Back when we lived in the SF Bay Area, my sister came to stay with a few days. We've always had a difficult relationship
, but there were periods off and on when we were relatively close. While I can admit she does have her good points, one thing that always irritated me was that she often (ok, most of the time) put on airs that she was so sophisticated - constantly "correcting" me, explaining things to me like I'm an idiot, condescending, fat shaming...the works.
Well, when she came out for that visit, DH and I took her to one of DH's favorite restaurants (which, sadly, has since closed) in SF. It wasn't a super-fancy place, but it wasn't a chain restaurant - it was just delicious.
While we were looking at the menus, S saw a little sign on the table advertising aperitifs. She decided she would get one.
The waiter came over to take our orders.
"Oh, I think I'll have an aper-teef
*," S said. *Spelled phonetically the way she pronounced it.
"Ok," he said, waiting for her to tell him her order.
After a few beats, he finally asked her which one she wanted.
"I said, an aper-teef!" S said.
"Yes," the waiter answered. "Which one would you like?"
S picked up the little tent sign on the table, held it up close to the waiter, and repeatedly tapped the line about aperitifs being $4.50 each.
"Can you read? It says aperitif and I want one! What is so hard about this for you?" S asked.
"Ma'am, there are many different kinds. Do you want a Bloody Mary? An Old Fashioned? A Martini..."
"No. I told you, I want an aper-teef
DH explained that an aperitif (pronounced ah-pear-eh-teef
) is basically a pre-dinner cocktail.
She ended up not ordering an aperitif. So much for being so sophisticated.
I had to stifle a chuckle, because it was mildly vindicating for me, having been on the receiving end of one too many of her unwelcome explanations. However, I have to admit, until DH explained it, I had no idea what an aperitif was, or how to pronounce it. I guess I don't come from a very sophisticated background, nor have I been to that many restaurants where "aperitifs" were on the menu. Oh, well. At least I know what it is now, anyway.
But that got me thinking. What words/phrases are you unfamiliar with, and what words, if any, do you have trouble pronouncing?
For me, I have difficulty with the word "libertarian". I don't know why, but whenever I say it, I always pronounce it as though I'm going to say "librarian" with a long "i" sound. Just a verbal tick, I guess.
What are yours? I'm sure I can think of more words/phrases that I don't know, like "aperitif".