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Things that sound wrong when pronounced right.

 
 
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 05:34 pm
About a year ago they renamed a street by my house Cesar Chavez.

One day I was telling someone where something was and I said: Turn left on SAY-zar CHAH-vess and everyone looked at me like I was crazy.

It seems that the "proper" way to pronounce the name, according to the locals, is SEE-sur shuh-VEZ.

Now, when people say it wrong, it sounds right and when people say it right, it sounds wrong.

At first I thought maybe it was just an attempt to Americanize the name but, really, "SEEsur shuhVEZ" doesn't sound American either so that cant be it.

How does an incorrect pronunciation become correct?

Any ideas?

Can you think of other words/names where the incorrect pronunciation has become accepted?
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Type: Question • Score: 32 • Views: 23,373 • Replies: 153

 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 05:46 pm
in the last few days i've been thrown by something i've been hearing on the radio and tv news

about three times i've heard a news report about a "diplomatic row", now i've always pronounced it (and was sure i've heard it pronounced) to rhyme with how, the news readers are pronouncing it to rhyme with flow

djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 05:48 pm
@boomerang,
i would pronounce the street SEE-zar CHAH-vez
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 05:48 pm
@boomerang,
Perhaps because it is not American? It is Mexican.
MonaLeeza
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 06:23 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

in the last few days i've been thrown by something i've been hearing on the radio and tv news

about three times i've heard a news report about a "diplomatic row", now i've always pronounced it (and was sure i've heard it pronounced) to rhyme with how, the news readers are pronouncing it to rhyme with flow



I can understand with foreign words that there might be differing opinions - but this one is just plain incorrect.... unless you're talking about the ambassador going out in his dinghy. This is on a par with Jessica Mauboy pronouncing debut as 'de-butt' at the ARIA awards recently.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 06:24 pm
@djjd62,
Yes! That kind of "row" does rhyme with "how"!

Isn't it strange that it's become wrong?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 06:30 pm
@Intrepid,
That's what I first thought but the way they say it sounds.... I don't know... sort of French.

It makes me remember when my sister had an co-worker, a woman from Mexico, that loved the actor Charlie Sheen. She was always talking about how she loved Sharlee Cheen.

It drove my sister nuts. "She can obviously say "Sh" and "Ch" so why can't she say Charlie Sheen?"

It's kind of like saying SEEsur shuVESS.

It makes me wonder if the mispronunciation is intended; almost a dialect.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 07:21 pm
@MonaLeeza,
"de-butt"? Seriously? That's pretty bad.

If I recall, right after the attack on the WTC, there were a lot of different ways to pronounce al-Quida and Osama bin Laden.

I've heard the country Quatar pronounced so many different ways I'm not sure which is correct.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 07:35 pm
@boomerang,
This us what I grew up hearing, more or less -
Cesar Chavez -
http://translate.google.com/#es|es|%0ACesar%20Chavez
Well, just add Cesar Chavez to the blank space..

Click on listen...

However, the LA Dodger's stadium used to be called SheVess Ravine by sports announcers.

So, I figure there are various usages out there. A lot of Spanish words used as Los Angeles street names, and for other reasons, were routinely massacred by all the folks from Iowa (who arrived around the 1880's), relatively late in settlement.
Not that my pronunciation is all so swell, with my tin ear.


The word I struggle with as an adult is 'debacle'. It's one of those words I learned by reading and guessed wrong. It's de- bahh' - cle, not deb' - a- cle.

On 'row', I have always taken it as sounding like 'hoe' - as embassy buildings tend to appear in major cities in 'rows'.

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 07:36 pm
Port Dalhousie (da lhooozie)

Dalhousie (dal how zee) University


both sound weird after a while
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 07:48 pm
Proper names are always interesting, a couple I've always liked are, McLeod, and Braun.
0 Replies
 
Charlie Girl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 07:52 pm
@boomerang,
In a row of houses it is pronounced like hoe, in argument or fight it is pronounced as in how.

May be in Mexico the S is pronounced C and the C pronounced S. In Germany I think the W is pronounced as V ant he V is pronounced as W.

0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 08:39 pm
@boomerang,
I am reminded of an English comedy program (the name escapes me)

The couples last name was Bucket. Yep, the regular, everyday, plain old bucket. The Mrs. insisted that it was Bookay. This sounded more elegant, in her mind. Smile
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 08:43 pm
@Intrepid,
Keeping Up Appearances


Bouquet Residence. Lady of the house speaking.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 09:05 pm
@ehBeth,
Oh dear Hyacinth, wasn't she great?

http://mysticmedusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/attachment.jpg
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 09:12 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

It makes me remember when my sister had an co-worker, a woman from Mexico, that loved the actor Charlie Sheen. She was always talking about how she loved Sharlee Cheen.

It drove my sister nuts. "She can obviously say "Sh" and "Ch" so why can't she say Charlie Sheen?"



There is no "Sh" in Spanish. It's all "chs"...
... but all Mexicans can pronounce the "sh", since that's how the "x" sounds in some Náhuatl words, such as Xoloizcuintle.
Plus, in Northwestern Mexico they sometimes pronounce the "ch" as "sh".

Now, if you really want to pronounce the name of the street in Spanish it is NOT "See-sar", but "Sehsar", but honestly I think the great Mexican-American activist's name should be pronounced in the US in English, like your neighbors do. After all, he's an American icon.

maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 09:34 pm
@fbaezer,
Quote:
honestly I think the great Mexican-American activist's name should be pronounced in the US in English, like your neighbors do. After all, he's an American icon.


No.

César Chávez was a Mexican-American icon. He referred to himself as a Mexican-American. His slogan was "Si se puede". Obviously, his name should be pronounced as he pronounced it, which was the same way Mexicans would pronounce it.

There is a persistent idea that you can't be both Hispanic and American. It is wrong, and it is against what César Chávez himself stood for.

Quote:
“El preservar nuestra propia cultura
no requiere el desprecio o la falta de respeto
hacia otras culturas.”


- César Chávez
fbaezer
 
  4  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 09:37 pm
@maxdancona,
Good point, maxdancona. I stand corrected.

I thought, "well, he's NOT a Mexican icon", and stopped thinking.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 10:28 pm
Well, a few examples spring to mind:

I've heard announcers say, "deTAILS at 11:00" when I've always said "DEtails"...

They mispronounce a town in BC - they call it "AbbotsFORD" when it's pronounced "AbbotsFERD". Annoys the hell out of me even though I've never lived there.

In Winnipeg, Manitoba, "Portage" is pronounced 'portuj" (as in porridge) when it should be "Port-AJ" as in French... and in Newfoundland, they say "CABBIT" instead of "CaBOT" (again French, ca-BO).

And of course there's always the damn Brits who screw everything up... I mean, PRIvacy (short i)...? VITamin (short i's) ? Kerazy.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 10:46 pm
@Mame,
Too funny. I always thought the same but when I was living in BC, there was a big push to get people to say AbbotsfOrd. There were magazine articles and bits on the nightly news, but every time I heard it on the radio, it still made me cringe. It's just not natural.
0 Replies
 
 

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