uh Clem."

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                    Steve, I remember that. You must be old too!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                      Much time of my youth spent memorizing entire scenes of Firesign Theatre.

                                                                                                                                                      Near the end of the album (about a visit to a futuristic theme park), 30 minutes later he is subtly addressed by one of robots as "uh Clem."

                                                                                                                                                  2. I never correct anyone unless I am asked by them specifically. Most people incorrectly pronounce bruschetta. They say brush-etta instead of a busk-etta, and I have had actually people correct me when I've said it right - only to correct me - incorrectly. So, better to keep quiet.

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                      I thought it was "brus- ketta". You don't pronounce the r?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                          You do pronounce the r - that was a typo. I was referring to the sh vs. the k

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                            Whew, I thought I was pronouncing it correctly and then I read your post and felt dumb all over again!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                          My Italian teacher (with an Italian accent when she speaks English so it's obvious she knows the language), said she is often corrected with that. You would think when a native speaker says it, you'd go with it.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                            I'm with ya on the bruschetta. When someone mispronounces it, I ask them, "Well, do you say 'chi-anti'?" (pronouncing the "chi" instead of "key"). Drives me nuts!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chloebell

                                                                                                                                                              Hey Chloebell, I love your idea of giving an example of a word with similar pronunciation. I must remember to try this.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                            More like "brew-sketta" vs. "brew-shetta".

                                                                                                                                                          3. Me being the obnoxious friendly cousin/acquaintance/SO that always USED to correct other people's pronunciation or even meanings of words I know how it must irk you to hear the incorrect way of speaking all the time. Learned my lesson though, I don't do it anymore.
                                                                                                                                                            My husband and me have a recurrent joke about being me being sincere or polite, you're pick. As of late we've come to the middle ground of prudence.
                                                                                                                                                            In your case I would say something like "oh will you be so kind to share you're recipe for whatever sous vide (insert correct pronunciation). If she is a nice, open to learning and most of all, intelligent person, she will take a hint and correct herself. If she is not, then just let it go.
                                                                                                                                                            Some people are just not worth you're effort. And the pigs saying its a keeper in my list!! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mexcuk

                                                                                                                                                              I could make a lot of grammatical corrections here, but as you say "not worth the effort." :P

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoannaNYC

                                                                                                                                                                I am really truly sorry for the grammatical horrors I posted.
                                                                                                                                                                As a former unsolicited corrector I'm always open to the possibility of mistake and glad to be pointed to the right direction, grammatical or otherwise.
                                                                                                                                                                Note to self, check and recheck before you post.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoannaNYC

                                                                                                                                                                  It's certainly not worth the effort. That's why none of us do it. What upside could correcting folks have to you, right? After all, this is a quasi-spoken "conversation", not an article for publication.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh thanks a lot, but being part of a family whose idea of a good meal talk is browsing the dictionary, a post with so many errors like the first I sent is just plainly unacceptable.
                                                                                                                                                                    Anyways I do understand what do you mean about not being worth the effort of correcting things in a public "quasi-spoken" forum. It was a quasi-apology. :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mexcuk

                                                                                                                                                                      did your family ever play "the dictionary game," where everyone (except the person whose turn it is to select an obscure word and write its definition) makes up a definition for the chosen word? the person who "knows" the word & definition then reads everyone's "definitions" from their slips of paper. you can get points by how many vote for your definition. i have never laughed so much.

                                                                                                                                                                      one member of my family could always be identified because her definitions always related to design or antiques (she had a store). then another sister would almost invariably use "of or pertaining to" in crafting her (phony) definition.

                                                                                                                                                              2. If not sure how to pronounce a foreign word when ordering I'd say it in a questioning manner and hope to be corrected. As a former waitress, I might say the word correctly, in repeating the order, just to make sure we mean the same item if very mangled. If I know for sure what it was, would not do so, unless it came up naturally, as in "Would you like another bottle of Pinot Grigio, Sir?"

                                                                                                                                                                My children I corrected for pronunciation and grammar, and would still do so today, even in their 20's. How else will they learn? My brother and I still occasionally question or correct one another on meaning, context or pronunciation of obscure words rarely said aloud, but that is something I would not do with another person.

                                                                                                                                                                One of the most amusing times I had was when a group of people I knew from an online text-based game all gathered together here for a meet. Who knew that I had for years been mispronouncing in my head Druid as "drood" and rogue as "roog". These were words I had never spoken aloud and was corrected by my British friends. We laughed and had another drink.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoannaNYC

                                                                                                                                                                  On "This American Life," there was an entire program about going well into adulthood with childish misconceptions. Like pronouncing common words wrong. And people correcting them.

                                                                                                                                                                  I cried from laughing at Act One, and the end is so moving I cried because I cried:


                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm glad I'm not the only one haunted by old public radio shows, rattling around in my head just waiting to get knocked loose by some random event...!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                      Just lovely. Your reaction was exactly mine.
                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for your recommendation.
                                                                                                                                                                      By the way, I pronounced "chic" like a baby chicken until I was over 30 years old. And I taught English. Dear God what did people think of me?

                                                                                                                                                                  2. My first time at a Korean restaurant I was looking over the menu and trying to decide what to have. One of my friends suggested the "bulgogi", pronouncing it correctly (pool-GO-gee). I couldn't believe that was correct. I had little experience with the Korean language outside of the names of places and historical figures, but plenty with Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese. It didn't sound like any other Asian word I had heard.

                                                                                                                                                                    When the waitress came by I pointed and asked how it was pronounced. She said it and I was shocked that my friend was right. Then I actually said "Huh, that doesn't sound Korean to me."

                                                                                                                                                                    She said "Of course it sounds Korean. It is Korean."

                                                                                                                                                                    1. >>"When do you correct incorrect pronunciation?"<<

                                                                                                                                                                      Probably too often for my own good. ;o]

                                                                                                                                                                      1. As a professional translator I want to drill my ears out with some of the pronunciations I hear. Same goes for people thinking that "le" and "la" are interchangeable.

                                                                                                                                                                        Sadly I have yet to find a good correction method. I usually start with working the correct pronunciation into my next sentence, with no commentary. If that doesn't work, I usually say, "Actually, the word is French/Italian/whatever, and it's pronounced ___." There are people who continue to argue with me. I explain, gently, that I have several degrees in X language, have actually spent considerable time in X country and I KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE THE DAMN WORD. Still they mispronounce the word. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                        58 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                                                                                                                          Other than pedanticism, is there really a reason to actively correct anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                              But, what's the point of the instruction? Especially, with a stranger.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                To elucidate. I'm in the camp of not bothering because its too much effort. But if PotatoPuff wants to expend the effort to correct and educate, bully for him/her. If someone doesn't know, no harm in trying to teach. I don't think of that as being pedantic if you are sincere, but its a lot of work for very little reward.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                  There is indeed no reward - except to one's ego.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                  "What's the point of instruction?"

                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe it is so others can learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                  "Especially with a stranger."

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am not sure if anyone mentioned a stranger, like going up to someone on the street?.... personally none of my conversations with strangers last very long.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, that was a poor choice of word on my part. What I meant was someone who, in the grand scheme of things, is merely an acquaintance, like a coworker or a friend's date to a dinner party. Someone, who, is outside of your inner circle.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But, as you noted, you feel it's relevant to help others learn. Why not tell the homeless guy you give a quarter to that he mispronounced a word?

                                                                                                                                                                                    I reiterate the basic question, why should any of us have the audacity to correct someone for a trifling violation? What is the inherent value to the one who "knows better"?

                                                                                                                                                                                    I realize it's outside the Chowhound rules of conduct, but should I start posting corrections to everyone's misspellings and grammatical errors?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                      As has already been said upthread, repeating the word in context with a correct pronunciation is easy, and you'd surely have to do it anyway to continue in conversation.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I am not sure about your 'homeless guy' analogy since I've never experienced that, but let me give you an analogy that I have experienced:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Somebody asks for directions, and they mispronounce the name or street they are looking for. Do you continue the mispronunciation? I will tell you, in another language a mispronunciation can cause a good deal of confusion, but even in the same, it's probably better to nip it in the bud so that they don't continue having problems getting lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                        Good point there. I get asked for directions a fair amount and we have some unusual American Indian names for streets, etc. I definitely correct people. The next person they ask might just write them off as a nitwit and give them bad directions. In that case, I think it's helpful. Foreign words, eh, less so.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here in Georgia we have several towns named after cities in Old World countries that are pronounced differently.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Would be a funny conversation with an Egyptian. "I don't care how ya'll pronounce it, it's KayRow here".

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                            Haha. Reminds me that when I visit a family friend, Buchanan is Buckhannon and Buena Vista is Byoona Vistuh. There are so many right ways to pronounce words, that as long as you're getting your message across, who really cares how it's said?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hysterical, Hobbert. I just had lunch with a Phila. friend who was talking about a place in NJ called "Byoonah Vistuh." Never heard of the place before today, and now a second time.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's one thing when you can get the point across, but if someone has a heavy accent, it can be hard enough to understand what they're saying, let alone if it's pronounced incorrectly. If someone ordered pate de fois gras the way it's written in English, it would be almost impossible to understand. OTOH, when my English friend ordered BBQ chicken as that, it's easily understood. It still didn't stop me from giving him a hard time (after the waitress left) but I figured it was pay back for the year they gave me a hard time for my Americanisms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's true. Correcting others is a fine line. If its truly hard to understand, I'll often say "oh you mean xyz?" just so that I can confirm what they're saying. The BBQ is pretty funny, though. Totally makes sense!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Correcting others is a fine line."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. Avoid being a know it all but be helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Exactly. Avoid being a know it all but be helpful."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Especially if someone tells you they are serving a rag-out for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Hobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hahaha, it drove me crazy growing up near Byoony Vistuh! I was sure it was just the people in that neighborhood who pronounced it wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In Minneapolis we have "Nicollet" pronounced "Nick-lit".

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                        what can you expect from a city with a Sioux-Greek name?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nichollet was a French scientist who mapped this area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Versailles, Indiana is 'Versales.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is this a great country or what!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or how about Bogota, New Jersey. A person with a smattering of Spanish might insist on pronouncing it like the South American city, even though the name is unrelated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                        when i first went to london, i thought beauchamp place was pronounced as the french "beauchamp" -- only to learn it was called "beecham" place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We do that to annoy foreigners, alkapal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have a try at this surname - Cholmondeley :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            does it end up sounding like cyril barmy fortheringay phipps ? LOL



                                                                                                                                                                                                            edit: CHUMLEY! of course, why didn't i see that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stately homes are killers, especially the ones that are pronounced the way they should be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nothing is weirder than "Worcestershire." sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I lived almost next door to "Chumley" when there were all sorts of black cars on the roads nearby in the late 80's and early 90's..........guess who came to visit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think audacious is a bit much. If I know something you don't know, why is it audacious for me to tell you so? As long as I'm not mean or rude, how is it any different from saying, "No, that restaurant is on Chestnut Street, not Walnut Street"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also don't get why "lesser" acquaintances aren't deserving of my care. Since we're not best friends, you don't deserve my help? Or I shouldn't care about you as a person? Seems harsh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I personally would prefer to be corrected, even if it's embarrassing because I discover I've been mispronouncing a word my entire life. I find this happens when I've only ever read the word and never heard it aloud. "Akin" was one I had wrong from high school up to my late 20s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LisaPA

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My husband has an old friend whose last name is Basil. I heard him speak of him but never saw it written. One day, I saw it and said, "I don't think that's baysil, it's normally bah-sil." Yes, my husband had been mispronouncing it for close to 20 years. Sometimes it's good to be told.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Apparently, Basil, didn't think it worth the trouble of correcting your husband.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Edit: I s'pose my point is do you think that Allen Toussaint cares how you pronounce his name if you're buyin' a ticket?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Obviously. But, my husband would have appreciated it. I called a guy at college Mark, all year and it turned out his name was Robert. I was embarrassed and would have appreciated a quick correction. I guess it's like people not telling you you have toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe--they don't care but I'd appreciate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had no idea who Allen Toussaint is but if someone is putting money in his pocket, he probably doesn't care what he's called. But friendships are a little different and it is nice to get their names correct at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "I ha[ve] no idea who Allen Toussaint is . . . ."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Go treat yourself and listen to some of his music. You owe it to yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Beautiful. Thanks for expanding my horizons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That was my dog's name. Someone once wrote a card to us and included him. They spelled it "Bazzle".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder how they would have pronounciated (sic) Oregano.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LisaPA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    First, I will confess that hyperbole and I have a long, sordid history. I think we first met shortly after I learned my eleventh word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I s'pose the distinction between the way I see the issue and others do is that I just feel that certain minor pronunciation violations are irrelevant. In the past, I would correct folks, and, more often than not, it seemed to dampen the relationship. Maybe it's just me, but I have no interest in suggesting to anyone that I am superior to 'em. As I illustrated above, if it's not likely to hurt 'em, I'm not gonna do somethin' that might.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Another example would be the word "amenable". The preferred pronunciation, as I'm sure you know, is with a long "e" - "a - meen . . .". I hear people say it as "a - men . . .". If I think that they might already respect my knowledge and education and therefore know that my correction is comin' from a "good" place, I might try a subtle correction. Nevertheless, if they don't really know me, I'm want to just let it slide. It's trifling and I'd rather not come across as tryin' to be the "smartest guy in the room" (I know I am, so I don't need to spread my feathers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do see and respect the points that you, Steve, and others have been making. At bottom, though, I think that the divergence point here is predicated upon what each of us thinks of as helpful. My approach is practical. Yes, tellin' someone how to pronounce the name of a street to make 'em more understandable to "locals" might be a solid idea, but tellin' someone that their pronunciation of a "close enough" phrase just has a sense of pomposity to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    *Funny how pronounce and pronunciation are the same words with a weird spelling difference, huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have heard "pronounciation" before....should I have corrected them? ha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <I am not sure if anyone mentioned a stranger>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hell, I'll mention a stranger. The other day, I was standing at the bus stop and noticed two young men trying to make sense of the posted schedule. Because I am a helpful (read: pedantic) sort, I asked where they were trying to get to. Houston Street, which they pronounced H-you-ston Street, as any sane person would. But here in Manhattan, as you well know, it's How-ston Street. So I corrected them. "That's fucked up," one said. "It is," I said, "but if you want people here to understand you, that's how you say it." I hope anyone who hears me screw up a pronunciation does me the same service.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    New York City's Houston Street is not named after Sam Houston. It is named after William Houstoun, who was from Georgia, and pronounced as you said: HOW-ston.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Still, it's a mispronunciation of the original name Houston. Should have the long "you" sound. The name is Scottish, derived from the time of Guillame le Conquerant. Hugh de Padivan, an aide de camp, was granted an estate west of Glasgow. The French name Hugh is pronounced "oog." Not being able to pronounce the name, locals called it Houston (literally Hugh's Town), and that's the origin of the name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think New Yorkers should correct the Southerner's mispronunciation. Who won the Civil War, anyway?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I recently heard someone in Germany pronounce the name "Hughes" as "Hoo-jess". I can see how that mistake could be made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sandy - that reminds me of a Tracy Ullman sketch, in which some waspy guy doesn't want to share his name with her Latina character:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "because I know what you'll do with it.. OK, OK, it's Hugh Jader"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "oh now what was that so hard Mr. Choo Hader?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, English spelling doesn't make any sense, so I'm not surprised. Like the good old joke about how to spell the word "fish" in English: ghoti.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            German, OTOH, is pretty much always pronounced exactly the way it is written. Bummer about the tricky grammar, tho :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Many people have last names that are no longer pronounced the same way they were originally. Names change over time. His name was Houstoun and was pronounced Howse-ton. Something named after him should be pronounced the way he did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, the change in spelling (Houstoun to Houston) should be commented on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              my dad's middle name was houghton, and it was pronounced "how-ton."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Same goes for people thinking that "le" and "la" are interchangeable"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That'd sort of be me. I travel to France and Belgium most years and don't speak very good French (and almost no Dutch). I regard it as a great achievement when I can remember the main words I need to say. Generally, I have little idea whether a word is a "la" or a "le". But, so long, as I can ask for food, lodging directions and the emergency services, I am happy. I've not had anyone correcting me in the last 20 years

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All I know about "la" and "le" is one works in Scrabble and the other doesn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you haven't seen/heard him already, David Sedaris has a couple of milk-from-your-nose-funny pieces on trying to learn French noun gender. They are in "Me Talk Pretty One Day". IMO, like Garrison Keillor's work, it is best on audiobook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but he's still damn good print-format reading - that guy kills me. and definitely illustrates the confusion English speakers find regarding gender specific nouns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How about those who skip "le" and "la" entirely and use "les" (or to them, "lay") for every word, singular or plural?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I try not to correct others, but honestly, why does anyone bother to use a word that they haven't learned to pronounce? I don't have very much education, but I am always interested in learning more and attempting to be correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "why does anyone bother to use a word that they haven't learned to pronounce?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      why not? It's like saying why would someone speak a word they don't know how to spell. Sometimes the two just don't happen together as one learns language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I just found out today that I have been mispronouncing stromboli for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, but did that make it taste any less good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <<I try not to correct others, but honestly, why does anyone bother to use a word that they haven't learned to pronounce?>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        because the world would be a boring place?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seriously- maybe they don't know they are pronouncing it wrong. Maybe it is not their first language. Maybe it’s their accent. Maybe they saw it on a menu or sign for the first time and no knowing the ‘correct” pronunciation wasn’t going to stop them from ordering it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I know I've replied a lot on this thread already, but how about taking it from the opposite perspective:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If during a conversation about fashion I pronounced Versace like 'ver-sayss' I'd be kind of ticked off nobody corrected me. Instead, people just laughed behind my back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course, nothing like that has ever happened to me, he said sheepishly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In that scenario and the one you gave about directions, I would most def. appreciate being corrected. The point being, if I'm being foolish or going down the wrong path-kindly speak up to help a girl out. But, if you're hellbent on correcting the way I talk, accent and all, at some point I may tune you out because it's just as annoying to hang with a nitpicker as it is to lose your last nerve over insignificant but easily laughable moments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was in the Asian market today and the cashier who knows me well-she & I have this on going word exchange during checkout-a long standing let's play with words. She teaches me, I teach her. It's fun, I look forward to it. We laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <If during a conversation about fashion I pronounced Versace like 'ver-sayss' I'd be kind of ticked off nobody corrected me.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've absolutely given up on people who don't pronounce Ralph Lauren's name correctly. They keep pronouncing it wrong no matter how many times I tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HINT: it's Bronxian, not French.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I say as long as the pronunciation/meaning/context is clear enough to be understood, let it slide. I may repeat back "oh yeah I love (insert proper form here) one of these days, I'll make extra of my version and bring lunch, sounds cool"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          as in ignoring a certain Tex-Mex grilled dish sometimes sadly known as "fa-gEE-tas" in some parts, while offering tips on the level of hardwood smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I get tripped up on gyros. Not because I don't know how to pronounce it but no one knows what I'm saying unless I say "jie ro" at certain restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Only wait staff who try to correct me, but in general I don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Frankly..............growing up in a place where nearby cities of Gloucester, Leominster, Worcester and Leicester often were garbled, I wouldn't give it much worry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Whenever this happens I usually say something like "is it pronounced x? I always thought it was pronounced y. Maybe it's pronounced x. I don't know. Let's Google it", which I think is a lot easier for a person to accept then "you're saying it wrong, it's pronounced y".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A very polite friend used to say, "Well, I've heard it pronounced both ways. If you're interested, we can check on it".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I've heard it both ways" is a catchphrase on the TV show "Psych". The lead character tries to sound smarter than he is, and when he is corrected he says that line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My darling friend may pre-date the TV show since I remember her saying this from the 1970s. Regardless of timeframe, it is a useful phrase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sherri

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, I didn't mean to suggest that's where it originated. Just that I giggle when they say it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: lamb_da_calculus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with lamb - this is also my go-to response if someone's pronunciation is really killing me. I always play the ditz: "Are you sure it's sousss vidde? I've only heard it pronounced sous vide before, but I don't know." and then I give them about 30 seconds before I pull out the dictionary.com app on my phone and say, "I'm sorry, this is just driving me nutso that I might have been pronouncing it wrong all this time. Can I just look it up?" I've had my own pronunciation corrected before, and when done in a way that allows me to save face, I very much appreciate it; when I'm just called out on it, I despise both the correction and the person doing it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thursday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What a tactful way to handle it. Love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Usually, no. If someone asks, then yes, I will correct them. Usually, they can sense it (if they know how to self-reflect). When they ask something I don't understand, then I have this "I have no idea what you just said" look. Then, it is up to them to decide if they want to learn the correct pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I live in Quebec, Canada where there is both an English and French community. Based on my experience its best just to live it alone and embrace what you can understand from each other as correcting someone who you may or may not like can alienate them. Depends what you want to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ITA. For an English speaker not educated in the French language from a young age, French is virtually impossible to pronounce properly. I just let it go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I automatically correct anyone, anytime they use the abomination/bastardization "sherbert".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Unless you're speaking about your overconfident friend 'Bert', and you happen to find him delicious, please try that word again."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And yes: I get a *lot* of strange looks, but I simply don't care, as each time I hear that monstrosity uttered, I die just a little bit more inside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              67 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "the abomination/bastardization "sherbert"."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That is the WORST! But, even though I'm pretty much of a Mrs Know-It-All and correct pretty freely, I usually let that one go. Partly it's because I'm stunned at some of the people who use it, and partly because I know that the people who use it would be offended and defensive (is there a name for that figure of speech?), and also I figure they're beyond hope. For Italian words (shall we talk about "brushetta" [sic]?), I don't hesitate to correct, since that is my area of acknowledged expertise. I understand not everybody wants me to be on duty all the time, but neither do I want people being able to defend their mispronunciations on the grounds that they said it that way in front of mbfant and she didn't object. And of course I would correct tourists looking for Houston Street, just as I would hope to be corrected in a similar situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And, see, when someone says "brushetta", while I do wince a bit, I can sometimes let that one go, since *phonetically*, it makes sense. It's *wrong*, but it makes sense in a wrong way, so I might or might not interject on that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Sherbert", however, is an automatic "This person must be blind, stupid, or both!" response from me, because there is absolutely *zero* justification for it. I try to correct kindly, and usually do, but you know that there's *always* that one truly misinformed, absolutely-certain-of-themselves person who'll defend themselves because they *know* it's spelled the way they're pronouncing it. They just *know*. Correct them, and it truly is a battle of wills, right up until the point where the dictionary comes out...and they *still* insist that they're right!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "This is America, and I can say it any way I want to!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's right, moron...and I can label you a "Completely Lost Cause" for the same reason. The difference? Only one of us is actually correct. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You have *no idea* how badly I want to run into someone named "Bert" who does this. I believe that a hole might be ripped into the fabric of space and time, were this to happen. And it'd be *worth* it. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I absolutely hear you, but I tend to let the lost causes go and correct where there's hope. Incidentally, my husband, who is Italian, wants me to correct his English and is often irked when I don't. But sometimes I don't correct when I feel fluency is more important than accuracy. "Brushetta" galls me particularly because it is a relatively new word in the US, that is, without an honorable Italian-American tradition. Since it arrived directly from Italy in standard Italian, not dialect, why strip it of its correct pronunciation, which is no more difficult for anglophones than the wrong one. There is an Italian-American food called stromboli, accent on the penult, clearly named for the Sicilian island of Stromboli (accent on the antepenult), but I can live with that (as if I had a choice) because it's been around for generations and you can't fight City Hall. What does gall me, however, is that the English narration of the Roberto Rossellini film with Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli, pronounces the island's name wrong. How they got away with that is beyond me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "How they got away with that is beyond me."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Because it's so insignificant?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And in the long-run we'll all be dead. But Stromboli was the name of a movie by a major Italian director with a major Hollywood star, and in the English-language version the name of the film, which is the same as the name of the island, was mispronounced, not because it was difficult, but because whoever was in charge of the narration didn't ask an Italian or consult a reference book. And nobody picked up the error or considered it worth correcting. Shoddy work. Worse than sherbert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "And nobody picked up the error or considered it worth correcting."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That does suggest somethin' about how relevant it was to most people, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like many others first saw 'brushetta' in written form (on a container of Italian style salsa). I never heard it pronounced by an authentic Italian speaker. It wasn't until I came across discussions like this that I learned the Italian pronunciation and proper usage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "souSSS viDDDe" can arise in the same way, seeing the written form before hearing it. Not all of us know the rules for pronouncing French. I half jokingly use "drop have the letters and use the rest'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you are upset about Americans adding an 'r' to 'sherbet', are you equally bothered by Italians (and French and Spanish) dropping the 'h'?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "If you are upset about Americans adding an 'r' to 'sherbet', are you equally bothered by Italians (and French and Spanish) dropping the 'h'?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nope. Apples and oranges. Sherbet/sherbert and, say, caramel/carmel are single words that native speakers are pronouncing (and spelling) in a way that has not (yet) become the accepted standard. Dropped "h" is done across the board by entire populations trying to speak English and finding that sound difficult to make (for some reason). I congratulate them for their efforts, especially given the irregularity of English. Many native speakers of English drop the h as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Zerbet, cerbet, shurbet, sherpet, sherbette, and sarbet, among others, are all found in the Oxford English Dictionary’s historical examples. Sherbert is also listed,"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, words change, huh? Guess it doesn't help much to dig in too deep, does it? Just gonna get trampled when the world continues spinnin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But both the page you cite and the edition of the Oxford Dictionary I have on my phone (I can check the unabridged in the morning) list sherbert but call it a misspelling.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So what about "carmel" for caramel? Doesn't that get anybody's goat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "So what about 'carmel' for caramel? Doesn't that get anybody's goat?"


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ca-ra-mel is a three-syllable word. Pe-ri-od.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it is. And those who don't pronounce it that way don't usually say it "carmel"; they usually say it the way I did growing up: CAR-MOLE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'car-ml' v 'carra-mel'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Except if you live in the upper Midwest. The use of 3 syllables is strongest in the American South and New England, weak elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        question # 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What is with the syllable thing? My mom, raised in southern Illinois, says, "ress-turnt" for restaurant, yet says "pee-yun" for pen. Like eveything needs to be two and only two syllables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why don't you speak the same way? Presumably you heard her say those words when you were learning to speak. Were there other influences like your father? Or did you correct yourself in school?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, wow, you open up a lot here! I distinctly remember (and resent) figuring it out early in school, like kindergarten or so, that I had been taught everything.....wrongly (or is it wrong?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For example..."li-berry" for library....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have paid entirely too much attention to language, especially spoken, since then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, to answer your question, I began correcting myself in early grade school, then continued as I moved around and listened to others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I still don't say everything correctly! Who does? Ha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really do enjoy listening to grammar and accents. It's hard to stop, actually. I took a university linguistics class a couple of years ago and it was fascinating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Long answer to a short question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are native languages that do not use the "h" as American English does, which makes learning to pronounce those words in English challenging. My Norwegian dad emmigrated when he was 27. He probably spent more time on the "th" sound than anything else....up 'til he died, I could tell when he was really tired because his "th's" became "t's." Much to is chagrin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It doesn't help that they pronounce Freschetta as Freshetta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <"Sherbert", however, is an automatic "This person must be blind, stupid, or both!" response from me, because there is absolutely *zero* justification for it.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I find it easy to imagine that someone from Long Island or New Jersey who, when faced in adulthood with trying to drop the accent of his youth, might assume there's an "r" in the second syllable of "sherbet." Because it's all about putting "r"s back in when you try to lose that accent. And I'm someone who should know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For years, I thought "sherbet" was spelled, and sounded just like "sherbert." They can sound very much the same in NJ and NY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From the OnLine Dictionary:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sher·bet (shûrbt)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. also sher·bert (-bûrt) A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice, sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Chiefly British A beverage made of sweetened diluted fruit juice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. also sherbert Australian An alcoholic beverage, especially beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I was a kid, there was a ice cream shop nearby called Herbert's Sherbet. The second word, as I recall, was always pronounced with two R's. It was confusing to me because at home the dessert was always called "sherbet," and my dad loved the pineapple variety so the word was in regular use. No real point here, just a story...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I heard sherbet pronounced sherbert before I could read. When I first saw it written, I didn't know it was the same word at first. But, I still think sherbet sounds funny. Thankfully, it's not popular enough that I rarely have to say it but sherbet still sounds wrong to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ditto. fortunately, "sorbet" came along and saved me the trouble ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Same here. I started making sorbet in 1979 and that was that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but did you pronounce the final 't' or not?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, next someone's going to market "soybert"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i'm with you, chowser. i didn't know until i was in my forties that it was "sherbet." i'd ALWAYS heard "sherbert" growing up, in the south.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The one that really sets my teeth on edge (and surely yours too, mbfant) is MARSCAPON for mascarpone. Why Americans think it's ok to just randomly move the R back a syllable is beyond me. I actually had to correct my brother (who is a chef and should know better) on this one at Christmas, because he was insisting that I was pronouncing it incorrectly (despite the fact that I'm an opera singer, have studied Italian and Italian diction intensively in Italy AND spend at least an hour a day singing in Italian). Sadly, though he admitted that I "might be right," he didn't correct himself, saying that "all chefs pronounce it my way, and they won't understand me if I say it your way." ARGH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't you pronounce the "e" on the end?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, I have a friend who pronounces chipotle CHIPLOTE He moves the L back the way your brother does with the R.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In Italian, the E on the end is pronounced (an "eh" sound). Americans often drop that E, which is annoying, but IMO forgivable/understandable since many Italian-American dialects drop final vowels. It's not nearly as annoying (to me) as the arbitrary moving of the R. And don't even get me started on the bastardizations of chipotle I hear all the time. Or spaetzle. The list goes on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dropping the ending drives my Italian teacher crazy because we have so many Italian Americans in the class and that's how they learned, or as one guy puts it "Eh, it's Brooklynese!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My friend, who also studied voice and learned Italian has problems w/ focaccia because she thinks of alla lucia. She said sometimes w/out thinking, it'll come out foh' ca chee'uh but then she corrects herself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I starting making spaetzle from a Joy of Cooking recipe years before I heard anyone else say the word. While I must have heard it half a dozen times on TV, I'm still unsure about the proper pronunciation. I've never had occasion to ask a German speaker about the word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So for me, the following tasks rank, from easy to hard:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - make spaetzle without a recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - spell it without looking it up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - pronouncing it without fear of embarrassing myself in front of someone like you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  since you asked (IIRC) it's SPPETT-zla (in German, if there are 2 vowels use the second influenced by the first)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought it was Shpetz-luh. Wrong, I guess?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought it was SPATEzl (no "e"). But I know no German, beyond your basic "Heil, Hitler," "einsatzgruppen," "sonderkommando," and "Juden." Oh, and "Ach Du LIeber, Augustine."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My grandfather was from Austria. When he came over, he must have learned English quickly, as he would not allow German to be spoken in his home, not even by his sister and her husband.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sandy, you are correct. In German, an initial S plus a consonant always has a "sh" sound. So, shpetz-luh is correct. The unaccented final syllable (known as a schwa) can be pronounced as anything from an "eh" to an "uh" depending on regional accents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for the two vowel issue, in this case the "ae" is there because the true spelling of the word requires an umlauted a (Spätzle). If you are too lazy to go hunt down the umlauted symbol when using an American keyboard (which I usually am), then you use the vowel that is supposed to have an umlaut, followed by an e, to spell the word. The pronunciation of ä (a with an umlaut) is always "eh."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, I was so far off on my pronunciation of it. I'm hoping I've been given the right thing, given how I've ordered it, in restaurants, and not something entirely different!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, unless you are from the north, then hill food would be right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But since spaetzle is a decidedly southern dish, not many northerners would probably say it anyway :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Really? I don't think I've ever heard an regional dialect/accent where the "sh" wasn't present in words starting with s+consonant. I haven't spent that much time north of Berlin, though - Kiel, Hamburg, Bremen, Oldenburg, but no more than a few days in each city - probably not enough time to catch onto the regional accent. Plus, I spent most of my time at the opera houses, and the opera staff is definitely not guaranteed to be locals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yep. The northerners "sstolpern über den sspitzen sstein".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Might be dying out, tho, for all I know. My dad was born in Bremerhaven and never lost that dialect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very interesting! I'll have to listen for it next time I'm up that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I seem to recall from my days in Munich (many years ago) that Bavarians pronounced it more like "SHPAYtsul." Odd word for one of my favorite noodles, and so easy to make at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, the Bavarian dialect is a thing of its own. I mean, they turn "eins, zwei, drei" into "oanz, zwoa, droa". 'nuff said '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The first time I went to Munich I seriously thought I had gotten lost and ended up in Poland or something. Couldn't understand a WORD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, when we spent a summer in Kiel, years after my Munich stint, I couldn't believe they were speaking the same language. People looked at me like I had two heads whenever I opened my mouth to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A common sentiment outside of Bavaria (our version of Texas, sorta).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      no! I was wrong! WRONG WRONG WRONG! I was working 3rd shift when I typed that and was never quite in synch. Sh-P. mea culpa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    whoops - typo - SHP indeed. (golly am I embarrassed)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ehh I suppose there's a region that doesn't pronounce 'SP...' as 'SHP...'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, I have to ask -- were you ever on a low-carb forum... like around 04, inquiring about places to eat in Berlin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Possibly. I do low-carb and I spend a lot of time in Berlin, although I started going to Germany regularly in 2008, not 2004. I don't ever recall asking about low-carb options in Berlin, though - Germany is probably the low-carb friendliest place I've ever been! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm. Well, possible that there is another opera singer who had/has recurring engagements in Berlin. You'd likely remember if it was you, b/c I think I sent that *other* one a PM with tips...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, there are a million of us - or at least it seems that way when you're auditioning for a job. Germany has about 100x as many jobs available as the US, so American singers flock there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cool. Who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to hear ya this summer... tho we tend to be there when theaters and operas are in summer recess. Wah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think he explained why - "all chefs pronounce it my way, and they won't understand me if I say it your way."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ultimately the point to using words like this is communication, which is a cooperative act between speaker and listener. Your audience as a singer is different from his. For your brother, MARSCAPON is an English word; it has lost its Italian roots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Language is not static. If it were you'd be singing in Latin, not Italian. A chef saying 'marscapon' is no more of an 'error' than countertenor singing the role of a Roman general in Italian while dressed as a British soldier.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <Language is not static>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree. I was saying just that earlier about dining etiquette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <no more of an 'error' than countertenor singing the role of a Roman general in Italian while dressed as a British soldier.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That is wrong. Who is he communicating/connect to? No one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  True, but how fast should language change and in how many directions? Without rules people will no longer be able to communicate in a very short time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <ow fast should language change>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As fast and as slow as people want to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rules are often established in a matter of days and weeks, like LOL or ROFL which came about really fast. Describing poor video quality as "filmed by a potato" also appeared in a very short period of time, yet everyone pretty much knows it now on youtube.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That chef brother preferred to use 'marscapon' precisely because he needed to communicate. The rule 'follow Italian pronunciation' would hinder that communication.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh, but I disagree with that. *IF* the name of that cheese eventually became anglicized to the point that it was spelled with the R in that position, then sure...it would be right. But as long as you're pronouncing a word written Mascarpone, it's just wrong. super-wrong. Like the common, lazy mispronunciations of nuclear and realtor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's just such a crazy mistake. It's one thing not to know how to pronounce vowels in a foreign language....i'm certainly guilty of that! But simply spitting out consonants in the right order? If you aren't dyslexic, I just don't see why anyone would screw that up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        danna, how do you pronounce "hors d'œuvre"? Or "February"? "Wednesday"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          However it arose, the 'marscapone' version has probably spread by word-of-mouth. People hear friends and family use it, and follow suit. That was the usual way that words spread. Few of us are in the habit of checking whether way we say familiar words matches with the spelling. As Deppity shows, we usually ignore those differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Evidently you are one of those people who do check, and are bothered when others don't do the same. Are you a stickler on manners as well? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You must really then love that mutz or mutzarel cheese!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I would correct someone whom I know closely - for his/her benefit - but wouldn't otherwise bother; it is hard to do so without appearing to be a pedant or, worse, someone who thinks that knowing a token word or two is a mark of distinction and sophistication (e.g. the absurdity of pronouncing and mispronouncing Moet)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unless you speak fluent French, German, or Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, etc. I do not expect you to know the correct pronunciation, or perhaps even the meaning of some foreign words. Flying in and out of Europe does not necessarily make one a native speaker, does it ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      " Commment allez vous " frequently overheard along the Champs d' Elysees during the summer tourist season, does not actually mean " Where's the menu ? "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As an example, I've found in my travels that most North Americans can pronounce the word " Cuisine " in a reasonable fashion, including Texas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But what does it actually translate to ? Is it cooking, method, menu, ethnic style, or kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Sounds like this person might have a lisp, as in one of those people who let out a shrieking whistle every time they pronounce something with the letter "s".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would say something like "oh, you mean 'sous vide'?" (pronouncing it correctly). Then be like "I think that's how it's pronounced - here, let me look it up on google just to double check...".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I understand they can't help it in most cases, but those that have this lisp don't need to go around saying stuff like "suzy sells sea shells by the sea shore" all day long neurotically, and driving everyone else nuts around them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, please help me to understand. Are you actually asserting the notion that if someone has a speech impediment, you should correct their words? Tell 'em not to use certain words? That's like tellin' someone in a wheelchair how they could run better. Please, tell me us didn't really mean to be so cruel?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i think he is referring to the OP, and thus referring to saving a person from pronouncing the second "s." IF my assumption is correct here, then atomic76 is actually trying to help, and make it easier for the speaker (aka maybe lisper).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry I didn't mean to come off as mean. Sometimes people get a little overly emphatic when trying to pronounce something non-english. Giada Delaurentis gets made fun of a lot for this, over enunciating the heck out of Italian words. When the OP mentioned "snake like" it reminded me of a lisp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've had many conversations with her and she doesn't have a lisp. I haven't said anything because it doesn't bother me and she's just so excited about but I did overhear a colleague semi-poking fun that she was saying like that without any mention by me which was my whole motivation for even contemplating telling her. You may not judge but perhaps can save someone from judgment by others, seems legitimate to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that speaks volumes about the colleague who makes fun behind her back (because i'm CERTAIN he/she doesn't do it in front of her).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea, it really does and no he doesn't say it in front of her which is unfortunate that he's judging but I just assume people like that are lurking who would not only make fun of her behind her back but embarrass her to her face as well. I am thankful for the person who let me know when I was 15 that the word was not "omniPOTENT" but that the syllables were less individual emphasized.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thing is, I'd actually be way more prone to say something to the d*ckhead who's makin' fun of her behind her back, than to correct her for her mispronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds fair, kind of like telling someone that they have spinach stuck in their teeth, just trying to save them some embarrassment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a friend who always says "all ah den-tay", which is even funnier because her family is all Italian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I thought of this thread a couple of weeks ago when I met up with some former co-workers for lunch. As usual, a few of us were discussing cooking. One guy was explaining how he had cooked a large cut of meat (I don't remember what) and I finally said: "Oh, sous vide?". "Yeah!". I'm thinking that he may have thought others in the conversation might not know what it was. And I pronounced it correctly, LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. "Croissant" is the word that I find causes perhaps the greatest agitation. I think most people are fully aware that it is not pronounced "cressahnt" or whatever incorrect pronounciation they give. So I suspect you have people, afraid of trying and failing, actually deliberately getting it wrong. Better to just say "crescent roll" perhaps? I plead guilty to that sometimes myself, depending on the company I'm in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For fun, go with my parents' pronunciation: croy-sunt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it really doesn't matter except to complete fuss pots who need a surgical removal of an unfortunately placed object....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the rest of us know what you mean. and we're cool. call them what ya want, just don't burn them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "The rest of us know what you mean. and we're cool. call them what ya want, just don't burn them."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thumbs up. More importantly, can someone tell me where to get a good one at the Shore? I'll call it anything you want. I'll study French* for a few days before I go order it. I just miss good ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *Actually, that might not work. I almost didn't graduate High School 'cause French caused me such grief. At one point, I even thought about tryin' to propose an intimate encounter with the teacher in return for not failing me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It seemed like such an 80s movie way out of my dilemma. I mean Sister Joan Marie was in her late forties, had a couple thick moles on her face, and was not very pleasant as a person. But, I was an eighteen year old boy. . . .