Wednesday, April 18, 2012

HOW do you pronounce it?!

I just spent a couple of hours organizing my scrapbook supplies. It's what one does before getting started on the meaningful part of scrapbooking. I still have some sorting to do on various piles of photos and memorabilia but that can wait.

The thing is this: I am a (lazy) perfectionist. I don't like to start something unless I am perfectly ready. And since I'm pretty much NEVER "perfectly ready" it's easy to put off starting a project. I think it's time to get over this. When I complete a project I am almost always happy with the results. (Maybe I'm just happy that I COMPLETED something!)

For example, I have a big box of various things related to me and my husband such as cards included with flowers or candy, all our business cards over the years, our old driver's licenses, pictures of our cars, mini-golf score cards, and so on. None of this stuff is truly sortable by date/chronology, as my perfectionist soul would normally want.

I have decided to let go of that silly plan. Instead I have grouped like with like and I'm going with that. And it means I will put together an album of mementos relating to my husband and me. And to quote Martha Stewart, that's a good thing!

In another example, I am totally behind on putting together my son's school and scout albums but the honest truth is, he just doesn't give a crap right now whether he has memory albums or not. So why should I worry about it? I can pick it up again some other time. Or not.

See, I'm letting go!

Speaking of my teen sluggard, I found this and it made me laugh:
If only he had a calendar for me to write this on!

On a slightly more interesting topic, I read a LOT. So I have a pretty big vocabulary as a result. What I don't always have is a good grasp on how certain words are pronounced! I keep a dictionary by my bed so I am always looking things up but here are a few that slipped by...

Yosemite - As a Louisiana girl I can pronounce all sorts of interesting place names like New Orleans, Tchoupitoulas Street, Thibodaux, Metairie, Lake Pontchartrain, Belle Chasse, Biloxi and Chalmette. But I only saw "Yosemite" in Warner Brothers cartoons featuring Yosemite Sam. I must have missed it when they said his name because I thought this was pronounced as 2 syllables: YOSS-mite. I just thank my lucky stars I never had the opportunity to say this OUT LOUD! No doubt I heard the proper pronunciation once I moved to California. (Should be: yo-SEM-it-ee)

Continuum - Shouldn't this be pronounced like vacuum?! Even so, the "only-in-my-head" pronunciation was con-ti-NOO-um. I may actually have learned this from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" thanks to the character Q and the Q Continuum. So see? Star Trek is EDUCATIONAL! Luckily, this, like most of these examples following, is not a word that comes up in casual conversation! (Should be: con-TIN-you-um)

Superfluous - Okay, maybe I do use this one in casual conversation sometimes, but I know it's not super-FLU-us. Although CPA Boy and I say it that way because it's funny to us. (Should be: soo-PER-flu-us)

Detritus - I heard Gil Grissom say this on CSI years ago and once again thanked my lucky stars that this is not a word on my conversational radar. I thought it was DEH-tri-tus rather than the correct de-TRY-tus.

Paradigm - This is an overused word. In any case I never had any opportunity to speak it out loud. When I read it in an article I think I just assigned it the pronunciation PAR-uh-dig-um because then I knew how to spell it. (Should be: PAR-a-dime)

Versace - NO reason for me to know this because I will never buy this brand (it's too expensive and I'm too cheap) and the only place I saw this was in magazine ads. I learned how to pronounce it from that paragon of learning, Nomi Malone as portrayed by Elizabeth Berkley in "Showgirls" (egad, that's an awful movie!). Her character is complimented on her outfit and she says, "Thanks, it's Ver-sase." (Two syllables, not the correct 3) The other characters make fun of her stupidity and I'm thinking, That's how *I* thought it was pronounced! Oh well, I'm Greek, not Italian; how was I supposed to know?! And then the poor designer was murdered and it was on the news so everyone should know how to say it now. (Should be: Ver-SAH-chee or -chay?)

Peridot - This is a yellowish-green gemstone so I never was interested in it (rubies, diamonds and amethysts for me!) but I assumed it was called per-uh-dot. Apparently it can be pronounced that way but the usual is per-uh-dough.

Chalcedony - CHALL-suh-dough-knee, anyone? No? I heard this on QVC just last month. It's another stone used in jewelry that's actually called kal-SAID-uh-knee.

I know there are more words for this list but that's all I've got for now. Please share if you have any words of your own to add!


  1. WOW. I mentally pronounce "detritus" the same way you used to -- I couldn't believe what you were saying was correct! But three (yes, I had to check more than one) online dictionaries confirmed it.

    I now hate that word.

    But as for "peridot," it's my birthstone so I've been hearing that word for 49+ years, and I have literally NEVER heard anyone say PAIR-uh-dough.

    My words: triumvirate (a Betsy-Tacy word) -- is it try-UM-vur-it or tree-um-VEER-it or something else? And patina: PAT-in-uh or puh-TEEN-uh? my junior year, I had a sense of desperation. Was I always going to feel this need to document my life? It seemed to take so much TIME! And then, halfway through senior year, the urge suddenly disappeared! I was free! And my senior year scrapbook remains half-finished, items stuck between the pages, all these years later. I only do books now for big life events - wedding, trip to Europe, that kind of thing.

    So part of me wishes that you could also put the books down, get out of your office, and LIVE your life rather than obsessively document it . . . and part of me realizes that this brings you joy; it's what you want to spend your time doing. There's nothing "out there" that would be more fun for you.

    xxx your BF

  2. Eek, got interrupted, so last comment ended somewhat abruptly. ANYWAY! Many props to you for realizing that your boy's Memory Book is not #1 on his Hit Parade right now -- and if it's not going to be a joyful exercise for YOU, then there is *absolutely* no point in doing it.

    I like your idea of grouping like things together, but I have to laugh: mini golf score cards? Really? You're going to want to look at those again??? "Look, honey, here's the time I beat you by four strokes!" "Ooooh, I remember that day! Good times. Where's the one where I beat you by seven strokes? Hmm??"

    But if it makes you happy, I'm not here to judge.

    Well, I'm not here to judge loudly. :)