There are times I’ll hear a song I’ve heard a million times before and suddenly realize I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics every single time.
It doesn’t bother me that much because my version usually makes more sense anyway, but this means that when I hear someone else say them “correctly,” I’m just as confused as when I found out John Fogerty was singing “Put me in, Coach” and not “Put me in a coma” in his song, “Centerfield.”
At any rate, things always sound better in my head—including a bunch of regular words and phrases I assign a certain phonetic pronunciation to that no one else has a clue about.
In other words, I nail 90s rap songs and pronounce “Worcestershire sauce” perfectly in my head every single time.
But there are some words that I know how to say correctly—the “real” correct and not the “Abby” correct—that I still occasionally choose to say somewhat phonetically from time to time, simply because it’s more fun.
Most of them are foreign. This means I sound fancy AND well-traveled in my own head when, for example, I talk about:
Tar-jay (Target), burr-rettes (berets), Vide-ul Sass-in (Vidal Sassoon) shampoo, tore-tillahs (tortillas), whores de-vores (hors d’oeuvres), a kayfe (café), par-fits (parfaits), Chee-waa-waa or Chee-wah (Chihuahua) or la-zag-na (lasagna.)
Why am I telling you about a bunch of words that I say wrong because I’m easily amused? Good question, and I probably wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for an experience I had recently while at Tar-jay.
Follow along now, but don’t throw anything in the cart that’s not on the list.
So I was checking out at Tar-jay and told the cashier—“Stacey,” according to her name tag— that yes, Stacey, I did find everything I was looking for along with three dozen other things I never knew I needed.
Because I said this out loud and know how to read, I was confident that her name was actually Stacey. However, she quickly informed me that, “It’s pronounced ‘C’, like in ‘cantaloupe.’ The s, t, a and y are all kind of silent. It’s easier that way!”
For cripe’s sake.
To preserve my own sanity and what little faith I had left in the human race, I had to believe that she thought that sounded better in her head. And while I probably should have thanked her for giving me something to blog about, I think you know me better than that.
So instead I told her, “That’s so funny! If you replace the s, t, c and e in your name, but add in two b’s, you have my name! The a, b’s and y are all silent though. It’s easier that way.”
Was that mean? Possibly, but she gave me a giggle along with my receipt so I doubt that much damage was done.
And after all, you know what they say: “S’est lah vye!”
Or to get technical: “C’est la vie” with a “c,” like in “cantaloupe.”
Put me in a coma.
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