By LUCY ORMONDE
Now there’s a word I can’t say out loud.
Ditto Yves Saint Laurent, remuneration, pho, Hayden Panettiere and chipotle. (And yes, I know Hayden Panettiere is not technically a word, but damn it’s hard to get it to roll off the tongue.)
These are the words I look at on the page, ponder momentarily and then promptly skip over. I know what they mean, but ask me to say them aloud in public? Well, please don’t.
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had over the years about whether Babar is BA-bar or BAR-bar, Havianas is Hav-I-anas or Hav-anas and whether Uno is pronounced YOU-no, Oo-no ‘that card game.’Or what about whether you should say Celtic as SELL-tic or KEL-tic?
Best just not say those words. Ever.
For the girls in the Mamamia office the list of ‘words I can read but not say’ is long. There’s detritus, vale, coiffure, specificity and verbatim.
And let’s not forget Bon Iver, deus, excerpt (do we pronounce the ‘p?’), Givenchy, Hermes, paella, jalapeno, fajitas, memes, gifs (apparently it’s pronounced ‘jif’), zeitgeist and Zooey Deschanel.
Then there’s Nat Jastrzab, Mamamia’s production manager. We’re pretty sure not even she can say her last name.
Zoe Foster knows it’s like to fumble your way through a tricky word (or at least, watch other people do that). Recently, the former Mamamia beauty editor wrote a post about the beauty brand names no one can ever say. And they are?
La Prairie: La preh-ree
St Tropez: San Trow-pay
Little too late for the St Tropez tip for me.
I once asked a Witchery sales assistant if she had any of the “Saint Trop-ez” sandals in a 39. Cue awkward when she called another store to ask if they had any in the “San Trow-pay” variety.
But at least I tried, right?
What words can you not say?