Mispronunciation

Happy leap-day to anyone reading this! How often does a leap-year occur? It is not once every 4 years anymore. It is more like 97 times every 400 years! Adding a day once every 4 years would be correct if the year was 365.25 days long. This is what the Julian calendar did. But then it was discovered that a year is more like 365.2425 days which led to the Gregorian calendar. I like the story of how this was implemented. Centuries of not accounting for this difference caused a 10 day discrepancy between the night sky of 4 October 1582 and the night sky of 4 October in the year that the Julian calendar started. Therefore Pope Gregory XII pronounced that the next day would be 15 October 1582 making the month have 21 days.

The system now is to add an extra day to years that are divisible by 400 and to years that are divisible by 4 but not 100. This means that while the year 2000 was a leap-year, the year 2100 will not be. My prediction is that at least a few printed calendars will be incorrect in the year 2100.

Anyway, what I actually want to talk about is a series of Pronunciation Manual videos on YouTube. The channel parodies instructional language videos by telling you the worst possible way to pronounce something. The meme started in April 2011, I think as a way to take advantage of video monetization. It is stupid simple to make a PronunciationManual video. Each one is 8 seconds long and just consists of a printed word with a voice over.

I'm talking about this now because I think the video series just achieved major notability in the Academy Awards. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presented the Oscar for Best Original Song. Making fun of his long name, Zach referred to himself using a mispronunciation strikingly similar to the one that posted on YouTube 5 months prior and I'm not the only one who noticed that.


Download video

Whether Zach Galifianakis watched these videos or not, I thought it would be fun to make a (seldomly updated) list of every English word parodied on this channel complete with IPA text saying exactly what the video says.

  • Adidas - dʌdiːdʌ
  • Aesthetic - æiːstæhoʊ
  • Architect - ɒrtɪt͡ʃɛk
  • Asperger's - æsˈprɔɪgɛəroʊsɪs then æsˈprɔɪgɛəroʊnɛəroʊsɪs
  • Barbituates - bʌlbɪt tjuːɪt
  • Bichon Frise - bɪˈd͡ʒɒn fɜrst
  • Bird - bjʊərd
  • Bolognese - bɒlɒgnæziː
  • Bon Iver - bɒn lɒvʌl
  • Brett Favre - boʊ ˈfjuːfɜr
  • Bruschetta - brɒnˈtjuːpiːstoʊ
  • Cappuccino - kæmpʌpʌpʌpɪkɪkɪkaɪn
  • Carpe Diem - krˈæpiː daɪm then krˈæpæpiː daɪm
  • Carson Daly - klɒrzʌl djuːzʌlldiːn
  • Cartier - ˈkrɒntiːoʊ
  • Champagne - t͡ʃɪmpjuːpnɪstoʊ
  • Chanel - ˈt͡ʃeɪnʌl
  • Chipotle - ʃɒn ˈtjuːtʌl
  • Christian Dior - krˈɪstiː diːɛər
  • Christmas - kʌhaɪroʊstɪmiːæs
  • Croissant - kɔrsɒʒnʌtʌ
  • Coordinate - krʌˈdɛntiː
  • Count Of Monte Christo - kɒntɒ mɒntɒ kwɒntɒ
  • Coyote - kwɒntjuːiːniːoʊ
  • Darkness - djuːkɛns
  • David Arquette - ˈdjuːfiː dɒrˈkjuːdɛtiː
  • Ellen Degeneres - juːˈlɒrɛn dɛərˈd͡ʒjuːnɛnjuːs
  • Ephemeral - ɛfɛmɛfɛnɛər
  • Escargot - ɛnˈskwɒrgɛts
  • Faux Pas - fæks pɪs
  • February - fɛbɜrɛəriː
  • Ferrari - fɛərlɒlɒrljuː
  • George Stroumboulopoulos - gaɪˈɔərgiː strɔːmpiːpliːpliːsəpliːpliːsəpiːpʊlpɪdliːpiːsiː piːsliː piːpʊliːsiː
  • Giorgio Armani - ʒʌməˈdiːtoʊ æməˈdiːtoʊiː
  • Givenchy - t͡ʃɪˈt͡ʃɒnt͡ʃoʊ
  • Gucci - ˈgjuːkæθɪnt͡ʃiː
  • Guinness - ˈgɑnt͡ʃiːz
  • Hallowe'en - hjuːlæloʊwoʊwjuːwəɛn
  • Hamburger - hiːˈæmboʊgoʊ
  • Hanukkah - hjuːxnjuːxhæxæx then hjuːxnjuːxhjuːhæxæx
  • Hors D'oeurves - hɒrs ˈdjuːstiːs
  • Hulk Hogan - hoʊk oʊgɛn
  • Iguana - ɪŋænjuːnjuːfɪpɪstæn
  • Jake Gyllenhaal - ʒeɪk ʒɪnɪnɒ
  • January - hwuːɒnˈhwuːɒriːoʊ
  • Jason Segel - ˈd͡ʒjuːsiː nɪsɛsɛgɛl
  • Jennifer Morrison - d͡ʒɔɪrɪfɪs mɔɪrɒnˈɪfɪfɪs
  • Joaquin Pheonix - d͡ʒəˈkjuːkjuː pəhˈwiːnɪs
  • Jorma Taccone - koʊkiː trɒnˈtjuːpiːstoʊ
  • Julianne Hough - d͡ʒoʊdiː bʌðiːɛ
  • Justin Bieber - ˈd͡ʒʌgiː ˈbroʊdʌltiːn
  • Justin Willman - ˈd͡ʒoʊdæd wɪlˈstɪfɪstɒntɒn
  • Kanye West - skroʊtiː wɒntjuːsɪs
  • Larynx - wɒlnʌks
  • Libertarianism - hʌðiːɛhʌðiːɛhʌðiːɛhʌðiːɛhʌðiːɛhʌðiːɛhʌðiːɛm
  • Louboutin - njuːnbjuːtɛm
  • Mars - moʊlf
  • Megan Fox - mjuːgiːniː fʌsk
  • Meme - mɪmɪɛ
  • Michael Ondaatje - miːɪkiːɪl ɒndiːɒɒnʌd͡ʒiːɛd͡ʒiːoʊ
  • Mike Posner - maɪs hʌnæshʌnæ
  • Milk - miːsp
  • Mjölnir - mʌˈd͡ʒʌntoʊ then mʌd͡ʒʌˈlʌntoʊ
  • Nebuchadnezzar - nɛˈbɒnt͡ʃoʊ ˈdɒnt͡ʃoʊ
  • New Orleans - njuːˈɒrliːoʊ liːˈænænɛs
  • Nietzsche - naɪntziːtziːtʃeɪ
  • Noam Chomsky - noʊæm t͡ʃoʊɪnskiː
  • Onomatopoeia - juːtoʊmætoʊpætoʊbɛdɛ
  • Panties - pænɪtiːz
  • Papier Mâché - pjuːpɛər mɒt͡ʃoʊ
  • Penis - biːpɪs
  • Porsche - pjuːɔərs
  • Prada - blɒmʌlɒ
  • Prerogative - sɛvɒn mɛθnɛ
  • Pneumonia - plʌˈmɔɪnə
  • Ralph Fiennes - rælpʌhʌ ˈfiːɛnɛnɛs
  • Rendezvous - ˈrændiːɪnsvjuːpɪs
  • Rob Dyrdek - rɪp daɪrʌndaɪrʌndaɪrʌndɛərkʌndɛər
  • Robin Thicke - rjuːbiː tiːjuːkiː
  • Salvatore Ferragamo - əsəvələvəˈtəmə əfəzələməˈgənə
  • Schadenfreude - ˈskjuːtɛnfrjuːdiː
  • Schedule - ʃʌniːɛ niːjuː
  • Slavoj Žižek - ˈklæklɔɪ ˈkliːklɛk
  • Stieg Larsson - stiːv lɒrˈsjuːsɛn
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - sjuːngɛərpɑrtljuːpiːfɑrtgɛərʃtɪlgɛərt͡ʃɑlɛkspɑrtælfɛkspiːɨngɛd͡ʒjuːpiːstoʊ
  • Tag Heuer - tjuːˈwɒn ˈkjuːwiːoʊ
  • Thesaurus - θʌˈθoʊθɪθ
  • Timothy Olyphant - θɪˈmɒθiː oʊˈlɪpɪhænt
  • Tony Okungbowa - tjuːdiːoʊ kʌndʌndʌndʌndoʊ bʌndɛndʌndoʊ
  • Tube - tjuːb
  • Tutankhamun - tɒtnɒtɒnɒˈtɒnkoʊdiː
  • Ubiquitous - juːpəkjuːpənjuːpɪs
  • Wednesday - wɒdnjuːstiː
  • Werner Herzog - wɒnˈdɒmgoʊ hɒnˈdɒndɛmgɛmboʊ
  • Wittgenstein - wɛntjuːgoʊnæstiː
  • Worcestershire - wʌgɛt͡ʃɛt͡ʃɛt͡ʃɛt͡ʃɛt͡ʃɛt͡ʃɛtɛərʃɜr
  • Xylophone - slæpəhoʊniː
  • Yves Saint Laurent - iːvɪθ seɪn wɒwɒ
  • Zach Galifianakis - sæʃ d͡ʒʊərdənæfɪˈnæpɪs

To see how closely these pronunciations match, you can get an AT&T web application to generate the speech. The correct syntax is: <phoneme alphabet="ipa" ph="juːˈlɒrɛn dɛərˈd͡ʒjuːnɛnjuːs"></phoneme>. While I was making this, I read a bunch of comments and discovered that Ellen Degeneres mentioned this video series on her show. I guess the vague reference at the Oscars is pretty meaningless compared to that. The one thing that has started to annoy me is the negative effect on the channel pronunciationbook. This is one of the real pronunciation channels that doesn't butcher the words. Ever since the PronunciationManual came out, the majority of the people watching this channel are the people who give low ratings to the videos and post comments about how inferior the original channel is to the comical version. But then again, in the YouTube world, any publicity tends to be good publicity.

Comments

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.