Thursday, July 02, 2009


I was listening to an interview on the radio last night, and this guy was talking about Sarah Palin's credentials (!), and he mentioned her "bona fides". Except he pronounced it "bona fee-dees", and I was all, WHAT??? Hahahahahaha! It's "bona fydes", jerk, not "bona fee-dees"!

But then I remembered how, for the longest time, I thought that "impotent" was pronounced "im-PO-tent". Ooops. And honestly, I'm STILL not sure where the emphasis goes on "intestate".

So what say you? "Bona fee-dees"? or "Bona fydes"? And are there any words that you butchered for an embarrassingly long time (see impotent) before realizing you were saying it wrong?


Exador said...

The internet can save you. Most of the online dictionarys have a pronounciation wav file, where they say the word out loud.

Bona Fides

Bridgett said...

If you want to emphasize that you've been to law school and are using Important Latin Words, you say "fides" with two syllables. Otherwise, you say it "fides" to rhyme with "rides."

In -TES-tate. With most Latin words, the prefix is just slapped on and you pronounce it with the emphasis where it would be if the prefix wasn't there. In-TEMP-er-ate. In-VID-ious.

My "whatsay?" word as a child was Penelope. Penny-lope, uh-huh.

Bridgett said...

Correction...most Latin word starting with the prefix "in"...other prefixes not so much (inter, for example, which usually is just like a joined word -- inter-course, interstate).

rockygrace said...

EXADOR! Let's keep it clean around here, shall we? :)

Bridget, the prefix thing is helpful. Thanks! I never had a problem with Penelope, but Hermione? Which honestly, I had never given much thought to until the whole Harry Potter thing? I thought it was HER-mee-own. Ouch.

And for me, I think it will always be "bona fides", rhymes with "rides". I would feel like a twee idiot saying "bona feedees".

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out "vitae" (curriculum vitae). I've looked up the pronunciation, but I get so many options that I just know I'm going to choose the one that most people don't use.


I just try to avoid it by saying "CV." In fact, that's my rule for words I don't know how to pronounce: I just don't say them.

rockygrace said...

We just call 'em "c.v."s around the office!