Monday, January 30, 2012

"It's Absolutely Pronounced 'On-Deeve'"

How much do I LOVE the "Straight Talk" television commercial when the woman talking on the phone says--and I paraphrase--"and we'll have an endive, it's absolutely pronounced on-deeve." My hats are off to this phone company and ad agency who seem to be, in addition to selling a product, on a mission to single-handedly teach America how to say endive.

It is INDEED pronounced On-DEEVE.  I remember the exact moment in 1985 when I learned I had mispronounced that leafy green lettucey thing (I said ON-dive that day).  I had gone out to lunch at a swank Washington, D.C. eatery on the Hill with a group from my UO Alumni Association (including the new Executive Director visiting from Eugene) and, due to my budget limitations, I ordered the endive was the cheapest item on the menu.  When I went back to my office and retold the entire lunch story from start to finish to my coworkers (I had shared a ride with my very cute Alumni ED and was all atwitter)--including what I had ordered for lunch--I was gently told it was on-DEEVE salad I had ordered, not ON-dive salad.  What did I know?  (I was from a small town on the Oregon Coast for heaven's sake.)

But, I was TOTALLY embarrassed by the memory of ordering incorrectly since I was supposed to be a cosmopolitan East Coast city girl. I never mispronounced it again.

So, I salute you Straight Talk phone company and your ad agency.  We will get America on track one endive leaf at a time.



Ernie Branscomb said...

Hummm... It has long been my philosophy that if someone knows what you meant to say, they already know what you said. It is only rude to correct someone. Plus, you wouldn't believe the things that Spence eats. Some things are yet to be named, correct pronunciation notwithstanding.

The Editors said...

Thank you, Ernie, thank you. And yes, you and I both know it is pronounced "buck meat" and not venison.