Driving in to work today, a commercial came on for some fast food joint advertising it’s latest breakfast deal…you know- the usual “Our garbage is cheaper than the other guy’s garbage, and someone once said our coffee was good, so you should totally eat here first thing in the morning!”
As it droned on in a manner which was far too peppy for my taste, I caught something. The announcer said the word “Croissant.”
Except, he pronounced it the ‘correct’ way, as the French do: (Phonetic spelling attempt ahead) “Kwah-Sau” (I tried to copy/paste the phonetic pronunciation from Dictionary.com, but the accent and language symbols didn’t translate. Bear with me.)
It didn’t sound right to me. The more I thought about it, I realized that if you aren’t naturally prone to certain accents, there are a few words which are derived from the parent language of said accent which you ought not to try to say the correct way, lest you sound silly.
Certain words, in order to pronounce them correctly- require the finesse of a perfect accent, Croissant, Mozzarella, Prosciutto– for example, necessitate tongue rolls, or other ‘word sounds’ that the American version of English simply doesn’t use, and when we TRY to use them, it sounds just clumsy and awful.
I do realize, to the rest of the world that this could be seen as yet another ‘lazy American’ way of doing things, but I see it as trying to be a bit more respectful by not making a foul attempt to replicate certain accents and languages when I need to say a word.
Perhaps I’m reading far too much into it, but I literally feel silly trying to correctly pronounce some words that derive from other languages- not because I think the language itself is silly, but because I feel like I’m murdering it.
Folks, you’ve gotten a glimpse of what goes on inside of AD’s head when he’s short on sleep, long on coffee, and has some drive time. I have a habit of musing upon some of the most inane lunacy that the human brain can come up with.
Some people can mold thoughts into ideas, ideas into concepts, and concepts into art through poetry, painting, sculpture…Me? I wonder what the best way to wrongly pronounce food-related words are.
It’s embarrassing really.
“Hey Katie, I haven’t seen you in a while, what have you been up to?”
“Oh, Hi AD, I’d been working on a painting that helps me share my inner turmoil while being pregnant in a high-stress work environment. What have you been doing?”
“Me? Well, I’ve been pondering the very best ways to pronounce various meats and cheeses.”