I am in a grumpy mood today, which is one of the hallmarks of gluten poisoning. I ate entirely too much wheat this week, culminating in a fireball of irritability. When I am this supercharged from the gluten, it doesn’t take a big thing to set me off, either. It might just be something as simple as the way someone pronounces something.
For example, right now I am listening to some guys who keep pronouncing dulce de leche as DULL-chay de LAY-chee instead of DOOL-say de LAY-chay. Okay, fine, so they aren’t native Spanish speakers. Great. But they work in the food industry, and this is something they make, and they keep speaking about it as though they are the great authorities on the subject, but how authentic can it be if they can’t even say it right? Damn it.
There’s a guy that does a voiceover for some energy drink thing on television who similarly butchers the word guaraná. He pronounces it something like gur-AH-nuh (as though it rhymes with piranha) when it should be gwar-uh-NAH. And don’t even get me started on chipotle. The worst pronunciation I’ve ever heard of this word was an Irish fellow who says it chih-PUH-tuhl. Good lord. I cringe just thinking of it.
If we insist on stealing words from other languages – and we do insist, because it makes our language fantastically rich – can’t we at least come close to saying them correctly? Or would that make it too easy for everybody around the world to understand each other, leading to the formation of a committee to build a tower so immense that it would have its top in the heavens?
It would be just like the last time, which led God to confuse the peoples’ languages and scatter them throughout the earth.
And this right on the heels of the Great Flood.
Talk about irritable.