So Christmas is on its way. Hooray!!
Now all of the people that cry innocent baby tears when someone plays Christmas music before Thanksgiving can rest assured that their special feelings will be intact until next November when those pre-Thanksgiving-Christmas-music-playing rascals come out from their caves to annually ruin lives. I salute you, Oppressive Thanksgiving Activists. Someone's gotta keep those Chestnuts from Roasting until it is appropriate to do so.
[Side note: My mother's dislike of "Chestnuts Roasting" has been conditioned into all of her children. None of us like The Christmas Song. Why? I don't actually know. I haven't asked in a while. It's just something Pavlovian in me that causes my gag reflex to activate when I hear about those wily Chestnuts.]
Unfortunately, this time of year is when I'm faced with two of my biggest word pronunciation fears.
Pecan and Caramel.
For some reason, these two delights come up in conversation a lot more at Christmastime than at any other time of year.
You've got 2 camps, essentially.
There's the PEE-can and CAR-mull group. And there's the pe-CAHN and KARA-mell group. I have not chosen a team. The PEE-can team seems like they were all raised in trailers and wear NASCAR t-shirts that are cut-off at the midriff. The pe-CAHN people seem like they are all named Pascal and wear blazers 24/7. I have not yet found my place.
For a while, I wasn't sure how to handle myself in situations where pronouncing these words was called for. I would just switch teams/pronunciations every other time I would say the word. This felt wrong and non-committal. People feel strongly about their pronunciations.
ASIA: The CAR-mull on this KARA-mell apple is delish!
The "I have picked a camp." guy: You are shameful.
Then they'd probably either say or think a cuss word at me. BUT! Now I have figured out how to cope with my inability to commit. Firstly, I try to avoid these words all together.
ASIA: Oooh! The gooey inside of this candy bar is delish!
Other person: [confused...]
It mostly works as long as you say it with you head held high, as if you are too important to remember the official names of candy bar ingredients. You are simply too busy hanging out with Coldplay and Vera Wang to bother with such things. The other coping mechanism is to pronounce it totally wrong -- but, here's the catch -- say it with an unidentifiable accent. Then it looks like you are funny and you don't have to explain why your funny-ness manifests itself with the British/Indian mispronunciation of Christmastime treats. You're just that cool.
ASIA: Oh, how I love a delish PEE-CAHN. Hmufmufmuf! [ <---- this is how you laugh with an unidentifiable accent]
Other person: Oh what a splash you are!
Hopefully you have good enough friends/associates that they would call you a splash when you're being one. Those people are hard to find. Cherish them. Cherish them this holiday season.