I have been bitterly chastised for my mispronunciations & spellings. Most of them, I’m sure are a ‘North American’ result, but there are some that I can’t help thinking ‘maybe it’s just me?’ Please feel free to comment so that the raging debates may continue.
- Adidas, Nike, Puma. Adham recently told me (rather matter-of-fact) that in the UK & in general it is pronounced Ahh-di-DAAHS, not Ahh-DEE-dus. I was pretty adamant that he was wrong. Turns, out I was wrong. The emphasis is on the last syllable. North America what have we been doing all this time!? Our discussion carried over to N-ike or Ni-key? The UK is a staunch believer in the prior, while in fact the correct pronunciation is the latter. I won that round. But then Poo-ma or Pew-ma? We were divided on that, mostly because we are both right depending on which continent you’re on.
- Data. Is it DAY-tah or DAH-tah? I just happened to use the word database (DAH-tah-base) in the office & things got real quiet. “What are you doing? ‘DAH-tah-base?’ We say ‘DAY-tah-base’ over here. Is that how you say it in Canada?” …I…I don’t know. Is it? I’ve never been conscious of saying that word, but now I feel like I have to think about it before I do. I’ve noticed that I switch back & forth between the two pronunciations, depending on the use of the word, which seems a bit odd, even by my standards.
- Okay, so writing-wise I employ the ‘British’ use of the letter ‘u’ in words such as ‘favour,’ ‘colour,’ ‘neighbour.’ I think that’s a pretty standard thing through-out Canada. But, it was recently pointed out to me that I use the American ‘z’ (I say ‘zed’) instead of the British ‘s’ in words such as ‘realize,’ & ‘stabilize.’ I’m honestly questioning whether this was taught in schools growing up or if this was something that I’ve just developed over time. I find it a bit odd, that I’d be utilizing (see? there we go with the ‘z’) both American & British ways of spelling. What were we taught in school? Surely they wouldn’t employ both. You’d think there would be more consistency. Everything I’ve ever known has been a sham!
- How do you eat an apple? Someone once told me I ate apples ‘funny.’ When I mentioned this to a totally different person, they agreed with the first person. When I eat an apple I eat around it in a circle, starting from the top, down to the bottom. I’ll bite into the top, then continue in a clock-wise or anti-clockwise fashion along the top before moving down to the next level. I’m guessing this has nothing to do with country of origin & more to do with me.
Oh ho! You may have noticed I’ve thrown in a cheeky four things! Well spotted. I feel like point 2 falls in line with point 1, being that they’re both dealing with pronunciation. So, you know.