Sunday, August 7, 2011


Have you ever been in this situation? You're having a conversation with a friend and things are going dandy. You're both chatting and laughing, having a good time. Words flow freely both ways and everything's fine...until your friend pronounces a word weirdly, and you just stop for a moment and tell yourself it's rude to stare.


I don't even mean mispronouncing a word, because that would imply that they didn't know how the word was pronounced. It's not incorrect, but it's just off somehow. There are a few everyday words that are subjected to this, often by people who aren't even aware that they're saying it weird until someone points it out. And in most cases, so many people say it that way that it's considered normal. Which it most certainly isn't.

Take, for example, the word 'birthday'. You'd think this would be a relatively easy word to pronounce (as compared to, I don't know, 'aqueous'), but, no. If you listen carefully, you'll find that quite a few people pronounce 'birthday' as 'birfday'. Most of the 'culprits' are predominantly Chinese-speaking Chinese, of which MCKL has its fair share; Dhama and I can't help but giggle a bit whenever someone's birf birthday is being celebrated. "HAAA-PPY BIRFFF-DAYYY TOOO YOUUU!"

It looks like a burger...but it's really a cake. CAKE-CEPTION!

Similarly, there are people who pronounce 'earth' as 'earf'. It sounds like a grunt more than a word, really. Some examples: "What on earf are you doing?!" "Where am I? I'm somewhere on this earf." "You're the lamest person on earf!"

Another winner is any word at all beginning with the letter 'v'. You'd be surprised at the number of people who can't make the 'v' sound! It comes out as a 'w' sound instead, so that 'vase' becomes 'wase', 'Vicks' becomes 'Wicks', and 'water vapour' becomes 'water wapour'. No one ever seems to notice this, but it really gets to me. 'Wacuum' in particular.

Wee For Wendetta, anyone?

And finally, since I told myself I'd go through my Chem notes today, let's include one more: bromine. Pronounced 'bro-meen', it's been subjected to a variety of pronunciations, particularly by people who have trouble with the 'r' sound. I've heard 'bro-main', 'bwo-meen', and even 'bo-meen'. My very own Chem lecturer says 'bloh-min'. It's hard to keep a straight face in class sometimes.

The point of this post isn't to ridicule people who pronounce things weird; it's simply my pointing out something in everyday life that most people don't seem to notice. I most definitely do not intend to offend anyone, not even Joel, who inspired this post. If I did hurt your feelings, though...

I'm wery sorry.

(From Sharenator.)


I was on Tumblr and found this amusing pic. Say all three aloud! While you yourself may not pronounce them that way, you're bound to know people who do.

(From here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment