My Favorite Mispronunciations

No, wait. Lest you think ill of me or think this is some gratuitous reference to shock and incite, there’s actually a funny and true story around this that makes the point.

A friend’s mother had a most demonstrative Cuban accent. As is the case with the Spanish pronunciation, words that end in -ts ofttimes are pronounced as -s. You can see where this is going.

The story. On a crowded puddle jumper, small plane, pre-9/11 era, she implored the male flight attendant for “penis”! In fact as she explained, she hadn’t had a penis since Minneapolis. He looked down at his black garbage bag of apples and crackers (think criminal economy class) and thought this is going to be a tall order. I mean, he probably thought this mile high club was a myth. And the brazen demand for his man fixture!

So, imagine an entire plane getting sound both quiet instanter. And further imagine their relief when I stood up and announced to the horrified cabin that she wanted peanuts! I detail the story in my book.

Ah, the joy of language.

It’s more than priggish. There’s a side effect to precision. If you care about how words are pronounced you must also cringe when such is errant. And there’s so much to cringe about. Not to mention there are ranges of incorrectness from the cacoepy to the metathesis to regionalistic patois. Oh, the joy of language.

  1. TrenchPress » My Favorite Mispronunciations - pingback on July 16, 2014 at 1:14 AM

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