Monday, August 27, 2007

Half-Fast Pronunciation Guide

I was recently fitted for new running shoes at the Boulder Running Company in Boulder, CO. The gentlemen that was helping me seemed very knowledgeable until he recommended that I try on a pair of the latest shoes by Saucony. The problem wasn't that he recommended them, the problem was that he pronounced it saw-kah-nee, when everyone knows that Saucony is pronounced saw-so-nee. We ended up picking out a pair of the Mizuno Wave Alchemy shoes as you may remember from this post. I couldn't help but shake my head in wonderment that a running shoe store could employ someone who was supposed to know what he was talking about and then not tell him how to pronounce the various brand names. What a moron.

Then I got home and opened up my issue of Runner's World magazine only to find the ad that you see pictured to the right. Turns out, I'm the moron. I can't believe that I've been mispronouncing this my whole life, it was just like when I found out that The Weather Girls weren't singing "Israeli Men! Hallelujah, Israeli Men!" but were actually saying that it was raining men. Or like the time when I found out that the Beatles were singing about a woman who had a ticket to ride, instead of "she's got a chicken to ride." How cool would it be if you had a chicken to ride or if The Weather Girls had a thing for Israeli men? And since we're discussing misheard lyrics, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my wife singing "God forbid you ever had to walk in my linen shoes" by Everlast instead of "walk a mile in his shoes."

On the subject of mispronouncing things, let's go over some other commonly mispronounced words. Triathlon is pronounced try-ath-lon, not try-ath-a-lon, athlete is pronounced ath-leet, not ath-a-leet, and nuclear is noo-klee-ur, not noo-kyu-lur. Please try not to sound as ignorant as I do.


  1. Who could forget the Go-Go's

    "Alex the Seal"

    Our lips our sealed

  2. Dude! All this time I thought it was saw-CONE-nee. I'm also a moron.

    My favorite misheard lyrics:
    You're a candle in the window on a corn-dog's winters night

    Real lyrics:
    ...on a cold, dark winters night


  3. I had a similar ah-ha moment about how to pronounce Saucony when I saw that ad. When I shared this with DH he told me that he had never even heard of that brand of shoes. LOL

  4. Next you're going to tell me Nike has more than one syllable.

  5. Personally I think it’s a genetic defect aggravated by environment. My mother went to the hair saloon to get a cut and shamepoo, we had lape-ells on our collars too! Living next to a german speaking neighbor didn’t help my scheplling of words much either. I always pronuced it sock-on yee!

  6. Credence Clearwater Revival -
    There's a bathrom on the right...

    Great blog!

  7. Ya know it would just be easier if they picked names that us ordinary runners could not mess up. Thanks for the tip - I was in your camp until you set me straight. I usually just point and grab at the store so I look utterly brilliant.

  8. I wear BROOKS pronounced...b r o o k s. :0

    My favortites are:

    people who warsh thier clothes in the warsher.

    or the people who live in Warshington which is just above OR E Gone aka Oregon (Or e gun).

  9. Dan I totally used to sing Alex the Seal. And Pat, I grew up in England where they used to pronounce 'Nike' like 'Mike' with an N instead of an M. Everyone knows that 'Mike' is pronounced Mike-ey.

  10. Just so you know, Australia is correctly pronounced OR-STRAY-YA, according to EVERYONE HERE, the L is silent.
    I am with Miss Alleycat- Saw-cone-ee for me.

  11. Don't you just love how health-conscious Bachman Turner Overdrive was?... Bakin' carrot biscuits every day..

  12. I sang the wrong lyrics to the Til Tuesday song "Voice Carry" until I was in college. I always thought it was: "Hush, hush, this is scary." Instead of: "Hush, hush, voices carry."

    I kind like my version better anyway.

  13. LMAO at all the song lyrics! My brother always thought the Eagles' Heartache tonight was..."there's gonna be a party tonight" LOL It was one of his favorite "feel-good" songs ;)

  14. Oh, that is too funny! I know I probably STILL thing wrong song lyrics all the time, so I'm not sharing any!

  15. Idea is procounced i-de-er. It's a mystery of the english least that's what my 5th grade teacher told me.

  16. My personal pet peeve -- Jew-ler-ree. It is Jewel-ry, just like it is spelled :)

    My mom also does the warsh. UGH. Because of this vicarious upbringing, I have a habit of saying "crick" instead of "creek" -- it drives my husband insane.

  17. At least with the old songs you could usually find out by checking the liner notes. Now I just download this stuff from iTunes and have no idea what I'm hearing or even who the artist is.

    I was recently surprised at a song in which a young woman was describing her lover, enumerating all the reasons why she couldn't resist him even though he was bad news, and she mentioned, "your ware, uncut." Wow, I thought, that's pretty specific and graphic! Couldn't be! But it sounded like that, over and over.

    Eventually I was able to hear it as "your web, I'm caught." Still don't know what the actual lyric is or even who sings the song (I'm old and lazy) but I'm guessing the song did not actually reference male anatomy, uncircumcised.

  18. Huey Lewis and the News did not want a new truck, they wanted a new DRUG! Go figure!

    Great post!

  19. This reminds me of my sister in law who always thought the ylyrics to Peggy Sue were:
    "Peggy Sue! Peggy Sue! Wakka wakka wakka wakka Peggy Sue!"

    And I'm not much better...I do it often. Most recently, the Prodigy song apparently not "I've got the Poison! I've got the lemonade!" Turns out they've got the *remedy*...

  20. It's good to see our marketing is clearing some things up. Vanilla, I haven't personally heard anyone say it the way you did. The most common incorrect pronunciation is saucOny (emphasis on the O). Maybe in our next magazine ad we'll clear up all those song lyrics too.

    Oh yea, we've got a new website. Check it out -

  21. I also pronounced it "saw-so-nee", and figured it was a region of France or somesuch.

    "This is a delicious wine!"
    "Thank you. It came from the Saucony valley, where the grape stompers do their jobs really quickly. This is the 10k varietal."

    Then again, I also thought the squiggle in front of "asics" was a "b", and figured I'd pick up some "basics" sneakers at some point.

    (Because they, um, take care of the basics for you, and you handle the rest, right?)

  22. It's pronounced NEW-klee-ur in British English :-)

  23. I have a friend that says "I was in ALL" instead of in "awe". She's said it for so long, noone has the heart to tell her she's wrong. We all try to use the correct version as much as possible in her presence, but alas, she just doesn't catch on. She also says "Supposably", even though we've had the discussion before about it being "SuppoSEDly". Some people just refuse to be right!


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