Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Don't you just love it when people ATTEMPT to correct you by pronouncing the word just AFTER you, and then pronouncing it the way they think is correct?

When this happens, I usually confront the pathetic ploy and ask, "Were you trying to correct my pronunciation just then?", but recently, when this occurred, I was in a sensitive situation; I refrained from pointing out the pathetic ploy! If I were mispronouncing the word, then I would want to be treated the way my brothers do and not have someone resort to such an apparent artifice! The person should have just said, "Don't you know that's pronounced..." and then tell me the correct pronunciation. Then, I would have been able to confront it or graciously accept the constructive criticism.

Recently, the word was APRICOT. [I pronounce it the way Carly Simon does in "You're So Vain". ]

I said the word as "APP-ricot" and the other person immediately said "APE-ricot", not only once, but TWICE, for good measure! I did not confront the issue because of where I was at the time, and because I'm also fully aware that BOTH pronunciations are correct as we have had the discussion in my family previously; I was also aware that" APE-ricot" is listed first in the dictionary (which doesn't mean that it is preferred or more correct) and that my preferred pronunciation is known as the "American" pronunciation. The person's devious device is what bothered me!

As Les said, "You know, like April."

My brothers will probably disown me for allowing the person's maneuver to pass, but to quote the Bard: "The better part of valor is discretion."

To die is to be a counterfeit, for he is but the counterfeit of
a man who hath not the life of a man; but to counterfeit dying,
when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true
and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valor is
discretion, in the which better part I have sav'd my life.

Henry The Fourth, Part 1 Act 5, scene 4, 115–121

Almost invariably quoted today as "Discretion is the better part of valor," Falstaff's phrase elegantly redeems a cowardly act. The bragging, bulbous knight has just risen from his feigned death; he had played the corpse in order to escape real death at the hands of a Scotsman hostile to Henry IV. Claiming that abstractions like "honor" and "valor" will get you nothing once you're dead, Falstaff excuses his counterfeiting as the kind of "discretion" that keeps a man from foolishly running into swords in order to cultivate a reputation for heroism. If counterfeiting keeps you alive, well then, it's not counterfeiting, but an authentic "image of life." Falstaff confuses "image" with "reality," but we forgive him; as far as he's concerned, "valor" is an image too, and you've got to stay alive in order to find more opportunities to cultivate that image.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, I say APE!