Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Food Pronunciation Guide for the Dim-witted


Recommended Posts

American Heritage Dictionary is like the New World Dictionary: It's the trendiest of reference materials. Instead of leading from the front (as dictionaries used to be bastions of proper usage), many now are reduced to reporting only "popular usage". Help yourself to the Webster's: It's starchier, more conservative, more librarian-friendly.

"Ex-presso": The horror! :shock:

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim, my New Oxford Dictionary of English, which is about as authoritative as it gets, lists "expresso" as a variant spelling of "espresso," so you might want to ease up on that one. For some reason it gives no pronounciation guide for "culinary"; the online yourdictionary.com lists both.

Although it's not quite the same thing, menus with "corn beef" or "whip cream" sometimes get on my nerves. I just say the serenity prayer to myself and move on.

Actually, PopsicleToze, "Boss's Day" is indeed correct, at least according to The Elements of Style.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Italy, you know, they don't call it "espresso". People just ask for a "cafe" or a modification of such like "cafe lungo" or "cafe americano" or "ristretto".

Add regional accents into the mix and I am sure we are all mispronounciating everything. We can thank our president for turning it into an acceptable art form.

Mistakes in pronunciation doesn't nearly rub me the wrong way as improper preparation of a recipe or food item, or misrepresenting the product itself. I dont care if someone serves me an "expresso" if its a damn good one. But if someone serves me a sucky espresso I'm going to be pissed indeed.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost never bothers me. For instance, foreign loans words are consistently hacked when they're adopted into another language. If I let that stuff get to me, I'd be dead by now.

There is no "SOOO-shi" (sushi), "ki-MOH-no" (kimono) or "sa-SHEE-me" (sashimi), just to cite a few examples. Then there are regional variations that are perfectly legitimate in their own right ("rOOf" vs "ruf").

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
Link to post
Share on other sites

Chi-POL-tee instead of chipotle is like nails down a chalk board- especially when mispronounced by 'professionals chefs'.

Stop Family Violence

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think misspellings bother me more than mispronunciations. But yes, languages do evolve, and there's nothing wrong with dictionaries reflecting usage rather than presuming to prescribe usage. As many of you know, the French have an organization that's tried to prescribe usage and has failed miserably in trying to ban words like "le weekend" and "le store," not to mention "le fooding."

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

At this rate it won't be long before we're all drinking TCHAB-liss. :blink:

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's technically correct, but when I hear people say COO-linary, it's like nails on a chalkboard. I DO NOT go around saying I graduated from COOO-linary school. If my chefs heard me, they'd slap me sideways for being pretentious. It's just Culinary.

On the other hand, it's really hard to suppress a snicker when I hear someone say 'ex-presso.'

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

Link to post
Share on other sites

sherbert instead of sherbet

Some of the same people who do not like two [r]s in their words can't help repeating the one in this word.

mannaise instead of mayonnaise

Ever wonder why the short form of a word pronounced "mannaise" is "mayo"? Well, it is because the original should be pronounced "mayo-nnaise." Just remember: what would mayonnaise be without "mayo"? 
of course, Emeril Lagasse does this every single time he uses the stuff ... :angry:

Heineken remover instead of Heimlich maneuver (or manoeuvre, Br.)

This term is mispronounced many different ways. This is just the funniest one we have heard. This maneuver (manoeuvre) was named for US surgeon Henry Jay Heimlich (1920- ). 

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure where I've been all these years, but I only recently started hearing it pronounced "CYOO-linary". I grew up with "CULL-inary, in a reasonably well-educated and literate family. Finally, this thread spurred me to open my Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary - which, despite its title, dates back to 1979. It lists "CULL-inary" as the preferred pronunciation. This pronunciation isn't new.

I also make allowance for mispronunciations, particularly of foreign words; I'm sure I mangle my fair share of 'em. Some very common foreign terms are an exception, though. I recall, back in the 70's, our California hilarity at a recent immigrant from Oklahoma, who wanted to go eat at TAY-co Bell.

I save my linguistic contempt for heads of state who don't know how to pronounce "nuclear".

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm on the side of the anti-expresso, but y'know what I can't say without feeling pretentious? Croissant. I pronounce it as Burger King does, not the French way, and I speak French! I went to KOOLinary school there! And not that I would EVER defend Emeril's cooking, but I think the manniase thing is a regional (Louisiana) pronunciation. He's just keeping "his" culture alive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure where I've been all these years, but I only recently started hearing it pronounced "CYOO-linary".  I grew up with "CULL-inary, in a reasonably well-educated and literate family.  Finally, this thread spurred me to open my Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary - which, despite its title, dates back to 1979.  It lists "CULL-inary" as the preferred pronunciation.  This pronunciation isn't new.

I also make allowance for mispronunciations, particularly of foreign words; I'm sure I mangle my fair share of 'em.  Some very common foreign terms are an exception, though.  I recall, back in the 70's, our California hilarity at a recent immigrant from Oklahoma, who wanted to go eat at TAY-co Bell. 

I save my linguistic contempt for heads of state who don't know how to pronounce "nuclear".

From wikipedia on the pronunciation of “nuculur” click

US Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush (but not his father, George H. W. Bush) have all used this pronunciation. Jimmy Carter in particular had served as an officer on the United States Navy's first experimental nuclear submarine, and would have been well exposed to both pronunciations.

It has also been used by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

I'm not sure how people in Australia pronounce it, but for some reason it grates with me when people pronounce "shiraz" with the "a" as the "a" in cat rather than "ah".

My Webster's Collegiate Dictionary from 1980 lists both pronunciations of culinary, although the pronunciation I prefer, cull-in-nary, is listed first. :smile:

edited for typo!

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Uh, how DO they say croissant at Burger King???

Me, I say cull-inary, unashamedly. What gets to me, even more than chi-POL-te, is when people say or write MAR-sca-pone. WTF, can't people even read anymore?

I'm totally rising above expresso and nucular. Beneath comment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably wrote this before somewhere in this thread, but what really annoys me is when people treat Italian plural words as if they were singular. I do not order a panini, eat a primi and a secondi, or have a biscotti. All of those are plural forms. I order a panino, eat a primo and a secondo (if I'm hungry enough) and may have biscotti for dessert, perhaps with some vino santo (not "a vini santi").

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure how people in Australia pronounce it, but for some reason it grates with me when people pronounce "shiraz" with the "a" as the "a" in cat rather than "ah".

i think with the australian accent, they pronounce it shiraz (with the a like in cat)...as opposed to the same grape variety in french syrah (a like ahhhhh). of course, the australians also pronounce semillon like semilawn (pronouncing the l's as opposed to the semiyawn - well, sort of).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah we're a pretty crass lot down here. Here's a lesson.

Block your nose and say.

I have a glass of Shiraz before I go for a dance. Over pronounce the A in both words and you will fit in no worries downunder.

:biggrin:

Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah we're a pretty crass lot down here. Here's a lesson.

Block your nose and say.

I have a glass of Shiraz before I go for a dance. Over pronounce the A in both words and you will fit in no worries downunder.

:biggrin:

:smile: Hey, twenty million australians can't be wrong! The reason it probably sounds odd to me is that I haven't been to Australia and I'm biased by the pronunciation of "syrah" as alanamoana pointed out. Thanks for the lesson, I hope I do get to visit Australia sometime.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's so true, Pan. I used to make a point of asking for a panino or a biscotto, until I realized that all the servers were rolling their eyes at my lack of education. Those, that is, that weren't actively re-pronouncing it clearly, and with emphasis, in the plural, just to make sure I knew what was correct.

Link to post
Share on other sites
That's so true, Pan.  I used to make a point of asking for a panino or a biscotto, until I realized that all the servers were rolling their eyes at my lack of education.  Those, that is, that weren't actively re-pronouncing it clearly, and with emphasis, in the plural, just to make sure I knew what was correct.

My daughter (who is 12) uses "panino" when speaking to me, but typically says "panini" when ordering lest the server misunderstand her or correct her.

I stubbornly insist on pronouncing "nicoise" correctly, despite having been corrected, with emphasis, on more than one occasion (that last time earlier this month) by servers.

Can you pee in the ocean?

Link to post
Share on other sites
How do they say Niçoise? nee-koise? :shock:

No, nee-swah. No "zzz" sound on the end.

Of course, the way I wrote it, without the cedille, your pronunciation would have been correct. :wink:

Can you pee in the ocean?

Link to post
Share on other sites
That's so true, Pan.  I used to make a point of asking for a panino or a biscotto, until I realized that all the servers were rolling their eyes at my lack of education.  Those, that is, that weren't actively re-pronouncing it clearly, and with emphasis, in the plural, just to make sure I knew what was correct.

Does anyone have any insight into why plural Italian forms are being used as singular in English so often nowadays?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any insight into why plural Italian forms are being used as singular in English so often nowadays?

The plural is used on packaging and in advertising. A trattoria listing its offerings will say "panini" rather than "panino," and a bakery will label a tray as "biscotti" rather than "biscotto," so that's what the casual visitor to Italy sees and retains. Most anglophone denizens of the U.S. are entirely unfamiliar with the idea that there's any other way to render a noun plural than by adding the letter "s" and so don't consider the possibility that the word is plural.

Can you pee in the ocean?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...