My brother and I had a conversation last week that really cracked me up. It seems that all of his fellow teachers and he were having a conversation, and two of them (including my brother) were ridiculed. They would have made fun of me, too. What's this topic, you may ask? The all-important debate on how one should pronounce the word C-O-U-P-O-N.
Even though our family was often needing a good bargain, coupons weren't a huge deal in our house. I mean, we weren't sitting around each Sunday having a 3 hour clipping marathon like some families I know. So, this item wasn't talked about all of the time, but it was said often enough. We grew up with Mom saying coupon like (kyoo' pawn), so naturally, we pronounce it that way too. And, it was not until college that I realized that most pronounce it (koo' pawn). Not an earth-shattering difference, but I have received plenty of requests asking me to repeat what I just said so that others could have a nice chuckle at my expense. In recent years, I've discovered that a wonderful sister in church pronounces it (koo' pin), and that makes me chuckle. Guess it all comes full circle.
I wish it stopped there, but I've realized through the years - especially after friends sheepishly ask me repeat something - that there are various phrases and words that I've picked up from my family that we don't pronounce "correctly."
Some are more common and more subtle. Mirror, for instance. I say (meer) instead of the two syllable, deliberate pronunciation of (meer er.) One of my closest friends gives me grief about this often.
Some are common but not subtle at all. Wash is an example. What is intriguing about this is that the word "wash" is half of my mother's maiden name, Washburn. But that doesn't stop anyone on that side of the family from pronouncing the word (or the name, for that matter) as (warsh) or (Warsh' burn). To me, that makes it extra funny.
Some are not common and not subtle. Here's a couple that come to mind:
Chester drawers....which is chest of draws to the outside world. That probably brings the most laughs. Once again, I had no idea that I was saying this incorrectly until way into high school or college, because I can honestly say that I don't think I had ever seen that term written out until I was in my 20s.
Sundae. To most, this is pronounced (suhn' day) like the day of the week. Yet others pronounce it (suhn' dee). But, Mom has a pronunciation all her own: (suhn' duh). Thankfully, I didn't pick this one up for myself. But, no matter how much we give her trouble for it, we love her for this and all of the other ways in which she is unique. I LOVE YOU, MOM!
We have a member of our family that says Kmarket....not Kmart. I understand that mart is probably an old abbreviation for market, but I am pretty sure that Kmart has had its name for about 45 years now.
I haven't even gotten into the worst of it from members of my extended family and our circle of friends, not to mention references of stylofoam, hianal hernias, and Oldtimer's Disease or the constant inclusion of the phrases 'intensive purposes' or 'I could care less.' What about orientated, realator, nucular, supposably, irregardless, heighth, or woofs (you know, the howling dog-like animal?)
I've known better than to accept some as normal, let alone repeat them in public. But, other sayings have been engrained since birth. It's a wonder I had a fighting chance. Most would agree that keeping my mouth shut is 'probly' the best 'preventative' measure. Tell me, if I did that, would I be making a 'mute point?'