As a student, I enjoy studying other cultures and other languages. So it is incredibly irksome when people mispronounce foreign words. Now, I’m not talking about the people who do it by accident. That would be something you would probably complain about. I’m talking about the people who do it on purpose and think they’re absolutely hilarious.
Granted, there are some foreign terms that are mispronounced to this day simply because the term stuck. The most notable example of this would be karaoke, pronounced carey-okey in the United States even though the term came from Japan, pronounced kah-rah-oh-kay in Japanese. We can thank World War II for terms such as these. However, there are times when people pronounce foreign words, particularly Spanish words, incorrectly in order to get a laugh.
The chief example in this case is when people mispronounce the Spanish word for thank you, “Gracias.” They pronounce the first half as “grassy” while they pronounce the other half with a short vowel “a” and then add an extra “s,” the full word not being something I would write in a letter.
Now, I’m not saying that nobody should do this. Not in the slightest, since this is common in sketches and skits that are making fun of obnoxious tourists. It’s just the people who do it in the middle of a conversation and expect uproarious laughter that need to be hurt.
The reason why I’m complaining about this to you is because if there’s anybody I know that would start this trend, it would be you. So the point that I’m making here is that, quite frankly, you’re not funny. You’re just being insensitive and asinine. The same goes for anybody who laughs at that kind of humor. They are just as insensitive and asinine, if not more so.
To reiterate, purposefully mispronouncing foreign words for the sake of comedy, at the expense of the language and associated culture, is not funny. It’s incredibly juvenile and insensitive. Anybody who laughs at that kind of thing is just as dumb. It would be in your best interest to stop this behavior before you say it around the wrong person.
Stephen Romney, and the rest of the world.