Proper Pronunciation

I was at an appointment today and the person I was meeting with was making small-talk. He said “So, how’s the weather out there? Humid?” I jokingly replied “Nah, not too bad – but I’m from South Louisiana. Compared to there, the humidity out here is nothing!” His immediate response “What town in South Louisiana” My reply “Lafayette”. He immediately responded with “I’m from New Orleans.” Then he quickly added “You know what really drives me crazy? When people mispronounce the candy that starts with a ‘p’!” I immediately knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. I added “Yeah – that one and pecan!”

There I had it, an instant friend. A bond over pet peeves, if you will. I agreed, hearing those two words mispronounced is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I literally shutter – it’s like an involuntary reflex. You think I’m kidding – I am not.

Pralines
photo credit

For the record, peopleĀ  – the proper pronunciation of the word ‘praline’ is NOT ‘PRAY-LEAN’ – it is ‘PRAH-LEEN’ – got it? There’s no “Y” in the word, so stop pronouncing it like there is one.

pecans
photo credit

Also, the word ‘pecan’ is NOT pronounced ‘PEE-CAN’, it’s ‘PAH-KAHN’. Yes, I’ve corrected servers at restaurants before when they’re touting their tasty ‘PRAY-LEEN’ ice cream for dessert or ‘PEE-CAN’ crusted trout. I can’t help myself. I really can’t. Ask my husband – he knows how serious I am about this.

Perhaps I’m coming off as the grumpy old lady. I don’t care. We became instant friends over our hatred of the mispronunciation of those two words. It was comical how quickly our friendship blossomed – over such a trivial thing to most people. He was so fraught with disgust that he couldn’t even bring himself to utter the improper pronunciation of either word. I understand his plight – from one Louisiana native to another, keep fightin’ the good fight!

We also reminisced about K&B stores and their distinctive purple logo, sno-cones that you can’t get up here and where the best beignets in Atlanta can be found. He did caution me that the beignets are served with “dipping sauce” – one of which is praline flavored one. We all know that’s not authentic, but we’ll put up with it in order to get decent Louisiana food in Georgia.

It’s always so wonderful when I meet another native Louisianan here in Atlanta. It literally warms my heart and helps me feel closer to home.

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2 Responses to Proper Pronunciation

  1. Marge says:

    I say tomato, you say to-may-to….

  2. Marge says:

    Just for your interest.. We invented beignets. They’ve been invented in northern Germany in the 16th century and later on the French stole it and called it beignet. So the ones mispronouncing the thing are really the French and their deprived offspring that got stranded in the swamps of Louisiana, raping their mother language and turning it into that chimaera called “cajun”. So the proper pronunciation is “Berliner” !

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