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Tuesday, 02 January 2018


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Not to be offensive to anyone, as this upsetting disease has afflicted close members of my own family, but certain of my relatives mispronounce "Alzheimers" as "old timers." Sounds close, makes sense in a way. I wonder if it's just a Philly thing?

A bit off topic, but I thought it a funny coincidence that when I clicked through to the Ice Bowl piece, the next article below it was about mispronunciation, in this case of tennis player Denis Shapovalov's name. Pro tennis being very international, pronouncing players' names correctly can be challenging, so kudos to the ATP for having the players themselves speak their own names on their profile pages http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/denis-shapovalov/su55/overview

And btw, Mike, thanks for flagging a cool story about a decisive moment in a photographer's career!

[I'm not seeing where on the profile page the player speaks his name. Can you give me a clue where it is? --Mike]

Okey Dokey, Bokey!

But ick-ee-ah ?? Who knew?

I liked the mis-pronounced words list you pointed out, but was pulled up by "nuclear". Apparently Americans often mis-pronounce it... correctly! (At least as far as this side of the pond believes.) See the comparative pronunciations on this page... https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/english/nuclear-reactor

BTW in regards to American versus British English is concerned (and understanding the former), it's often not so much the accents but the very different way syllables are stressed that confuse me. Whether this is "pronunciation" as such, I don't know. But sadly, I can't think of a good example Just now.

Hi Mike
This is NOT football. Real football is a completely different game. Americans (or should I say US Americans) call it - wrongly - soccer, I think. Maybe american football would be acceptable? Not to mention rugby, the sport of men (without paddings etc.). Greetings from old(e) Europe!
Happy New Year! (Over here we can express our wishis up to January 6).

[Other way around! This is REAL football, and you are only able to call soccer "football" because you don't have any football over there.

But Happy New Year to every soccer fan too! :-) --Mike]

Wasting their time trying to get British people pronounce Ikea correctly.
Many years ago Braun did a survey asking which pronounciation of their name was preferred. The overwhelming majority plumped for 'Brawn' instead of the correct 'Brown'
We've also had Fiat trying to convince people to place the emphasis on the first syllable. Not going to happen
But how to pronounce Nikon ? Or Mitsubishi generally pronounced mit-si-bushi.
Or Mazda trying to get us to pronounce Xedos as ker-zee-dos . What ??

Two examples that have always stuck in my head about American vs English pronunciation...

Buoy - boy (E) vs boo-ey (US), and the confusion between root/route/rout. Though, of course, the USA being quite a large place, these may be regional?

There is also the unstressed-i, so fertile (E) becomes fertle (US) and so on.

Maybe we should all learn Esperanto...

For Chris....Schedule is one example. "shed-ual" vs. "Sked ual"

"Other way around! This is REAL football, and you are only able to call soccer "football" because you don't have any football over there."

Not quite. ;-)

I don't see what's iconic about that photograph. Without knowing the background, it just looks like a pile of players. Even after having read the article, it still looks like a pile of players. If you could see the ball, then it might be a different story.

Was it taken with one of his father's serious cameras (a Nikon)? Hopefully, some day Americans will pronounce "Nikon" properly (with a short i).

One of my mother-in-laws (it's complicated) grew up in England and likes to tell about how the song "Let's call the whole thing off" became a truly bizarre music hall act when the singers for one reason or another pronounced the variations the same way

You say tomato, i say tomato
You eat potato and i eat potato
Tomato, tomato, potato, potato
Let's call the whole thing off

I have had a lifelong awareness of the phenomena as there are some people who can't pronounce my name and others who can't hear it. The can't hear it camp generally can't tell the difference between hugh and you to much confusion. The can't pronounce it camp try to rhyme it with cough or rough or dough or snowplough or hiccough...

Which brings us back to football* of course. According to today's NY Times


France’s second-busiest seaport Le Havre, does not rhyme with the former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre. So how the hell does he pronounce his name anyway?

And why can't anyone in Boston pronounce the word Celtic?

*not played with the feet or a ball, but with an egg-shaped thing called a pigskin which is made from cowhide.

The bokeh on the lens is rather harsh and it's not very sharp in the corners............

Canada has had many interesting 'football*' championships, called the Grey Cup game after some long dead British fellow called Lord Grey, who almost certainly never played the game.

*Canadian football is similar to the American variety but is played on a bigger field and has some different rules.

There has been an 'ice Grey Cup'. It was, surprisingly, very slippery on the field that day, and the home team won because at half time someone was sent out to buy some stapling guns and the footwear was modified. There was a 'mud Grey Cup' where all the players were indistinguishable after the first quarter. I'm sure someone won, but all the players on the field could have claimed to be part of the winning team before they washed. But my favourite was the 'fog Grey Cup', which had a very dense ground fog. I watched it on TV, but mostly it was rather boring, as the ground level shots only penetrated about 5m, but the highlights were the passes when viewed from high up. The announcers called the play, and then suddenly you could see the ball arc up out of the fog and after some time and distance descend again back into the murk. For all anyone could tell, they could have had 2 or 3 balls on the field. Now they just have those boring indoor games.

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