That’s Not The Way You Say It

The executive vice president of was standing in front of a large room full of people. It was one of those quarterly corporate “rah-rah” meetings for the sales team and he was presenting recognition awards for outstanding contributions by employees. Those in attendance were sitting in anticipation of who the recipients of the awards would be, each hoping it might be him or her.

A laptop on the podium he was standing behind displayed a narrative that someone had prepared for him. He clearly was reading it, probably for the first time. As he recited the accomplishments of a particular individual, he said, “Joe Schmo (I can’t remember the guy’s name) has reached a zenith in product sales this quarter. He is the epitome of salesmanship.”

No doubt you know that the proper pronunciation of the word “epitome” is “ih-pit-uh-mee.” It’s not “epi-tome,” as if it rhymed with “hippodrome” or “Thunderdome,” which is the way this high level executive pronounced it.

I found it almost unfathomable that a man of his stature would not know how to pronounce that word. I didn’t feel any disdain for this highly accomplished, indefatigable executive. Instead, I felt liberated, realizing that even the most well respected, highly regarded executive was fallible, capable of fucking up the pronunciation of a common word in front of a room full of underlings. It was a truly landmark moment for me.


Written for these daily prompts: JusJoJan (anticipation), Ragtag Daily Prompt (zenith), The Daily Spur (product), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (epitome), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (unfathomable), Word of the Day (disdain), Your Daily Word Prompt (indefatigable), and My Vivid Blog (landmark).

19 thoughts on “That’s Not The Way You Say It

  1. Lou Carreras January 6, 2022 / 1:17 pm

    Damn, I never realized until you pointed it out, but I frequently pronounce it both ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lindakempwriter January 6, 2022 / 4:02 pm

    Love this! My daughter had a teacher in 2019, who kept pronouncing ‘hyperbole’ as hi-per-bowl, not hi-per-boll-ee. I had to restrain myself from contacting the principal!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marilyn Armstrong January 6, 2022 / 4:51 pm

    I made that same mistake, but I think I was maybe 11? 12? I had seen the word in books, but I’d never heard it pronounced. I also didn’t know that Tucson wasn’t “tuck-son” because I knew there was a Tucson Arizona, but it never occurred to me that this word was THAT word. But — hey — I was a kid!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango January 6, 2022 / 11:02 pm

      At 11 or 12, you can be forgiven for mispronouncing certain words.

      Like

  4. Archon's Den January 6, 2022 / 10:48 pm

    When the first Harry Potters came out, many of the tweens were pronouncing Emma Watson’s character’s name, either as her-mee-own, or her-mee-one(wun). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nope, Not Pam January 7, 2022 / 1:25 am

    It might have been deliberate, like my boss burning the sausages at the staff BBQ. He assures me that was deliberate 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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