Can I Buy A Vowel?

27 Sep

New word of the day: hyperforeignism. Hypoforeignism refers to when someone thinks they are adjusting a foreign word to make it grammatically or phonetically correct but they actually butcher the word in the process. The person may end up mispronouncing a vowel, adding an accent, adjusting the number of syllables, etc. Examples: latte, which is often spelled with an accent over the “e” even though the word is spelled without an accent in its original Italian. Habanero, which is spelled correctly here but people often think it needs a tilde over the “n” since the word is Spanish [making it (ñ)]. “The Colbert Report,” to which Colbert adds a faux French pronunciation, just for kicks. Etc. Reminds me somewhat of hypercorrection, which is when someone consciously constructs a sentence to observe a particular grammatical rule- but actually misunderstands the rule and messes it up. Now I just have to find a reason to use “hyperforeignism” in real life…

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