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Say that again

December 2, 2010

I’m talking to someone this afternoon and she’s telling me about an order she recently placed online at Office Depot. Not “Depot” with a long ‘e’, the way it should be, but “Depot” using the British pronunciation with a short ‘e’. No, she wasn’t British. Maybe she’s got a husband from England, I don’t know, but that doesn’t excuse her or make that pronunciation sound anything less than an affectation.

Say she just likes the way the short ‘e’ sounds’, I can accept that, but then limit the use to when she’s using the word as a noun.

“Hi, did your friend arrive from wherever the heck it is he lives?”

“Oh, yes, he did. I picked him up at the train DEH-poh yesterday. How very kind of you to ask.”

“Yeah, right. How about I ask you to say DEE-poh instead of some pretentious pronunciation that just . . .”

Sorry, I just get rankled.

I even tried to gently correct her. Asking her about the order she placed, I used the correct pronunciation of DEE-poh, but it didn’t matter. She continued right on with DEH-poh. What can I do at that point? Tell her outright that she’s saying the word wrong or just ignore her irritiating misuse even though whenever she says the word incorrectly it feels like icepicks are being jammed into my ears?

Bottom line is she can pronounce the word any way she wants, but Office Depot the company pronounces the word with a long ‘e’. Office DEE-poh. DEE-poh. DEE. DEE. DEE. DEE. So I think when she’s talking about the company, that’s the way she should pronounce the word.

File this under, “I Don’t Like Made-up Words And You Can’t Refudiate That

Except for “Flustrated”. That’s not an altogether bad made-up word.

Words and language are destinted to change and so what if I don’t like made up words? I’m entitled, I can’t do anything about them. To quote one of our nation’s greatest leaders, “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'” – Sarah Palin, 07/18/10

Do I like mispronounced words? About as much as I like this –

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 5:10 pm

    Michael, Michael, Michael. You’re not doing your blood pressure any good dwelling on deh-po.

    I like made up words. I coined one twenty-plus years ago: motate. (moe-tate) It’s a combinating of motivate and something else I forgot, but I use it to say, “Let’s go, get out of here, c’mon people, moooove it!”

    I say, “Let’s motate.”

    P.S. Nails on a chalk board have never bothered me. Squeaky balloons are okay, too.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 3, 2010 5:53 am

      Susan, I think venting my frustration about things like The Depot Affair help keep my BP from rising! Motate’s not too bad of a made up word, but what would happen if someone pronounced it as, “Moe-tah-teh”? (Cue: fingernails on chalkboard!)


  2. December 2, 2010 10:07 pm


    My favorite made up word is “discombobulate”.

    Funny post



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