Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday Thoughts #30

"We're always disappointed when we find out someone else has human limits, the same as we do. It's stupid for us to feel that way, and we really ought to know better, but that doesn't seem to slow us down." from Harry Dresden of course.

I wrote recently, last year, (that sounds so long ago doesn't it?) about the awful smell permeating my home from the cypress tress and hedges around here.

Some time later, I heard a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, known around here as CCR, and in one line there is mention of meeting by the cypress tree. 
For years I'd thought the line was "meet by the big red tree", until I looked up the lyrics, because I'm unfamiliar with their pronunciation of cypress.

They say "sip-ress" where I've always thought it was "sigh-press" 

So I'm asking all of you, which is it? 
Is there a definite pronunciation or is it one of those "depends which country you are from" things? 

Being partly deaf, I've had this mispronunciation thing going on all my life. 

If I have read a word, but never heard it spoken, I'll make up my own pronunciation as I'm reading.
Now that I'm older, that works quite well, but when I was much younger, the pronunciations I came up with didn't often make sense to the story I was reading at the time. So whenever I came across that particular word I would skip over it and just continue reading.

The word that comes most forcefully to mind is "underfed". As a small child, I had never heard this word spoken. Under fed. Meaning of course, someone who doesn't get enough to eat. 
So I read it as "underf-ed" and it never made sense to me. Until I heard underfed in conversation many years later, then it suddenly clicked. 
Another is "subtle" with the silent "b". I didn't know it was silent until high school.

Anyone else have/had this problem? 

Here's something new. I've just heard on the news (7Jan2015) that Tony Abbott is thinking of adding GST to fresh foods. 
Increase the cost of foods that are already too expensive for many people? 
What the hell Mr Prime Minister??
There is already GST on so many things, including processed and fast foods, with the idea that this would drive more people to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Now you want to tax those too??


  1. Sigh-press for me.

    I had never thought of that reading issue for the deaf. Maybe there should be books for young deaf readers that have certain words broken down with dictionary phonetics. Though you have obviously done quite well overcoming the reading disadvantage.

  2. The hubs is partially deaf (mostly) and some of his pronunciations are quite interesting.

  3. Sighpress here too.
    And another sigh on the GST front. A big sigh.

  4. Sip-press? I've never heard the word pronounced as such. I recently wrote the word hyperbole in a blog comment. I was quite old before I knew how it was pronounced, A word often used in the tv show Lost in Space puzzled me and I was quite young when I decide to write it down as I heard it. Elperimative, or something like that. Can you guess? Affirmative.

  5. Mine was cup-board. People were always going to the cup board in my books. I never associated Mother Hubbard's cupboard with the cup board I read in all other books. Perhaps the poem was recited to me. Who knows. I believe I was ancient before I figured it out.

  6. Life is confusing so is language if you can't spell it's worse but you just make up what you don't understand if you are not ruling the world I guess it doesn't matter too much.

  7. Well, Mr Dresden, I'm happy that others are as fallible as I - not one to place people on pedestals. We are all flawed ;)

    I’ve always, known it as and, heard it pronounced as sigh-press.
    Perhaps some (rare) people don’t want to confuse conifer trees with the Republic of Cyprus.
    The odd song writer/singer will pronounce words differently – as confusing as that is.
    I’d like to think that John Fogerty knew the “correct” pronunciation of cypress :)

    Bloody GST on fresh foods. As if there aren’t enough taxes already in this most expensive country to live in.
    Do they want us to get sick and burden the health system even more? Ugh…

  8. I've always pronounced it "sigh-press". When we renovated the house in Torwood and my ex built the new kitchen for us he used cypress pine for the cupboards etc., and it was always pronounced as above...even by the timber merchants. Perhaps that's how we Aussie pronounce it...and it's different in many other cases.

    I've never had a problem with "underfed"...not with the word, nor with being underfed! :)

    1. "elsewhere" is what I meant to type. :)

  9. joeh; since sigh-press is the most common pronunciation, I suspect a little artistic licence was applied in the CCR song.
    Dictionary phonetics woud be great for older readers, but maybe not for the really young kids who might not understand the directions unless an adult is helping; of course the level of deafness would play a part in that too.

    Delores; do you help him with pronunciations or do you both just have a giggle about it?

    Elephant's Child. Another sigh-press. Huge sighs on the GST front. Wasn't GST originally introduced so that other taxes could be abolished? Like stamp duty for example. Yet I've recently read that stamp duty on property purchases is what stops many young people buying a first home. And get this...Queensland $6000 for a $400,000 property, while other states pay $15,000 for a $400,000 property and about $30-40,000 for an $800,000 property. Then there's transaction costs....hundreds in other states, thousands in SA.
    on top of all that we have the GST which was supposed to abolish.....we're going in circles now.

    Andrew; I've only heard sip-press in that one song, but it did make me wonder. As for hyperbole; I spent years saying hyper-bowl, just like the name Penelope, I said Penny-lope and wondered why anyone would call their daughter such a silly name. I can only get Elperimative out of Affirmative if I think in a Scottish accent.

    Joanne; I had that same trouble with cupboard, I never associated a board that cups are placed upon, with the shelf in a cupboard, until I was in school. Then it suddenly clicked.

    Merle; sometimes I think the made up versions are better or funnier, but that doesn't work with crossword puzzles.

    Vicki; true, we are all flawed, but sometimes we just don't see it straightaway. Think of youngsters who look up to their heroes only to find as they grow up the heroes have faults like anyone else.
    I'm guessing a little artistic licence went into CCR's song.
    Enough taxes already? Damn straight there are! Sometimes I wonder if M Rabbit is trying to shut down the country altogether.

    Lee, so it's 100% for sigh-press. I've never had a problem with being underfed either, under nourished perhaps, years of baked beans and plum jam sandwiches, but there was always enough of them. Mashed potatoes too, but the instant kind.

  10. Sigh-press works for me too. I've heard some funny misunderstandings when kids hear things differently to what is meant. The best one was about a young boy whose favourite hymn from church was one about a cross-eyed bear called 'Gladly'! As you can probably guess, the hymn was called 'Gladly the cross I'd bear'!