Thursday, October 20, 2016

You're Saying it Wrong

Brother and sister team Ross and Kathryn Petras put the kibosh [KYE-bosh] on modern mispronunciations, and nip misspoken phrases in the bud [not butt] with their sharp wit and empathetic approach to saying things like a smart person. This delightful little 180 page gem was like a fresh soughing [suffing] wind on a summer eve, a sugared spoonful of the bitter truth.

The fact is, most of us have been saying a lot of things just plain wrong! But not to fear, Petras and Petras don't judge and, in fact, often admit that they themselves were mispronouncing many of these words until writing this book. They also make room for the fact that many of the (previously) incorrect pronunciations have become so common that some have even found their way into a few dictionaries... so maybe we're not as wrong as we thought we were. It depends on how purist you want to be.

From the nerd word pwn to classy French terms like haute couture, Petras and Petras cover a lot of ground in little time. This is a book I will keep on hand as a reference, because I'm sure I'll continue merrily mispronouncing my way along for some time. On the other hand, I was reassured to know that I was still getting a lot things right. An entry which I was especially delighted to see here was for "gyro", that yummy Greek sandwich that so many people like to call a jy-roh or guy-roh but is actually YEE-roh; where I used to work I once had an almost-argument with a customer over the correct pronunciation of this word- if only I'd had this book on hand at the time! Now I'm armed and dangerous! Not that I'd ever have the chutzpah [kHUT-spa] to get too riled up over it. After all, as this book testifies, the English language is an ever-changing one.

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review.