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October 23, 2006



Oh yes, I know the pains of mispronounciation all too well.

My mom's Indonesia, right? She also taught me (along with Mr. Rogers and the gang down at Seasame Street) how to speak English.

She did an okay job.

Except when I got to my senior year of high school, AP English, and I was reading a compare and contrast essay I had written, and I used the word "similar".

Which would have been fine.

Except my mom always pronounced it "sim-il-yar", like it rhymed with "familiar".

My teacher had a grand ol' time making fun of the fact that I had just received a 5 on my AP exam but didn't know how to pronouce similar.


The woman I student taught for had a good mispronounication story. Students were reading "The Crucible" aloud, and there's a big climactic moment when the male lead screams "WHORE! WHORE!"
Evidently this kid put his whole heart into yelling "Hoo - reeeee!Hoo - reee!"


Oh, and the really sad thing about the facade story? I knew the word facade, except I thought it was spelled "Physade."


I still don't know how to properly pronounce sommelier. And I took a decade of French. Call me a sad sack.


O - Vous êtes un sac triste. Or at least, that's what Babelfish.altavista tells me.


I still remember reading aloud in science class and pronouncing "urine" as "youREEN." And for the longest time, I would read words ending in "esque" as "Q." Picturesque = pictures-Q Burlesque = Burly-Q


In high school Gary pronounced "etc." as "Eht-ka-sah."


When I was about twelve, I was walking downtown with my snooty cousin Leigh. She was 15 and had taken a year of French. We walked past a milliner's and I said, "How chick!" Leigh gave me a withering glance and said, "It's sheek."


Having a sister who (prior to becoming nuttier-than-squirrel-shit) is partially deaf, there were many a colorful pronunciation, which often launched an evening fraught with the laughter of the hearing family members.

bijou = bye-joe
fatigue = fetty-gew
lumbar-sacral = lambrusco
Lithium = Lithium

Yeah. Good times.

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