There are a few words that my dad pronounces differently than most folks. The funniest one is ‘chimbly.’ In case you can’t figure it out, that would be ‘chimney’ to you and me. But my late grampa (my dad’s father-in-law, a Cornell alumnus) put a stop to that pronunciation right away. At least, that’s how the family story goes.
The next amusing twist—and probably my favorite—Dad puts on a word is ‘museum,’ pronounced ‘muh-ZEE-um.’ (It even makes me giggle as I’m typing it out).
My heart leapt for joy one day when Dad and I visited the High Museum of Art and joined one of the docent toursâ€”our docent was from somewhere in New England, and her accent kept delighting me with ‘myoo-ZEEM.’ But then the whole coincidence within a coincidence, within another coincidence made my head spin a little bit—but in such a good way!
I’ve decided that I’m now collecting new ways to pronounce ‘museum.’ And I collected a new one last night! My friend Sasha was telling a story about using a museum catalog as material to construct an envelope, and more than once—thrice, if I’m not mistaken—he said ‘myoo-ZAY-um.’ Gold. Struck.