Pronunciation team-building and ergot in amber

This blog is only read by the most erudite and informed sort of folks who are all up on the Oregon State ergot dinosaur news, ergo we must consider the pronunciation of ergot.

Put me in any conversation group, and I struggle to fight back my pronunciation anxiety. Scarred as I was at an early age over putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable in "trombone", embarrased by ancestors who couldn't say "Bahamas", and rated deficient by library patrons whenever names of composers were required, I need the Epi-pen equivalent of a mispronunciation antidote. Just jab it into my thigh!

Students of the Eleusinian Mysteries seem to disagree whether to say ur-guht or ur-got when discussing a disease of rye and other cereals caused by fungus. Ergot is not part of the ecstasy induced by including Rye Chex in cereal krunch.

Stepping out of my car onto somebody's Valentine chocolate caramel did not fill me with ecstasy, either. In our staff meetings this week, pronunciation did not appear on agendas, but showed up anyway. Smart phones were consulted over the pronunciation of "caramel". Who knew workplace diversity meant including people who say it with three syllables?

Kraft car-mels

And then there's the "pecan" divide! I thought Billy Crystal was the only person who partakes of pee-can pie.

Oak Point peh-cahns
Inclusiveness means just smiling and not drawing knives when coworkers pronounce "Bowie" like David instead of Jim.

I hope the staff will accept me for who I am, the only person on earth who says "caramelled apples" instead of "caramel apples".

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being originally from northern California...we went often to the quaint seaside town of Carmel (pronounced "car mel" with the accent on the "mel").

A treat in the fall for Halloween was a carmel apple (pronounced
"car mul" with the accent on the "car").

I have heard folks say "care ah mel", but have always thought that sounded a bit snootie and pretentious :)