Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Steering The Pony

On the way to school this morning, I spied three robins hopping through the city park. I spoke over my shoulder to The Pony, my youngest son, "Oh, look. Robins. They're harbingers of spring, you know."

The Pony giggled, in the self-conscious manner of 7th-grade boys with changing voices. I asked what was so funny. "Don't tell me. You thought it was pronounced har bing erz, didn't you? In the tradition of your brother wearing muh kos inz on his feet, and wanting a copier/printer e quip ted with all the extras." I didn't add my other peeve of folks who have their pets spaded to prevent unwanted litters.

After an uncomfortable moment of silence, during which he thought I'd let him off the hook, The Pony ventured, "Actually, I thought it was pronounced har bring erz. Because they bring spring."

You can lead The Pony to vocabulary, but you can't make him pronounce properly.


knancy said...

Working in the medical field has alerted me to many mispronunciations and misuses of words over the years. Prostate and prostrate are high on the list (although they probably should be considered low). All of the oscopies are definitely like static blaring in my ears and this refers to just where a person accents a syllable. Lapor-OS-copy, cys-TOS-copy, en-DOS-copy, etc. are correct and not pronounced as in scoping with a long o. (endo-scopy). The epitome (write that one on the board and see how many people can pronounce it correctly) is a fun word calliope. For more fun, ask for definitions! Can’t leave without the last three that chill me to my innards: hanged vs. hung, dragged vs. drug and smell vs. odor/aroma/scent. For example:

As I watched the cowboy being hanged from yonder lemon tree, I hung my head and cried. Then they dragged him to the wagon and I had to take a drug to calm my nerves. Now when I smell a lemon, the scent reminds me of that day. (Correct usage)

What one usually hears is the cowboy was hung (wrong), they drug him to the wagon (wrong), and the smell reminds me of that day (wrong - smell is a verb!).

These errors I hear on a daily basis on national news shows made by college graduates of journalism!?! Then these same news producers and talking heads want to admonish us on the correct pronunciations of harassment, Caribbean, etc. By the way, I live on the Kanawha River and I bet not one NY talking head can pronounce that correctly! However, I have noticed that Chile sounds more like a country now instead of what I had for lunch yesterday. Where the heck is my hand basket?

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I like his logic. My yougest had her own vocabulary ...... and it made sense, sort of. She never had a sip or a swallow, but a swip of whatever she was tasting. Never a tummy or stomach ache, she always (and still does) had stummy aches.

Tammy said...

Oh, that spaded one gets me, too! But I sort of like "har-bringers." I may say it that way from now on.

Val Thevictorian said...

I, of course, am immune to any accusations of improper usage, because I am playing the comedic license card.

I was totally stumped the day a girl kept asking me what blah-blah-graphy was. I could not quite make out the first two syllables. Turns out she was asking about PHOTOgraphy.

Then there was the kid in a colleague's class who was way ahead of his time, a precocious little Darrell Hammond Sean Connery, who read a paragraph in civics about how theRAPISTS could help people solve their problems and fit into society.

My kids were forever hurting their belbows.

You are welcome to use har-bringers. Might I also suggest "lupper"? It's the meal that's too late for lunch, but too early for supper.