Thursday, May 18, 2006


I'm thinking about this post.

What are the words that you feel the rest of the world mispronounces?

I'm from upstate New York, but I've managed to pick up a little bit of everyone else's accent, which is why, after I've spent time with any of my Canadian friends, you might catch me saying "let's go oot later, eh?" (It's not really "oot," but I couldn't figure out how to spell that most excellent Canadian sound.)

I say CRAY-on, not crain, crown, cren, cran, or any other such nonsense.

I somehow managed to grow up just far south enough that I don't say "beyath" (think nasally Janice from "Friends") for "bath."

I grew up saying "wotter" but now I kind of say "wauter" (again, think Janice) since my partner is from NYC.

I say "toilet" rather than "stool" (shudder - there is something so disgusting to me about saying "stool," mostly because when I think "stool" in the context of a bathroom, it means something else entirely). And it's "toylet" not "tollet." (I also pronounce "oil" as "oyl" rather than "oll.")

I say "iron" as "I earn."

I pronounce "Dawn" the same way I pronounce "Don" (unlike my Brooklyn-born mom, who pronounces them very differently).

I grew up saying "oarange" for "orange" (rather than the NYC "ahrange"). I also grew up pronouncing "Harry" the same way as "hairy."

I do not pronounce the silent letters in words (that's why they're called SILENT letters): chalk is chok, walk is wok, talk is tok.

I say "sammon" and "ah-monds" rather than "sal-mon" and "al-monds" (or eyah-munz, which drives me crazy).

And I use glottal stops: I don't say the t in "mountain," for instance.

"Roof" does not rhyme with "hoof."

There is no "r" in the word "wash."

The word "quarter" should be pronounced "korter," not "kwarter."

The word "wheel" should be pronounced as if it had no h.

(Notice how I've gotten away from the "this is how I say it" and am now making pronouncements about pronunciation?)

Oregon is "oar-ih-gun" not "oar-ih-gone." I know because that's how they say it there. And when you say Illinois or Cannes, you don't pronounce the "s" at the end (and Cannes doesn't rhyme with "can," either). (But I refuse to say "Missoura.")

And while I'm on the subject:
*They're only Buffalo wings outside of Buffalo. In Buffalo, they're chicken wings.

*I've been calling it pop for the last 13 years, but it's really soda.

*Selzer is not the same thing as club soda, dammit!

*It's a bag, not a sack.

*I don't think it's been made of tin since I've been alive, but I can't stop calling it tinfoil.

*I don't know if it's still ok to call a cd an album, but I often do (that's "offen," not "off-ten").

*"Kiwanis" is pronounced "kih-wah-nis," not "kee-wah-nis," or worse, "kee-yah-wah-nis."

*Store and restaurant names should be pronounced with the addition of 's, as in Friendly's, Price Chopper's, and so on. This is not true for all names, by the way. You kinda know it when you see it.


math4knitters said...

"Kiwanis" is pronounced "kih-wah-nis," not "kee-wah-nis," or worse, "kee-yah-wah-nis."

What does Kiwanis actually mean? It's been driving me nuts.

math4knitters said...

Also, it's "across" not "acrost"

Sally Pepper said...

How about graham cracker? Gramm or gray-ham? And is it melk or milk? (Definitely gramm and milk. A good snack, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad you're spreading the word throught the midwest that it's BAG not SACK. The first time someone in Iowa asked me if I wanted my dairy queen in a sack I was literally dumbfounded for a moment. I thought maybe she had confused my order for one for potatoes or livestock feed (both things I imagine appropriately come in sacks).