Friday, May 11, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving

For those of you unfamiliar with Cajun Country, things here don't exactly work like they do in other places. Street names are in French, directions are given by landmarks and words are not pronounced like they look.

In fact, I get into more debates about pronunciation than I do about anything else. Why it matters so much to me is beyond me, but I debate anyway because:
  1.  It's in my nature (Mom says I would have made a great attorney) and 
  2.  What else do I really have to do on a day-to-day basis? Aside from a daily load of laundry and a never-ending sink full of dishes.
 I am constantly fascinated (and a wee bit perplexed) by the way some words around here are pronounced.

 See if you can pronounce these words. I've given you a hint about their origin to help you.
  • Delcambre (a city) This was by far the biggest mind-bender for me. Pronunciation: Dell-come. Seriously.
  • Schlumberger (a company) Not exactly an offense to the English language but not exactly how I have heard it pronounced all my life either. Pronunciation: Sh-lumber-jay. Maybe I'm wrong (that even hurts to type, HA!) but I have always heard it pronounced Sh-lum-burger.
  • Retif (a company) Again, not offensive, but odd. Pronunciation: Reh-tiff.
  • Domingue (a company) I have actually had a spirited debate with CajunGuy about this one. And by spirited debate I mean an epic argument over what is "correct". We're still working out the kinks of our new marriage. What can I say? Pronunciation: Dough-main-guh. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who pronounces it Dough-mean-gay.)
  • Iowa (a city) Yes, it's also a state. But it is not pronounced the way you think. Pronunciation: Eye-oh-way.

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