Thursday, April 19, 2018

Pedantry

Here’s what I don’t understand. 90% of the world does not pronounce “Canada” the way that I do, a resident of Canada. And we’re fine with that. Why exactly should I alter the fifty year Canadian habit of pronouncing “Kuh-TAR” because that isn’t the way that people of Qatar pronounce it? I don’t pronounce “Russia” the way that Russians pronounce the name of their country. I don’t pronounce “Germany” the way that Germans pronounce the name of their country. And the same goes for France, Spain, China and most of the world.

So in reality, this is all just pedantic crap. Which, incidentally, Fowler’s Modern English Usage dictionary also argues.

Every couple of years, some group of pedants decide among themselves, usually because they've spent years serving in the foreign service of a foreign country, where their job is to suck up to foreigners, that we all have to change the way we pronounce some country, fruit, locally worshipped god or other such thing, out of "respect" for people who really don't give a damn themselves how we pronounce whatever, in our tongue.

Start with this.  Japan has no letter "J" ... tell me the movement that is ongoing right now telling us to correct the pronunciation of that country.

Drives me crazy.

I will leave you this excellent point by the immortal Stephen Fry.


2 comments:

Rob Schwarz said...

So how do you pronounce Canada?

Alexis Smolensk said...

With my tongue, teeth and lips. How do you speak words?