How do you say…?

by: Guy Templeton

May 16, 2013

JudaismI’ve been listening to a guy on a documentary, and I swear he says the word “Judaism” wrong.  I’ve heard all kinds of pronunciations, so I’ll spell them phonetically below.

What's the best pronounciation?

  • Jew-day-ism (sounds like the study of two words: Jew and Day) (53%, 52 Votes)
  • Judah-ism (sounds like that study of Judah) (30%, 29 Votes)
  • Judy-ism (sounds like the study of Judy) (14%, 14 Votes)
  • none of the above (I'll specify below) (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 98

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For that matter, I think people can’t say “coupon” correct half the time.

coupon

Coupon: Is it coo-pon, or q-pon?

  • Coo-pon (63%, 58 Votes)
  • Q-pon (35%, 32 Votes)
  • none of the above (I'll specify below) (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 92

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Maybe this is a Utah thing, but I hate how some people say “root”.

root

How do you say root?

  • rhymes with flute (96%, 91 Votes)
  • rhymes with look (4%, 4 Votes)
  • none of the above (I'll specify below) (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 95

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What are some other words commonly mispronounced?

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29 Responses to How do you say…?

  1. Hedgehog on May 16, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    He he! Of course, there is a big difference between US pronunciation and British pronunciation, and even then there are variations in Britain.
    Your last example reminded me, in Britain, route usually has the same pronunciation as root (like flute), but I guess the Scots might go for the ‘look’ version of ‘root’, they do for ‘food’. Whereas in other parts of northern Britain ‘look’ (and book) is also like ‘flute’.

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  2. Lisa D on May 16, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Patriarchal pronounced “patri-article,” Relief Society pronounced “Relief Essiety.”

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  3. Hedgehog on May 16, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Melchizedek pronounced Melchezedick always bugs me
    and paradisiacal pronounced paradise-ical

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  4. Jenn on May 16, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Technically, your examples (particularly 2 and 3) aren’t mispronunciations, they’re dialectal differences. Though it makes my northwestern ears cringe, it is no less “correct” to say “ruht” instead of “root”, or “jel” instead of “jail” (another Utah thing). What is “correct” in the english language is far more subjective than your 8th grade english teacher would have you believe. We tend to think Californian english is the golden standard because that’s where much of our national media comes from, but even ebonics operates with a complicated system of grammar that can be “correct” based on intentions and audience.

    Whereas “patriarticle blessing”… well that IS just plain wrong;)

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  5. Nancy Ross on May 16, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Root rhymes with look?

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  6. Paul on May 16, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    I still remember something that happened in my family when I was a boy. My father was reared in the midwest and pronounced the double o in root like look. My mother like flute. We were at a Howard Johnson’s for lunch and my parents discussed their pronunciations in front of the waitress as we all ordered root beer to drink. My grandfather, who was last to order, concluded by saying, “And I’d also like a glass of the controversial beer.” The waitress looked at him for a moment and then said, “I’m sorry, sir. We don’t serve alcohol.”

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  7. Mormon Heretic on May 16, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    I’ve often heard people refer to the “patriotical” blessing, and I wonder if one of the founding fathers gave it….. I believe it was Jimmy Carter that screwed up the nation by talking about nucular weapons (instead of nuclear weapons.)

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  8. anonlds on May 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Jew-day-ism or Judah-ism are both acceptable.

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  9. Duke of Earl Grey on May 16, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Coo-pon and Q-pon are both acceptable.

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  10. BrotherQ on May 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    How about the Utah pronunciation of “mountains”? Here, it comes out “mow-ens” (with the “t” dropped and the “mow” rhyming with “cow”). I moved here, and I notice this a lot.

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  11. From the South on May 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    A friend from Mississippi told me that she was embarrassed when told, as an adult, that she said “bof of us” instead of “both of us” and worked hard to change the habit. When she noticed her sister also saying “bof” she pointed it out, and got the response, “So?”

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  12. Roger on May 16, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    I always get a kick out of congregational renditions in Utah singing “praises to the Lard”.

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  13. Steven B on May 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Back in the 70s my voice and diction professor marked me down for pronouncing February feb-you-ary instead of feb-roo-ary. Nowadays, the former is generally the pronunciation given by professional newscasters in the USA. The preferred pronunciation is changing.

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  14. hawkgrrrl on May 16, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    I am incapable of respecting anyone who says “nuculer” instead of “nuclear.” Sorry George W.

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  15. Douglas on May 16, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    #14 – NOW you’ve gone and done it! You’ve dissed the late Slim Pickens!
    “Well, here it is, boys! Noo-cu-ler combat, toe-to-toe with the Rooskies!”
    May the ghost of “Slim”

    I not only pronounce the “J” term as “J-O-O”…if it’s good enough for Eric Cartman, it’s good enough for me. An improvement over some of the terminology I heard repeatedly growing up…much of it from my Jewish paternal grandmother, who became a Christian much to her parents’ consternation! Due to my neglect, however she still hasn’t had her work done, but my 12 y.o. wants to do her baptism, so we’ll be hooking that up. My dear “Grams” is probably giving Ronald Reagan grief right now; she didn’t care for him when she was a state worker and he was her “boss”!

    I’d say however you pronounce the English version, if you’re trying to learn Hebrew, at least pay attention to how the native speakers do it. I’ve heard enough Italian, French, Russian, German, and Greek mangled in my day. Haven’t those poor people suffered enough w/o having their tongue, which they’ve largely preserved over the centuries, utterly butchered?

    And if your Jewish druggist shows up when you’re having pie, just be cool and offer him a slice…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlk36vgygh4

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  16. Douglas on May 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    I meant to maledict, “May the ghost of Slim Pickens” ride a Mk41 bomb down on your house (ok, it can be a ghost bomb). Judging by the size of those things, they didn’t have to go off to do major damage..just dropping them from 30,000 feet would cause a big CLANG!

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  17. Roger on May 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    What do you do when you hear “heeliocopter” for helicopter?

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  18. MH on May 16, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    There is no Q in coupon, so that can’t possibly be the right pronunciation. It’s not a cue-pon.

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  19. MH on May 17, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    I remember saying li-berry one time, and my 5th grade teacher said there are strawberries and raspberries, but no such thing as a li-berry. I’ve pronounced it library every since.

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  20. hawkgrrrl on May 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    My mother is from the midwest (outside of Chicago) and she says “Q-pon.”

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  21. Hedgehog on May 17, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    One odd word has to be Wednesday. I have never heard anyone say Wed-nes-day. I have heard Wensday, and Wed’nsday (the latter being clearly nearer to Woden’s day than current spelling allows for).
    Place names are always good for a laugh too. My father was once asked for directions to ‘Loogabarooga’ by an Australian. Took a while for him to twig the guy meant Loughborough (pronounced Luffburra).

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  22. Hedgehog on May 17, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    And american expat friends confessed that when first driving along a motorway here, they were on the look out for some new breed of native animal apparently known as a ‘Kweway’. Signs said queues ahead.

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  23. Rockies Gma on May 17, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    My dad is from New England — Boston area — and all words ending in “a” are pronounced with an “r” sound. Hence, he’s from the Boston aree-er. He always called Utah, Utar, and he had an employee named Tara, who was comically known as “Terror”. My mom was from Arkansas, or Arkansawh, and she always called a stream a “crick,” not a “creek”. And Colorado was always called “Colorada”. Thus, Dad always called it “Coloradar”. Ironically, words ending in “r” were pronounced without it; thus, his parents were his “mutha” and “fatha”. We kids were interpreters (interpretas) whenever new people moved into the “wad” or the “word” depending on which parent was speaking. Ahhhh, those were the days…..

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  24. Douglas on May 17, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    My high school history teacher waxed eloquently about her fave President, JFK, and how he dealt with the missile crisis in “Cue-Ber” (she’d recently moved from Massachusetts).

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  25. jmb275 on May 17, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    There may not be a “Q-pon” but there is definitely a “queue-pon.”

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  26. jmb275 on May 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Well Hedgehog, let’s not go down the road of elaborating on the Queen’s English or you’ll have to explain why on earth the hood of a car is a “bonnet” and the trunk a “boot.”

    And even after watching all 19 seasons of Top Gear UK I’m still mystified by the intricate differences between “asphalt,” “pavement,” and “sidewalk.”

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  27. Angela C on May 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    And to add to asphalt and the like, we called it “mecadem” (not sure the spelling) in PA, and in Australia it’s called Bitumen.

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  28. Hedgehog on May 18, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Sidewalk = pavement. Of course, not all pavements are now paved, many are covered in asphalt = bitumen = tarmac = Macadam. Tarmac is the commonly used term for that covering here, but it’s still a pavement. I think we’re wandering from pronunciation though. Sorry Jeff!

    On Queen’s English as it relates to pronunciation, that would be ‘received pronunciation’, known as RP. Used to be required for all good BBC announcers/ presenters. As a child I grew up listening to BBC talk radio, and was consequently teased frequently for my ‘posh’ accent, which wasn’t the local accent. These days regional accents are accepted as the norm on the BBC, so there are a wide variety of pronunciations heard. Still, there are some accents that tend to be looked down on, by sections of the population.

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  29. Douglas on May 18, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Or the health-conscious Limey doesn’t neglect to take his daily “vit(like bit)-men’s”. Or he hastens to meet his “shed-u-ell”. Or when he’s landing a Cessna onto a grassy strip he’s hoping not to hit a chuckhole lest the plane go “arse over teakettle”

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