Watch what you say around little ears

Learned a new word a while back from “My Level of Awareness” – lagniappe. I’d seen it before in writing, and had loosely translated it (using context clues) correctly as meaning – “a little something extra.”  But I’d never sent the pronunciation before.  I had it all wrong – I had it as lang-YAP, when it is actually LAN-yop.


Similarly, I heard ouvre pronounced for the first time on NPR. My pronunciation – ooo-vruh.  Theirs – well – MUCH more French – like “uhoov” with some gargling at the end.


This has happened to me many times throughout my life (don’t ask me about omnipotent).  I am an avid and speedy reader – as in I still managed to read at least a novel a week in the first month after pregnancy, and am back up to a novel every 1-2 days now that WCB is more self-entertaining.  I encounter words in my reading on a regular basis that I have never heard – some of these so often that they have entered my spoken vocabulary – with whatever pronunciation I had worked out at first hurried glance.  You can imagine the hilarity and embarrassment when someone who KNOWS the word hears me say it, well, all wrong.


I know I have a rich vocabulary.  WCB’s dads do too.  They also have had this pronunciation issue – Daddy N especially since he likes to read books with lots of foreign words.  We already use our advanced vocabulary around WCB – all the time.  It probably behooves us to take a moment and check our pronunciation of difficult, strange or suspect words.  As good parents, we don’t want to perpetuate this issue with WCB, now do we?


So – I vow to make a note and look up the pronunciation of at least one suspect word a week.


In my spare time.


Really. I mean it.


(WCB – you are doomed to repeat the vocabulary mistakes of your parents…sigh.)


2 Responses to “Watch what you say around little ears”

  1. jerusha kilgore Says:

    You probably weren’t in in K-town Back In The Day.

    You know who Jim Clayton is, right? He used to have a picking-and-grinning TV show at the crack of dawn wherein he hawked his trailers and his cars. He sold Renaults. I will point out to you that it’s pronounced “Re-nawt” or “Re-nalt” here. And it was for Yearsssssssssssssssssssssss.

    Until cable came to town.

    And we got commercials from NYC.

    And they called them “Ray-no” like the French word that it is.

    And I thought that Mistress D’s name rhymed with Gerbil too …..

    so, yeah. I understand.

  2. Lamont Cranston Says:

    You mean it’s not “Der-bill?”


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