Foreign words make us talk like turds

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by convoy_cock, Oct 25, 2005.

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  1. Do these words grip anyone elses shi-t?

    Specifically those ones that have come into recent usage, which etiquette demands you pronounce in the language they were written. When I was a kid, the only three foreign language words/phrases in common usage were corduroy, cul-de-sac and chamois leather. Nobody went to the trouble of pronouncing them correctly and they were simply anglicised to cords, culldeesack and shammy levver.

    We were in Pizza Express last week. My wife had ordered an American Hot and asked if she could have extra Jalapenos. Enunciating the J as an H, it sounded as if she was bringing up a greeny as she said 'Hallapeenose." Once the waitress had buggered off, I explained that I too wanted extra Jalapenos but couldn't bring myself to say it as convention dictates and would rather go without.

    "That's just ridiculous," she said.

    "Why? It's spelt Jalla-fukcing-pee-no so why can't I just say that?"

    "Halapeno is the way they pronounce it at it's point of origin."

    "But if you take that argument to it's logical conclusion, I'd have to call Paris, Paree and the Liverpool Echo the Livv-pool ecccckkkko."

    "Just eat your doughballs, I can't be bothered with you."

    It did get me thinking though. There are quite a few words creeping in like this. I love Croissants, but fcuk me do I feel like a knob when I ask for one properly. Nine out of ten times I just get a fcuking doughnut. Pain-au-chocalat look lovely but you can kiss my ricker if you think i'm saying it. Why can't they have a nice big sign saying "Choccy-bread, it's right tasty"

    It's weird. I consider myself cosmopolitan. I like to try new things and I never had myself down as a xenophobe, but the situation sets my teeth on edge.

    I've stopped ordering Rioja in restaurants. As far as I know Ree-ocka is a fat jock bloke who used to play for Derby.

    I'd be interested to hear any funny or relevant opinions on this subject.
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    A good point - as a card-carrying Grumpy Old Man, at least according to the Wife, I am awlays moaning about this.

    Something else - when (and why?) did Peking become Beijing, and Bombay Mumbai? Ceylon to Sri Lanka I could possibly accept, but as you mention we don't say 'Paree'. Or Munchen, for that matter, and as for Florence, Venice and Leghorn.....

    If you want to speak French/German/Tamil/Whatever, fair play to you. go to France, and stop showing off over here.

    We speak English :)
  3. While this little tidbit might tip you over the edge, you could take solace in the fact that your missus is wrong. The correct pronunciation of Jalapeno (and there's supposed to be a little squiggle above the n, kind of like an S on its side) is Ha-la-pen (like the writing instrument)-io.
  4. And don't you find the septics the worst at this noveau - fick - new way of b@sterdising the Queens English?

    I was in a pizza restaurant in California a while back looking down the wine list and decided what I wanted, called the waiter over and asked for a house merlot (pronounced by me as merrlott). "Oh", he said in that oh so gay east coast american way, "you mean the meerloh." He nearly got a slap in the kipper for his problems.

    Why can't the foreigners speak properly!!

    editted to say I did mean east coast and not west coast - I find certain New Yorkers the worst at putting on the airs and graces
  5. Old Snowy says exactly what I was thinking. Guess there's no job for either of us at the BBC Pronunciation unit.
  6. Why can't the foreigners speak properly!! -exactly whistler, should all speak the speak the Queen's lingo. Those smartarse cnuts who use a smattering of foreign words in every day conversation grip my sh*t.
  7. Lar-tay, LAR-TAY!!!

    Give us a fcuking break, I just want a brew, love.

    Whenever I go in Starbucks or Caffe (yeah, with two fcuking effs) Nero, i'm faced with an unnecessarily bewildering array of choice.


    I think i'll start my own chain, called Sally Bash.

    The only choices will be tea or coffee, both unspecified. The only exotic thing on offer is the chance to watch the old geezer behind the counter, dip his warty finger in your beverage while he stirs it.

    As for food, cheese (unspecified) rolls only.

    "What type of bread is it?"


    "Well, is it baguette or pandoro or chewbacca?"

    "It's just a fcuking roll, son. Their all just fcuking rolls. Just with different prices for the easily fooled."

    "What type of cheese is it?"


    "Well, I quite like brie and gouda but I don't like emmental or edam and I definitely don't like feta."

    "It's just fcuking cheese, son. We get 850 slices for a quid from the cash and carry. Stop pretending you want choice. Just buy a fcuking cheese roll and a brew. You'll be just as happy. You don't accrue intelligence from making eclectic bread choices, you know"

    "Cheers, old man. Thanks for enlightening me. Can you take your finger out of my brew, please?"

  8. I think you'll find the correct pronunciation is "Them fcuking peppers"
  9. Yes, but you see since Merlot is French, the Queen's English doesn't enter the equation.

    On the other hand. After nearly five years of living with our transatlantic cousins it getting harder and harder for me to resist slipping into that Bowie/Madonna-esque mid-Atlantic twang that I hate so very, very much. What makes things worse is the fact that the local Wetbacks just look at me like I'm from another planet when I ask for tom-ah-to in my Subway sandwich instead of tom-ay-to. At work, if I'm trying to talk to the natives about nuclear strategy and arms control I frequently have to use the term "missle" instead of missile at avoid a classroom full of blank stares.

    However, what really sent me off the deep end a couple of weeks ago was an article in the University's daily rag that had a quote from the director of the uni's language institute (i.e. the people in charge of making sure all the foreign students can use English effectively) which said something to the effect of "It's important that they get exposed to a variety of Englishes."

    My immediate response on reading this was to throw the paper away, jump around the office, whilst punching away at nothing, screaming:

    At that point the Dean of Religious Life, a female Rabbi, walked through the door. All quite embarrassing really. :oops:
  10. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer an old goat, I'm also just of the post-imperial generation who find this BLOODY IRRITATING......once upon a time I was the Defence sales desk officer for a place called Burma, with a capital called Rangoon.....historically soothing resonances....I mean, who HASN'T wanted their business card to read eg 'Dave Bloggs - Building Contractor London, Beirut and Rangoon' ?

    Well, Burma has been done to death and some upstart, prolly suspect nation called My Anne Marr has taken its place.
    Rangoon no longer simmers in the lush green,insect-lively sultriness of the Irrawaddy delta, where sloe-eyed maidens whisper past in a rustle of gossamer silks....instead some gosh-awful concrete and steel, tuk-tuk roaring polluted midden called YANGON has taken it over.

    In China the change from Peking to Beijing, Tsingtao to Qingdao, Hangchow to Guanzhou, Foochow to Fuzhou etc etc was as a result of an international change of how the West transliterates Chinese characters, from an old imperial system called Wade-Giles to various forms of pinyin

    ( and this is all far too much info really isn't it....I'll get me coat and the medication....... :roll: )

    Lee Shaver
  11. Oddly enough, Myanmar is a phrase that is pretty much only used by the government. I'm pretty sure most of the people there still refer to it as Burma unless there's a chap from SLORC nearby looking menacing.

    Similarly, the residents of Ho Chi Minh City still refer to the place as Saigon.
  12. Maybe that is the most effective option, but he won't be able to lord that over his missus for showing off and getting it wrong now, will he? :twisted:
  13. Yes but this one was Californian merlot :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: but that wasn't my point - it's our heritage to pronounce these foreign words in an Anglo Saxon or (in my case) Celtic way - and the spams are the worst at changing the way our language is meant to be pronounced - just as you described in the rest of your thread.

    Just don't start me on aloooooominum - feckin spastics!!
  14. Why do yanks insist on pronouncing metoc as MEETOC???

    Oh, and if I hear another fcuker referring to the Rep of Ireland as Eire and refusing to say the former, I'll strangle the cnut. You don't refer to Germany as Deutschland do you???

  15. or when the some spams pronounce" Herbs " " 'erbs " and you get the psised on their kids at christmas look if you pronounce it as its spelt. that grips my sh1t.