Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby Iversen » Sun Feb 25, 2024 7:52 pm

kleene*star wrote:I once heard an American say "it's pronounced peezza, not pizza". Which is so hilarious to me, like, dude, most Italians can't even distinguish the two sounds.

I'm more irritated by non-Italians who call their peezza consumption venues "pizzaria" - as if they only had one single pizza to share.

It should be pizzeria.
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby Cainntear » Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:00 pm

kleene*star wrote:
Le Baron wrote:When you get those people saying 'OMG! It's espresso, not expresso! I tell them: 'you do know the French call it un expresso? Noting the retention of the 'o'... And also that 'espresso' in Italian is or can be in reference to a something sent by rapid delivery through the post, an 'express delivery', or 'livraison express', why is "wrong" to say expresso? A coffee in double quick time?


I once heard an American say "it's pronounced peezza, not pizza". Which is so hilarious to me, like, dude, most Italians can't even distinguish the two sounds.

Well, that depends on the accent.

I once had an Italian comment on how my version of "sit" had an "eh" in it, like "set", whereas English people use an "ee" like "seat". I tried to convince her that "ih" was a different phoneme and the English "ih" was just slightly further that the Scottish one, but she was utterly convinced that English people pronounce sit like "seat" and Scottish people pronounced it like "set". The scary thing is that she was a teacher and was involved in teaching kids English!! Ah well, at least the words was "sit" and not "six"...!
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby Le Baron » Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:22 pm

Cainntear wrote:I once had an Italian comment on how my version of "sit" had an "eh" in it, like "set", whereas English people use an "ee" like "seat". I tried to convince her that "ih" was a different phoneme and the English "ih" was just slightly further that the Scottish one, but she was utterly convinced that English people pronounce sit like "seat" and Scottish people pronounced it like "set". The scary thing is that she was a teacher and was involved in teaching kids English!! Ah well, at least the words was "sit" and not "six"...!

She might be right with regard to the Scottish pronunciation. It sounds like to me as well. And the reason I laughed at the last sentence was because a Scottish person saying 'six' has exactly the sound you implied! :lol:
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby jeffers » Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:30 pm

Le Baron wrote:
Cainntear wrote:I once had an Italian comment on how my version of "sit" had an "eh" in it, like "set", whereas English people use an "ee" like "seat". I tried to convince her that "ih" was a different phoneme and the English "ih" was just slightly further that the Scottish one, but she was utterly convinced that English people pronounce sit like "seat" and Scottish people pronounced it like "set". The scary thing is that she was a teacher and was involved in teaching kids English!! Ah well, at least the words was "sit" and not "six"...!

She might be right with regard to the Scottish pronunciation. It sounds like to me as well. And the reason I laughed at the last sentence was because a Scottish person saying 'six' has exactly the sound you implied! :lol:


My wife is from N Ireland and some family friend of theirs told me the joke: "What do they do about sex in Ballymena? They have their tea." Also, by the by, "What's accoustic in Ballymena? Something to hit the coos (cows) with." So, for this guy at least, a local regional variation was the source of his comedic repertoire.
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby jeffers » Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:34 pm

Le Baron wrote:I present exhibit 1, ladies and gentlemen, do your worst.



I watched and enjoyed this video this afternoon. I was especially pleased that ALL four examples of purposely mispronounced words she gave are things we mispronounce in my family for the fun of it:
Target (tar-GEY)
Chipotle (Chip-oatle)
Watermelon (water-malone)
Microwave (meecro-wav-ey).

Also: I day dower, but expresso is anathema. :lol:

I was discussing with a Brit today that one of the things that triggers me about British pronunciaion is when they pronounce the "L"s in paella and tortilla. Although I think they are technically the British English pronunciations, they just bother me.
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby badger » Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:41 pm

Cainntear wrote:
CaroleR wrote:
Cainntear wrote:There's a real issue that people thinking themselves intellectual will insist on retaining the foreign spelling even though it leads people to pronounce it wrong (eg cache and niche).
I've only ever heard cache pronounced cash. But I've heard many people pronouncing niche as nitch, which sounds more like a regionalism. It's often pronounced that way in the US.

Sorry, should have been clearer -- I gave that pair specifically because cache is never the spelling-led "catch" whereas niche is often the spelling-led "nitch". It was supposed to be a contrast of the way a French "che" sometimes sticks and sometimes changes. Would have probably helped if I'd said that before though!!

I do sometimes hear cache being pronounced caché (cachet) though.
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby Cainntear » Sun Feb 25, 2024 9:09 pm

Iversen wrote:
kleene*star wrote:I once heard an American say "it's pronounced peezza, not pizza". Which is so hilarious to me, like, dude, most Italians can't even distinguish the two sounds.

I'm more irritated by non-Italians who call their peezza consumption venues "pizzaria" - as if they only had one single pizza to share.

It should be pizzeria.

To be fair, English speakers don't use teethbrushes or go to shoes shops, so there's a double problem of not expecting a plural form of one of the nouns in the compound and not knowing what that plural would be anyway.

Still a bit more worried about the young Corsican students that insisted "panini" was the correct singular for a grilled sandwich, and not "panino"...
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby garyb » Sun Feb 25, 2024 9:39 pm

The Scottish short I sounding like an open E has been the bane of my past language exchanges! I keep meaning to get around to learning how to pronunce it "properly", especially now that I'm learning German and it has a similar sound that I'm probably mispronouncing, but I still haven't.

(Edit: Also, I don't remember ever hearing "niche" mispronounced like "nitch"! Or if I have, I probably didn't even make the connection and just thought it was something else or I had misheard.)
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby kleene*star » Mon Feb 26, 2024 12:41 am

Cainntear wrote:
Iversen wrote:
kleene*star wrote:I once heard an American say "it's pronounced peezza, not pizza". Which is so hilarious to me, like, dude, most Italians can't even distinguish the two sounds.

I'm more irritated by non-Italians who call their peezza consumption venues "pizzaria" - as if they only had one single pizza to share.

It should be pizzeria.

To be fair, English speakers don't use teethbrushes or go to shoes shops, so there's a double problem of not expecting a plural form of one of the nouns in the compound and not knowing what that plural would be anyway.


It's not a singular vs plural thing anyway. Pizzeria is not really pizze + ria but rather pizz + eria, where -eria is a suffix meaning "a place for X".

Compare it for example with libro - book --> libreria - book-store (not libriria) and acciaio - steel --> acciaieria - steel plant (not acciairia).
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Re: Why Do These Words Get 'Mispronounced' So Much?

Postby luke » Mon Feb 26, 2024 7:55 am

jeffers wrote:Target (tar-GEY)
Chipotle (Chip-oatle)

Publix (Pube-licks)
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