Thursday, August 11, 2016


I have a witty and clever friend who shares my interest in genealogy.  He asked if my husband knew the derivation of his surname and he said, "Perhaps he's descended from William de la Pole."

I answered, "You mean the Duke of Suffolk, the original JACKANAPE?"

He laughed and said, "You're smarter than I thought;  I was about to say that you are a jackanape!"

I answered, "And I know that a jackanape is presumptuous and cheeky just like you!"

[William de la Pole, the first Duke of Suffolk, was highly regarded in the Hundred Years War, but later, when England lost the lands in northern France, de la Pole became the subject of derision.   His family's coat of arms showed the image of a collar and chain and at that time it was popular to have pet monkeys kept on leashes.  The monkeys were known as "jackanapes";  thus the Duke became associated with that term.  Today, the definition of JACKANAPE;  noun:  an impudent, impertinent, or conceited person;  also a mischievous child]

In discussing the Duke and jackanapes, my friend replied, "What can I say, that's my forte."

Because of his pronunciation, I directed him to an article I'd written years ago in Sue's News.  See FORTE below:

My friend Patty makes fun of me because I pronounce the word "FORTE" as "FORT" when it is referring to a special talent of a person.

Years ago, I used the word forte with one of my employees at International Harvester and he said, "You know, Sue, the proper pronunciation of that is FORT, not FOR-TAY." I immediately said, "Yes, I DO know that!" 

I was indeed flummoxed because I did know that it should have been pronounced FORT, but I thought he would not know that. He noticed my discomfort, laughed and said, "You probably thought that I wouldn't know the correct pronunciation." I said, "Well, not too many people know that." He said, "I figure if they don't know it, they'll ask me about it; I don't dumb-down and neither should you;  that's patronizing."

Good advice. That was when I quit playing to a perceived audience.

The moral of that story: never underestimate a guy building trucks who holds a Master's Degree.

People look at me strangely because of the way I pronounce FORTE, CARAMEL and CREPE.

CLICK HERE to see 79 COMMON MISPRONUNCIATIONS, which includes the three I mentioned. I agree with the video except in the pronunciation of "SCORSESE", because I've actually heard Martin pronounce his own name, so I'll agree with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He IS definitely a JACKANAPE! ML