Pronunciation Wars

I think Bryce is getting caught between his two sets of grandparents when it comes to learning how to pronounce some words. This became very apparent when we recently sat down to play a game he got from his Southern grandma and grandpa—aka “Gigi” and “Pops.”

We all love the Thomas the Train board game, particularly Daddy, who loves to arrange items in the most efficient manner—as you all know! We all are familiar with his analysis on how best to load a car or the dishwasher. I even attended his dishwasher seminar but still cannot do it correctly.

To play the game, each player picks a card during their turn. Every card contains a picture of a particular item, which you must then place ever so carefully on the train. Do it wrong, and they all come tumbling down. Among the items are a few crates, milk containers, boulders, and a barrel.

When we played the game this week, one of us picked the card with the barrel and immediately said, “I got the ‘ba-rel,’ pronouncing the ‘a’ like in the word ‘bat.’ I was immediately corrected. “It’s called a ‘beer-el,’ Grandma. I looked at Dad, and he agreed with me, but Bryce was firm with his pronunciation.

Finally, I looked at him and asked, “Where did you learn to say ‘beer-el?”

“From Gigi and Pops,” he casually answered. Apparently, our Northern way of saying that word was incorrect as far as Bryce was concerned.

I will have to check this out during my book club this week, since we have one woman from South Carolina, another from Texas, a third from Minnesota, and someone from somewhere in the middle like Wisconsin or Iowa. It will be very interesting to compare the various pronunciations based upon the area where each woman was raised.

For now, I think this is not the last time Daddy and I will be have disagreements with Bryce caused by how Grandma and Grandpa’s accents differ from Gigi and Pop’s. It should be very interesting!


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