a {text-decoration: none; } En la punta de la lengua: Lost in Pronunciation: El Paso's Commonly Mispronounced Words

6 mar 2024

Lost in Pronunciation: El Paso's Commonly Mispronounced Words

I came across a Reddit post not long ago that asked about commonly mispronounced English words in El Paso. It instantly dawned on me how some of my relatives had a little mix-up with 'Dr.' in addresses like 'Festival Dr.,' assuming it stood for 'doctor' instead of 'drive,' and they would confidently say they lived on 'Festival Doctor' when prompted for their address. Or there's also that amusing story from a friend who worked as a court interpreter back when we were in grad school. He once shared an incident where a lady was seeking 'chazapó,' and it took him a long moment to realize she meant 'child support.' 

Later, I discovered that other local media sites, such as KTSM and KLAQ, had already explored the topic of 'mispronounced words.' Therefore, finding it to be a fascinating subject for an entry, and considering my penchant for creating lists of words—something I often have to do for work as a linguist anyway—I've decided to start my own.  For now, I'll concentrate solely on words 'mispronunciations' due to Spanish interference, since I think it is quite obvious how folk who only speak English might pronounce Spanish words like Socorro, Juárez, or Taco Tote.

Of course, as I've noted with another word collection from the state of Chihuahua that I compiled some years ago, these contributions don't imply that everyone mispronounces these words. Instead, I hope they can serve as a lighthearted way to highlight the linguistic complexities and diversity that make this city uniquely special. I'm excited for the growth of this list, so don't hesitate to contribute by sharing your observations in the comment section below.

Word: Viscount

Definition: Boulevard near Cielo Vista

EP Pronunciation: vis-count (visconde in Spanish)

Standard Pronunciationvai-count

Word: Yarbrough

Definition: Street in the East Side

EP Pronunciation: ya-bro

Standard Pronunciation: yar-buh-ruh

Word: Trawood

Definition: Street in the East Side

EP Pronunciation: tray-wood

Standard Pronunciation: tra-wood

Word: Geroge Dieter

Definition: Street in the East Side

EP Pronunciation: die-ter

Standard Pronunciation: dee-ter

Word: Joe Battle

Definition: Street in the Far East

EP Pronunciation: yo baro

Standard Pronunciation: jow ba-tl

Word: Montwood

Definition: Street in the Far East

EP Pronunciation: mong-wood

Standard Pronunciation: man(t)-wood

Word: UTEP

Definition: The University of Texas at El Paso

EP Pronunciation: joo-tep

Standard Pronunciation: yoo-tep

Word: Airway

Definition: Street near the airport

EP Pronunciation: ehr-waze

Standard Pronunciation: ehr-way

Word: Chicago

Definition: City

EP Pronunciation: chi-ca-gow

Standard Pronunciation: shuh-ca-gow

Word: Chelsea

Definition: Street in Central El Paso

EP Pronunciation: chel-suh

Standard Pronunciation: chel-see

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