Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I enjoy a mispronunciation more than anything.  Some people can't get enough of watching people fall Others might enjoy a good vomit caught on tape.  My secret pleasure is the mispronunciation of the English word.

Just like in a good "fall" story, if the person calls attention to themselves before falling, then the fall to the bystander becomes that much more enjoyable.  For instance, when I was in Middle School (a term which floods me with the feeling of self-consciousness to this day), I was walking into the most daunting place in my world at that time - the cafeteria.  I walked in, saw a friend of mine across the ugly linoleum checkered floor, seated at a table.  I then waved and yelled "Hi" to her as my the toe of my shoe caught the metal limb under a chair and down I went.  It was a slow motion event in my mind where the atmosphere around you becomes very clear but muffled, and I specifically remember the girl I was waving to, cupping her hand to the side of her face as she mouthed the words "OH MY GOD", and turning away from me.

The roar of the cafeteria was deafening after that and I picked myself off of the floor and proceeded to the back to the snaking lunch line.  In retrospect, maybe I don't appreciate a good "fall", per say, because I am too close to it - it is too painful for me .  I tend to empathize with the" fallee", rather than revel in their misery.

So, just to be clear, a made-up word like "fallee" is NOT the same as a MISPRONOUNCED word, or nonpronunciationment.  The reason why this post even came to me was that I was just at a CVS and a woman with Sharon Stone spikey hair and lipstick on that was too dark for her (it was also a little messy, clearly indicating CRAZY) butted the line I was standing in, and said, "Is it okay if I ask a question?"

She immediately had the attention of the entire line which was about six deep and then she followed with "Could you tell me where you keep the vanilla envelopes?"
My knee jerk, mispronunciation siren went off and I burst into laughter and then the slow motion that followed as I turned around to see if anyone else caught it, reflected a line of irritated faces and puzzlement.

So I got in my car after paying for my cold meds (code for Prozac and diet pills, natch) and created this post in my mind, complete with recovered memories of mispronunciation throughout my life.

My husband uses the word MAAZUR for measure.  That's just irritating now, though.  Another family member of mine, says HYDRANGELA instead of Hydrangea.  I tend to get "hydrangelas every Spring for my dining room table and I have several "hydrangela plants in my yard.

  I have said to her, "Hey look at my HYD-RANGE-AS.  I got such a great price on my HYD-RANGE-AS.  My HYD-RANGE-AS were only $14.00."thinking she will finally mimic my enunciation of the word.

"Oh, I love hydrangelas.  They are my favorite, too."  I am defeated.

My best friend, Alissa, shares in my love for the misspoken word, as well.  We were able to see the movie, "I Love You, Man" together where they do a whole rif on mispronunciations throughout the film.  We made a game that weekend to work as many of them into normal conversation as we could and then we would just be in stitches.  There is just nothing like an inside joke with your best friend during a girls' weekend.

"Congradulationes,"we would say to each other when we got a good deal on a pair of jeans or something. 

"YOU are a giineous!" one of us would exclaim, when the other would figure out how much to tip or  find the appropriate route to da' Loehmann's downtown.

The beauty of my affliction is that you can hear something second hand, and it is still as funny.  Think about it, if someone tells you about someone falling, it doesn't hold a candle to seeing the actual fall on YouTube. I guess, technically YouTube is second hand, but you know what I mean.

For instance, I have  a friend who tells the story of a girl she knows who had just gotten engaged and she was excitedly showing all of her friends her new engagement ring.  She described it was "platunium" over and over again, as in "My fiance was vacillating between white gold and platunium, but then he settled on platunium because it sets off the "bagwettes" so nicely. "  Cracks me up.  Again, the calling attention to yourself first, makes all the difference.

The Tzagournis' (pronounced "Tag Norris" for those not in the know) took us to Scioto Country Club last summer for it's infamous Friday Night Happy Hour.  Cindy and I were having white wine and one of us pronounced it "sardonnaay" by accident and we were giggling about it and using it as often as we could.  George and Brad came to the pool after playing golf, and Brad asked if he could get us another drink.

Without missing a beat, Cindy goes, "We'll take two Sardonnays, please" and we fell into laughter all over again.

So Brad apparently went up to the bar, none the wiser, and orders our drinks.  He then comes back and tells us that they don't have the drink we ordered. "The bartender didn't know what a Sardonnay

So Brad returns to the bar with his tail between his legs and explains that we really wanted two CHARDONNAYS.

The bartender then responds, "Well, of she's pronouncing it that way, then maybe she shouldn't have any more."

Oh, it is interesting to note, that I once set my purse on fire at another Scioto event, but that is another post.

My recommendation to you today is to always look out for a good nonpronounciationment.  There is nothing funnier, especially if you can use it in your everyday life, or even teach it to your children.  There are few free pleasures in life and my friends, this is definitely one of them.

Only, please, please, please, if you run across a good one, do me a solid - email, text me, or comment on this post.  It will make my day.

Check out the link above of "Sheea Lebuff's" nonpronunciationment.  I forgot to mention that mispronunciations are even funnier if the person is trying to appear more educated than he is.

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