Home > Uncategorized > Porcine…er…swine flu.

Porcine…er…swine flu.

I’m sure you all know somebody who is smart enough to know many words, has the desire to be pedantic. but isn’t aware that doing it wrong turns people off.

It’s kind of like when a 20-something insists on referring to Taiwan as Formosa. I’m a little impressed that they know an archaic place name, maybe they know more, but my aged grandmother calls it Taiwan; if she can, you can too.

There are enough of these people in the world that I’m surprised that I haven’t heard anybody, in person or on the television, refer to swine flu as porcine flu.

…Except at home. In the privacy of my own home that’s what I call it. I say it to be funny….and maybe to be a little pedantic too.

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  1. November 27, 2009 at 2:00 AM

    Another good one… pronouncing place names as they sound in the language spoken there…

    For Paris: “I love visiting ParEEE in the summer.”

    • November 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM

      I’ve been guilty of the place name sin.

      At family dinners here, we always have native English, Welsh, and Dutch speakers as well as native Arabic and Spanish speakers on occasion. Even though English is the language used at the table, things like the voiceless velar fricative (I needed to look that one up) come up a lot.

      I recall stumbling along, early on, and getting a funny, maybe cold, reaction when I used German phonetics to pronounce some Dutch words. Which German dialect? I can’t seem to remember what the name is for the sort of German that’s spoken in Pretentia…

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