August 23, 2007

That Reminds Me...

My mom is a fun lady. We're a lot alike, so it's really hard not to be amused by some of her antics.

Well, Diana's post about Cirque de Soleil reminds me: my mom mispronounces things.

I mispronounce things, too, because a lot of the things I know I only ever read or say in my head. But when I mispronounce things out loud, I think I say all the letters in something close to the right order. My mom doesn't really.

I own a house in Georgia near a town called Commerce. My mom always calls the town "Com-ress." This puzzles me because "Commerce" is a word that she knows in addition to being the town's name. Its pronunciation is standard and clear. "Com-ress" is just awkward.

But about Cirque de Soleil. My mom pronounces this "Sirk-olay." My understanding of the proper pronunciation is that it's "sirk du solay" with some little stops between the words. My mom puts no stops at all and drops lots of the sounds. sirkolay sirkolay sirkolay

I love it.

No matter how many times I repeat the words back to her with the right pronunciation, she insists on saying it wrong. I think she knows, but I can't be sure.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at August 23, 2007 10:20 AM | TrackBack

At least you aren't going "nucular" over the issue!

Posted by: Paul Hsieh at August 23, 2007 10:44 AM

I know exactly what you are writing about. My grandma never pronounces the bank "ING" by spelling out the letters I-N-G. She always pronounces it as a word. I'll say "it's I-N-G" over and over again but it doesn't help!

Posted by: John Powers at August 23, 2007 02:16 PM

William Strunk had some advice on this:
"If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud!" (As quoted by EB White in his introduction to _The Elements of Style_, 3rd edition.)

Posted by: Valda Redfern at August 23, 2007 03:09 PM
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