Friday, February 17, 2012

A No-Win Sitch.

So, three times in the last three days I've called people out on spelling, pronunciation, or typographical errors.

To be fair, I was straight-up making fun of two of the three.

The third one, the pronunciation gaffe, was an FYI to a broadcaster. Twice, on two separate episodes, I had heard him pronounce "row" (as in an argument) the wrong way. He pronounced it as in what you do in a boat, or what you call lines of veggies in a garden, not rhyming with "cow," as it should. I assumed he'd only ever read the word and not heard it said in UK movies, TV shows, or on radio, etc., where it's more commonly used.

The problem is, how do you express genuine concern for a broadcaster's reputation without sounding like a know-it-all asshole? I tweeted him, too. Now that I think about it, I should have sent him a message instead. Not everyone had to read that.

The internet is such a rabbithole of assholery. The anonymity is problematic, I suppose. This broadcaster in particular is putting out a weekly (or bi-weekly) free, fun, funny, and informative podcast and I'm sitting in my PJs, consuming it. Why can't I just shut the hell up and let him say the wrong "row"?

I guess I could let other people tell him about this mistake. Or professionals in the industry. Why should I take it on? It's just... one of the times, he said it in front of David Tennant, and I know he wouldn't want to make that mistake. Not in front of Ten.

I'm not one of those people that would complain that he uses the word "adorbs" from time to time, even though sets my teeth on edge. I guess that's because it's not necessarily wrong, but rather a strange little selection from his personal lexicon*. Apparently people complain he says "awesome" too much. I'd never noticed.

ANYHOW. This dude is taping his hour-long stand-up special this weekend, which is a big deal for comedians, so I hope he kills. I do think he's doing great work.

Right. Anyhow, the other two corrections were to friends and they know I'm a dick about this stuff, so they can just shrug and roll their eyes and go back to loving me a second later. Hopefully.

* Dropping all but the first syllable of a word and adding an -s makes me happy, for some reason. Maybe because a friend used to always say "probs" instead of "probably." My high school students used to do it so awkwardly... so cute. It's like we're nick-naming words. Dave becomes Dafs. Betty becomes Betts. Jackie becomes Jax. Probably becomes probs. "Adorbs" is an exception. The sound "-orbs" is just so amusical. But I digress...


Natasha Fatah said...

This is an interesting conundrum. I can understand the desire to correct, and maybe your intentions are good. But one has to think of how that correction will be taken. Nine times out of ten, it will embarrass or hurt the person, especially if it's being done in a public space like twitter.

Maybe it's laziness, but I would let these things go. It doesn't make anybody feel better, and I doubt if anybody will thank you for the correction. For me, the results of one's actions are the most important thing.

Just my two cents, and of course I may have just offended you, so what the hell do I know?


Catherine said...

:) Totes. I think I've just listened to him enough to know he'd be bothered to know he'd been pronouncing it wrong. It's so stinkin' difficult to convey tone in a message.

What about on AIH? Wouldn't hosts want to know if they were repeating the wrong pronunciation of something?

Natasha Fatah said...

We have this issue come up ALL THE TIME. Especially with non-Anglo names, lots of international locations with challenging names. Hell we even emails about KEE-lo-MEE-ter vs kill-O-mit-ER. Most of the time, they are super annoying but we try to correct whenever possible. But most times, people can be so hostile about it. We call them the language police.


Catherine said...

Ah, yes. Is that CBC-wide pronunciation guide still updated since what's-her-teeth retired?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know who this comedian is.

Also, do you think it's possible that David Tennant might just think North Americans pronounce it 'row-your boat'? Kind of like how Brits put an 'r' sound at the end of 'Americar'?

If Tennant corrected me, I'd be all like "It's just my accent, man. Chill." But he's probs too smart for that, eh?

Catherine said...

I had considered that, but checked. (I linked to definitions.) If you look at the 3rd definition of row, there are no alternative pronunciations.

Tennant may have, indeed, wondered if that's just how Yanks say "row."

I also linked to the podcast's Wikipedia page. It was the main host, Chris Hardwick.

And for the record, if Tennant corrected me on ANYTHING, I would change my life's trajectory from the mere utterance.

Anonymous said...

OK, OK, I didn't click on your link. I wonder if anyone will tweet back at your Hardwick tweet. Maybe he'll mention you in an upcoming podcast! He he

Anonymous said...

and "Cafs"!

Go Cafs!

yours truly,


Catherine said...

He has mentioned language police in the past. I hope he doesn't, though. He has other stuff on his mind this weekend.

Dafs: XO!