Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's all in a name #81

How old am I? So old I should have known all of this. Yes, I did not connect the name Hermione to how it is said. Funnily I hear people mispronounce the word hyperbole all the time. It was one that I mispronounced in my head years ago, but I learnt the correct pronunciation a long time ago. I've never found a reason to insert in into conversation and so therefore mispronounce it.

But I am still learning and here are a couple of my recent clangers.

Everyone knows of The Three Musketeers? Well heard of them perhaps. One of the characters in the story is D'Artagnan. I have read the word before, and heard the word before, but I never connected them. This goes way back to childhood.

It may have idly crossed my mind about how to pronounce Siobahn when I have read the name in the past, but I saw no reason to really find out. I was gobsmacked when I connected the written to the spoken just last week. I have the blood of many nations, including Irish I would guess. I feel shame. You go off and do your own research if you don't know. If that is too hard, listen to how Siobahn is pronounced when Siobahn Blewitt speaks about finance on ABC Melbourne at around 6.55 weekdays. 

I am getting old. How much more of this nonsense do I have to learn?

29 comments:

  1. I have a friend who was Siobahn, only her Mum spelled it Shavaun!! What about Mairead? Some of the Irish names are difficult. Then again some people are just lazy when it comes to names, people have trouble with my real name, which is said as it is written. Not too hard really.

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    1. How ghastly Fen. I don't know Mairead. I can't understand anyone having trouble with your name.

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  2. You're never too old to feel like an idiot. When I was in my 20s, I read a book in which the title character was named "Margot." Through the entire book, I pronounced the name exactly as it appeared to me. Her name was MAR-got. I don't think it was until 2 years later that I learned I had it wrong. I'm sure I've got some of those names right now and just don't know it yet.

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    1. Mitchell, I think I may have thought the same about Margot when I was a kid.

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  3. You say Beau-champ and I say Beecham
    You say Chol-mond-ley and I say Chumlee
    Pohtaytoe, Pohtahtow
    Tohmaytoe, Tohmahtow
    Let's call the whole thing off.......

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    1. Three stars Victor. Very good.

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  4. Most of my words come out wrong and my family are often correcting me so I gave up years ago [my spelling matches my spoken english] they just call it a merlesim if I get it wrong.
    Merle..........

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    1. Merlism, love it Merle.

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  5. I know perfectly well that the artist Modigliani is pronounced without the "g" being heard but I often include the g sound so that people can hear who I am talking about. Now I explain ahead of time, to prevent criticism.

    I am good with most European words/names in that have come into English. But people fall on the ground laughing when I try words/names that came into English from Asian languages.

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    1. Modi what Hels? Never mind Asia with their odd English spellings of their words, just look at Fiji. Nadi indeed.

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  6. Andrew, name is not important but the person. However isome Polish names are difficult for foreigners to pronounce.

    it's a real challenge "Czesław"

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    1. Gosia, I think I would pronounce as like Slaw, but I am wrong, I know.

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    2. oh yeah I have a love for the Polish name Zosia. People don't know how to say that one!!

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    3. Fen, I suppose there are some basics you learn about pronunciations of different languages, yes?.

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  7. Try place names in East Anglia - a simple looking Costessey is actually pronounced Cossy.
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy, that's one I didn't know. I know many English ones though.

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  8. And the English language is a particular challenge because of the numerous exceptions to any rules. Sigh.
    And there are some words that my tongue simply gets tangled in every time. Posthumous is one of them. I cannot say it without stumbling (though fortunately it isn't in daily use).

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    1. EC, not 'i before e except after c' works that often. Posthumous seems an easy word to me. As a kid I had great difficulty with wardrobe.

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  9. I have a problem with posthumous too in that I always want to pronounce words phonetically. So, posthumous would be post hum us. Or is that how it really is pronounced?
    That reminds me of hor d'oeuvres. Of course I'd heard the word before but when I read it I didn't know it was the same and so I asked my mother how do you say hor dee erbs. She didn't let me forget that one for awhile.

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  10. Rubye, this is probably silly of me to try because of your different vowel sounds, but post as hostage, hume us. Well, it works for me. Lol at hor d'oeuvres. I was going to suggest substituting the word canapes, but that too can lead to trouble.

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  11. Ha Ha, try pronouncing a few of those Welsh names...talk about tongue twisters.
    My teachers all had trouble with my surname, they never could understand how "that" pronunciation came from "that" spelling. It's Polish. I once told a teacher to ignore the spelling and just say it the way I did. I got kept in for being cheeky and she never did learn how to pronounce it. It starts with Przy...which is pronounced Shi or She

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    1. River, yes Welsh, unpronounceable to all but locals who grow up there.

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  12. I used to pronounce hor d'oeuvres as hordoovers, while my mum in law would crack everybody up by saying horses doovers.

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    1. Yes, horses doovers was a great childhood joke.

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  13. As I child, I would often ask my mother to play long-playing vinyl recordings on our new Stereogram. Among my favourites were Elephant Gerald, The Loneliest Monkey and Melly Tummy.

    (Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Mel Tormé). I was not a particularly sophisticated three-year-old. Jazzers all made novelty records in the 50s.

    xxx

    Pants

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    1. A stereogram Pants! What a wonderful music reproduction machine they were. They managed to strip out any high notes and blur any low notes. I think you are forgiven your mispronunciations if you were three. Was Pants at three a precocious child?

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  14. Only as much as you want to Andrew.. I ALWAYS struggle with quinoa.. pronounced correctly apparently as 'keen wah..' that 's just rubbish :)

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    1. I refuse to say that word Grace. It will be exposed as the great hoax food of early teen years of 2000.

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