Nov 28, 2009

Parlay-voo frawn-say, anyone?

I have this odd habit of projecting a French pronunciation onto words I've never heard before. It's not that they're ACTUALLY French ... it's just that if I haven't heard a word before but it COULD be pronounced in French, that's how I say it in my head.

Two that come to mind are:

1) Caillat: As in Colbie Caillat, the singer. I believe she pronounces it "Call-ay," but until I heard a DJ say it for the first time, I assumed that it was correctly pronounced "Ky-yaw." Which really sounds more like the utterance you make simultaneously with a karate chop, but whatever.

2) Henredon: There's a furniture maker of this name, and the four or five times that I've seen it in print in my life, I've always said it in my head as "Awn-rih-daw" ... well, maybe not exactly like that, but it's hard for me to get the phonetic spelling down pat on the old blawg. I STILL don't know how to pronounce it, but I'm relatively sure that it's not the way I say it in my head.

So given this idiosyncrasy of mine, you might think I'm somebody who orders "kwuh-sawn" at the bakery or "chicken cor-daw bluh" at a restaurant, but I don't. Words that ARE French apparently don't hold the same allure for me as words that just LOOK French.

I think I go through this weird thought process because I took a combined eight years of French in high school and college. I don't know. I wish I could stop. It's like I'm using up brain muscle on NOTHING.


jennhenders said...


Ha,ha! I love this. And I think Henredon is pronounced, "Henry Don" just like a guy's name.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Jenn, Thanks for the Henry Don information! Now I know. :)

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