Monday, October 31, 2011


conch shellPsst, Alex: look it up in a dictionary. Conch with a ch like church is a perfectly standard variation.

You sounded really snobby, interjecting "conk!" after saying "Yes, that's right!" to her answer.

But props for laughing at your "Frederick March" mash-up of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels!



At 12:45 AM, November 01, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Uh-oh, we thought it was "conk."

Agreed that Alex handled the "Frederic March" gaffe with self-deprecating grace -- hosting "Jeopardy!" has GOT to be a tricky job. I suspect some of the flubs that viewers attribute to Alex are in fact more the fault of the clue-writers, but as the on-air talent he has to take the blame.

At 7:45 AM, November 01, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

It is "conk" - but not only "conk". MWU says käŋk, känch -- -ŋk is usual near waters where the conch occurs and hence in sense 3 which is "a resident native of the Bahamas b : any of various persons resident in the Florida keys and nearby parts of the mainland".

I constantly wonder why his crack team of researchers doesn't look up pronunciation for him!

At 10:01 AM, November 04, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

During this week's "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions, there was a clue for translating the Portuguese SIM into Russian. Alex pronounced it "sĭmm" [cringe] instead of "sĩ" (signifying a nasalized vowel) -- somewhere between "sing" and "seeng." I agree with your comment that clue writers should give Alex the approximate correct pronunciations of foreign words in languages he doesn't know.

On a similar note, I came across a video this week of a young American planning a photographic sojourn to my grandmother's native village of Fajã Grande on the island of Flores in the Azores, and she pronounced it as if it in were Spanish -- "FAH-hah GRAHN-day" (instead of "fah-ZHAHNG GRAHND" in European Portuguese*). Presumably once she arrived, the locals politely adjusted her diction (while doubtless clucking behind her ignorant back).

* = "fah-ZHAHNG GRAHN-djē" in Brazilian diction.

At 10:35 AM, November 04, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

So, is the Portuguese name Joana pronounced ... errr, how is it pronounced? I know final O is OO - funnily, I learned that from Russian, which spells names like Figo FIGU.

And is Jose Saramago a ho-ZAY or dzho-say?

At 3:11 PM, November 04, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...



José Saramago
zho-ZEH sah-rah-MAH-goo


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