During my travels, I’ve encountered many people who are serial mispronouncers. One of my relatives, for instance, just LOVES a cookout featuring hamburgers and “brocks.” It’s brats, I say, short for bratwurst. There’s a T in there. But it makes no difference. Next time it’s brocks again. WTH?
That kind of thing is not rare. I notice it almost every day. But I’d like to focus on a more specific sub-niche here: people who read the names of things, and mangle the living shit out of them. In most cases it’s not really a mispronunciation, it’s a misreading of the actual words. Know what I mean?
I’ll list the ones that jump immediately to my mind, and let you guys take it from there. Hopefully you’ll have some similar stories to tell in the comments section. I’m not alone, right?
In Atlanta, Toney and I worked with a woman who disfigured many a word. She talked about her excellent “credick” rating, bought a brand-new couch that still had the “plascit” on it, and drank her sodas through a “scraw.”
And one day Toney was having lunch with her, and she started talking about her love for Prior 1. Toney was confused, thinking it might be some swanky new store in Buckhead or something. But as the conversation continued, she figured it out: she was talking about Pier 1 Imports.
Needless to say, we call it Prior 1 now, and have for years. The real name seems foreign and strange to us at this point.
Admittedly it’s a stupid name, and somewhat confusing to the uninitiated. But it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out they want you to say Chick Fillet. Moving the A to the middle doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. But it happens all the time.
One of the smartest and most successful guys I know used to say it that way. Hopefully he’s adjusted it by now, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he hasn’t.
I had a friend in school who was famous for getting things mixed up, and mauling various phrases and words. One time I was with him, and an old lady started yelling at us for some jackass thing we’d done. And he hollered back: “Shut up, you old bag! We’re guilty until proven innocent!!” He also made a lot of Publishers Clearing House jokes, and talked about “Fred” McMahon showing up with a giant check.
And he called Sports Illustrated magazine “Sports Illustration.” Every time. We gave him shit about it, of course, but he’d just tell us to go fuck ourselves. and continue to get it wrong. Heh. He’s a good guy, but could mangle things like a champion.
This one doesn’t fit exactly into what we’re doing here, because it’s a straight-up mispronunciation. But it’s another of those situations where we’ve jokingly said it the wrong way for so many years… we almost don’t know the proper way anymore.
It comes courtesy of my sister-in-law, who says “cheh-pottle.” I’ve also heard her pronounce saute as “sah-oot,” and turn Parmesan cheese into “Parmesian.” Plus, her husband believes Wi-Fi is “wiffy.” They both have PhDs, by the way.
Our oldest son has a kinda-sorta friend who is a big fan of the “Admiral Palmer” brand of iced teas. The boy laughs at him, and asks why he thinks there are golf balls and people swinging clubs on the cans, if it’s named after some bigshot in the Navy. But the friend just tells him to shut up, and keeps calling it Admiral.
Yep, sounds about right. They never adjust, once they realize they’re wrong. Why is that?? If it were me, I’d be embarrassed and never say it wrong again.
In any case, I’m turning it over to you guys now. What do you have on this one? Anything? Please tell us your stories in the comments section below.
And I’ll be back on Wednesday.
Have a great day!
Curious about the tools used to produce this site? We’ve got you covered!