This is definitely the entry for today's One Line a Day Memory Book
Recently, I've given my kids reason to be embarrassed; I suppose with two teens and a tween, that's to be expected on occasion. Typically, either I'm unaware when I do it (talking to their teachers) or at the other end of the spectrum, it's pure evil intention (singing–or heaven forbid, dancing–along with a song when shopping with them).
This instance, benign in comparison, still strikes me as funny.
Apparently, I've been saying a word WRONG my entire life. This isn't so odd when you're younger–when I was probably in middle school, I said "practically" wrong. I think it was my sister who corrected me, and over and over again, she's say, "No, it's 'prack.tick.lee'", and I'd repeat back to her, "prack.lit.ee". I couldn't hear the difference. SHE wasn't going to be embarrassed by my ignorance, so she hammered it in until I got it right. Eventually, I mastered correct pronunciation and her world was restored.
Fast forward 30-something years and I've done it again, just like before, completely oblivious.
When an object that's supposed to be level isn't, I call it "wop-sided"; my kids heard me say this the other day and corrected me, "M-o-m, it's LOP-sided" and I just figured it was a tangle of the tongue (but not before calling my sister to confirm how SHE said it. She sided with my kids. Traitor. Definitely today').
Just now, forgetting that whole conversation, I said it again.
I'm making a chocolate layer cake with mmmmm-buttercream icing for my daughter's SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY (Aghhhh! SHE WAS BORN FIVE MINUTES AGO!!!) and I want it to be beautiful and delicious and perfect…
…but, just like my inability to draw a straight line, I cannot make level cake layers. I even started shaving off "bumps" with a serial-killer knife, but let's just say this about that: ever try to straighten bangs after you saved money by trimming them yourself, and you keep having to go back and forth to get it straight, and eventually they're sticking out like a pair of oh-so-pathetic-buck-teeth and you might just need to bring hats back into vogue?
I wasn't doin' the layers any favors.
We're throwing Rachel a surprise party in a few hours (note to self: keep her off the computer til tonight), and in case she's suspicious, I admitted I was making the cake for her (how can I hide it when she's here?). To make sure it exceeded any expectation she might have for it, I prepared her by telling her it was kinda wop-sided.
She said, "Bless your heart, Mom," which, in case you don't know is the Southern, polite way to preface an insult, "…you said it again. You really DON'T know the right word, do you?" Then, to sprinkle a little salt in the wound, she added sympathetically, "That's okay, if you say it fast enough, people probably don't even know you're saying it wrong."
Quite the wordsmith I am, no?
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I know exactly what you are talking about. I’m sure I do it, but nobody has told me. My daughter always said am-blee-ance instead of ambulance and my mother always said alblum instead of album.
Your daughter is sweet – ‘if you say it fast enough’ – bless your heart!
Yep, there are words that I say wrong. I think it comes with living in the South sometimes too. I’m sure I’m going to be hearing this in coming years, too!
BTW, happy birthing day to you!
I love this! And no, you’re not the only one. I find that I do this with many words I’ve read, but not heard spoken. When I first went back to work as a counselor, I pronounced Asperger’s with the soft “g”. I knew what the term meant from reading blogs, but had never heard it spoken!
I was also convinced for about a year that “tinge” was not a word.
You’re not alone, my dear. And you’re so fortunate to have polite Southern children;))))
Hey, Robin! I had a good time chattin’ it up with the bloggers Tuesday while listening to Big Mama on blogradio. The last thing I saw before I HAD to leave the house was your comment asking if I’m in Memphis. My apologies for not responding then, and I’ve been looking for your blog this week. LOVE it!
Yes, we’re in Memphis. Eating BBQ and trying not to fall into the Big Muddy. It’s Elvis Week, too, so we’re doing a lot of, um, people watching.
I’m looking forward to reading more.
Haha, how about putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle? I have always said weekEND, which is apparently the British pronunciation. Yeah, I catch a lot of flack for that one, but can’t seem to correct it!
I’m impressed that you have time to blog, make a cake, and throw a party all in one day… wopsided is forgiven! But, you know, it IS lopsided. Sorry.
I’m impressed that you have time to blog, make a cake, and throw a party all in one day… wopsided is forgiven! But, you know, it IS lopsided. Sorry.
PS – one of my family members pronounces the “h” in “white,” which is really weird. And she says it a lot.
I pronounce EVERYTHING correctly. *smirk* However, my husband and his entire family say “across-t” for across and also “am-bu-lamps” for ambulance. It sends shivers down my spine!
I tried to order a sandwich with asiago cheese on it once. I called it “ah-sa-gio” and was politely corrected by my friend, “It’s ah-shi-ago.” At which point I gleefully donned my hick persona and squealed, “Doncha mean ASIA-GO cheese?” 😉
My husbad says “window seal” instead of “windowsill,” “forfoot” instead of “forfeit,” and “motorsickle” rather than “motorcycle.”
I’ve learned to smile as I grate my teeth.
I am physically incapable of saying cinnamon (and I know I am spelling it wrong too probably). I say “Sim-a-nim” or “Sim-a-nin” (the second is when I REALLY try to say it correctly.
I, also, prefer wopsided as the word and will use that pronounciation from now on if you are OK with that. 🙂
My husband says “sal-i-brate” instead of celebrate. It sounds like he’s trying to say “salivate”.
And my hubby always makes fun of the way I say toilet. I say “toe-let”.
My weird word is the same as the 1st comment! I know you are supposed to say am.bu.lance but I always still say am-blee-ance. Brains are weird.
Wow that’s funny! My mom says Librey for library and eyebriars for eyebrows. My sister’s x says mawking bird for mockingbird and my grandmother says marking bird! It’s a wonder I pronounce anything right!! I think wopsided is perfectly ok–they know what it means!–Bless your little heart–from alabama.
Well… no. I don’t pronounce words wrong. Once, at age ten, I read cupboard and it was cup board in my head. But my mom fixed that and I no longer make mistakes in that regard. Sorry.
My HUSBAND, however, could join your club. He and his mother both pronounce deaf as “death.” And he will list something “Pacifically” wrong with them. It drives me insane.
I’m a good speller, too.
I don’t think there are any words I mispronounce, but dang, now you have me all paranoid. I just don’t know!
I always said things were kitty-corner from each other. Everyone else says katty-corner.
Kitty-corner sounds better.
As far as I’m concerned, I say everything correctly! 😉 I do have to say chrysanthemum slowly or it comes out all tongue twisty.
You went to middle school? I went to junior high. When I say “junior high”, my girls always correct me. “It’s “middle school”!
thankfully most of the time I only “said” these in my head as I was reading them- but I used to read (say) an-hil-a-tor for annihilator and then peck-u-lur for peculiar. Thank goodness I never said them outloud. Somehow when reading outloud those words never came up! Whew!!! Bless my heart!
That’s so funny! I am continually saying something I shouldn’t say, according to my 16 year-old daughter. Oh well.
One thing we did that was really cool for her birthday this year was get a basket and fill it with 16 of her favorite things. (16 packs of gum, 16 small bags of hot cheetos, 16 energy drinks, etc.) It was a huge hit, and she asked me the other day if we could do it every year. I’m thinking, no. Or atleast maybe 17 things, not 17 of each thing. We even did a sheet with “16 reasons why we love (name)”. I forced her brothers to participate, and she loved it. (I even did it on scrapbook paper so it would fit right into her scrapbook.)
My husband and I laughed and joked about a woman who used to say her head “thobbed” when she had a bad headache. We laughed and joked about it so much, that is snuck it’s way into our vocabulary while we weren’t looking. Now our heads “thob” instead of “throb.”
And, is FLUStrated really a word? I hear all kinds of people say that. I thought it was FRUStrated.
The other word that always catches my ear is JEW-EL-RY. Some say JEW-RY, some say JER-LY, some say JEWL-RY. I guess that’s why they started calling it BLING.
I don’t do this but my husband says Nu-cu-lar instead of nu-clee-ar and it makes me nuts. I do like wop-sided, though, and I may steal it.
Not me, myself, personally, but MY sister, much to my glee, pronounces things wrong with semi-frequency. She pronounced “Massachusetts” as “Mass-a-TOO-setts” until I corrected her, but she still couldn’t hear that she was saying it wrong! My own mother pronounces “poem” as “POIM” and it DRIVES ME CRAZY. She thinks I’m the weird one. Hmph.
Well, I don’t know if it is WRONG, but people say I am saying the word Bagel incorrectly. They don’t even know what I am saying. They SAY I am saying Baaa-Gull not Bay gull. Like a sheep. Baaaa. Bagle. I don’t know. I think I say it write. It sounds the right way to my ears. I really can’t hear myself saying it wrong. But, the kicker is that I don’t always say it wrong.
LOL! I’m usually the one doing the correcting. 😛 The one that really bugs me is realtor. A lot of people down here in Texas like to say real-it-er instead of real-ter. I have never understood the need to turn a two syllable word into a three syllable word. Unless of course it’s due to a southern drawl– ree-uhl-ter would totally be understandable. 😛
snort…I’m glad I popped in today and saw this (ok..saw the other one that directed me here!) too funny. I had a horrible time learning how to say massachusetts (machasusetts, thank you very much) but I kniew I was saying it wrong-I just could. not. say. it. right. Hope the party was a blast!
Jenni! I was reading through the comments getting ready to post mine about “bagel” and you took the words right out of my mouth. I just try to avoid it altogether because every time my husband has to have a practice session with me and it does NO good because I do NOT hear a difference. BAYgull.
I don’t know if there is anything I pronounce wrong, but my hubby has a few. The one that drives me nuts is “experiment.” He pronounces it ex-peer-a-ment. Ack! If they wanted a long “eee” sound they would have put 2 “e’s” there!
Goodness. I should probably not even jump into the fray. I have peeves galore when it comes to mispronunciation, as well as misuse, non-words, etc.
Critic? Editor? Particular? Any or all of the above at times. But God keeps me humble. He lets me fall off my high horse fairly often. Ha! Ha! Ha! 😀
Why is it that misuse, misspelling, mispronounciation, etc. can cause such a fracas, like fingernails on a chalkboard? Let me tell you — I GET CRAZY WHEN I HEAR THEM! Please note: I beg to be corrected because I don’t want to say these things: “alls I know”; “glockamolee” (for guacamole); “supposably”; “ekcetera”; “nuculer”; “alblum”; “Frisco” for San Francisco (the don’t like it, either). And the word wars are waged over: O-F-T-E-N. Is it “off-en” or “off-ten”? Then there are the misuses of then and than; your and you’re; there, they’re, and their. Please, please, “should’ve” is the contraction for “should have”, NOT “should of”!
I can see it now: the blogosphere is going to be burning up with posts about pet peeves! Now I’d better check spelling before hitting the post button.
I say, “well, bless your heart,” just all the time! 🙂
Ooo, wait! I thought of another one! My hubby and ALL his brothers say “Mairuhcul”, instead of “Meeracle” (miracle). It drives my sister and I NUTS!!
Okay, this is so embarassing but, when I was little, my parents had me saying Vi (long I) eena sausages instead of Vi (sounds like a long e) enna sausages. So terrible to have one of your friends ask you what you’re talking about, and then they realize that you’re just some wannabe who is really a country bumpkin trying to say Vienna. I mean, I could read. It’s spelled like the city, which I pronounced correctly when I saw it, so why did I say Vi-eena?!! WEll, thank God in my adulthood, in adult conversations, I had mastered and retained the correct pronunciation and didn’t have to be embarassed anymore. Is that why I’m such a word freak now? Is that why I torture my children in English class? Is that why I tell them that they’re butchering the English language and it cries for mercy when they mis-pronounce a word? Hmmm…
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OK you always crack me up! And reading these comments made me giggle all the way through!! All through reading I was thinking… umm, no I don’t think I do!! On purpose, my sister and I will say silly things like.. “let’s have a salatt for dinner” (instead of a salad) just to be funny… or say “cousintt” or acrosst” but we do know people who do speak that way so that’s kinda mean.. we only say those things to each other though.. never in front of the person. *blushes*
But now, after reading through.. I know I pronounce jewelry wrong. I say it “jewel-er- ee” and I know that’s just laziness. And I’m not from the south 😉 New Yawk baby. And I also have the realtor thing going on.. Pure lazy tongue, I tell ya. Ree-lah- tor.. *blushing again*
fun post!!!! 🙂
I’m sure I pronounce many more wrong, but the one that I’m really aware of is sword – I have pronounced the w since I was little and if I don’t actually think about it, I still do.
My teenagers laugh at me when I ask them if a boy and a girl are “going together” (from when we were kids and “going steady” got shortened to “going together”). They roll their eyes and very patiently (not) say, “It’s “going out” now Mom. Please try to catch up!” I say if they aren’t actually going somewhere together they aren’t “going out.”
Of course, I now have things to tease them about. They are both avid readers and have read the word Yosemite many times but had never heard it pronounced until recently. My 16 yo says “Yo-sah-mite” and my 14 yo says “Yose-mite.” In their defense, English is really hard to pronounce from the written version!
That’s too funny! When my oldest daughter was little and it was foggy in the morning, we always said, “It’s froggy outside!” Well, we never thought anything of it until she came home from school one day, after getting into an argument with another girl, and found out that she was, indeed, saying it wrong! I don’t think she’s ever forgiven us for that!
I don’t know if there are words I don’t say correctly. No one has corrected me on them if I do. I wanted to comment to say you are right on about “Bless your heart” in the South. That phrase is sure to be followed by some insult or criticism, but it is okay to say it because the person said “Bless your heart” first. Funny.
Bit late on this one, but I once argued that things had to go on the laundry “vench”, and that it was so a word and the kitchen had benches but the laundry had a vench.
OMG!! Here I sit looking for a “proper pronunciation” for the word “Poem”..as my OWN Mother pronounces it “poim” WHY?? Did that generation do that to them?? All the above said drives me crazy!!!
Also “relator” instead of “realtor”.