Monday, August 25, 2008

Word "Snobbery" Andy

For various reasons I have a problem with certain words, making those who say them (including myself), sound snobbish when they are spoken out loud! I don't really blame the words themselves, because they are innocent enough, but the pronunciation of them is what get's me. What's that you say, some examples perhaps?

  • As any 3rd grade teacher(Thank you Mrs. Spaugh) will eagerly correct, "often" is pronounced without the "t". But whenever I do say it like that, especially if someone else has or is about to say it with the "t", I feel that I am being condescending or "grammar-preachy". I know what is correct, but the common vernacular has embraced the "t" as a letter of equal importance to the "f". I avoid this word.
  • Take "humble" for instance. This one wins the award for irony. It is supposed to be said with a silent "h". Everyone I know with the exception of the word-nerdy say it as it's spelled. This word, when spoken properly, is a hammer that the haughty use to put us vulgar masses in our place! The very act of saying "-umble" is an attempt to wow the listeners with the speakers knowledge of haughty grammar. Exactly contrasting the word itself. I laugh when I hear it, and avoid using the word myself. But I'm humble enough, that I find I don't have to tell everyone how "umble" I am. It pays to be so humble! ;)
  • "Legos" - There is a great online debate whenever someone types the plural of "Lego", as "Legos". Don't believe me, google it! I, for one say "legos" loudly and proudly. The corporate stance is that the plural is "Lego Bricks".
  • You know those yummy lamb pita sandwiches..."Gyros". I get so scared of embarrasing myself that I sometimes have to order something else from those greek restaurants when all I really want is a gyro. If the cashier is obviously mediteranean, I will safely order a "yee-ro". But if there is any doubt, I worry that if I say "yee-ro" they will think I'm a snobby-white guy. And if I order a "Gi-ro" They will think I'm a dumb redneck. The fear is paralyzing, and I usually end up getting kabobs. How can you say THAT wrong?

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