20 Nov

52 Interesting Things #2: Artisanal / Artesian

From time to time discussions will arise with those in my life about the correct pronunciation of words. ‘Artisanal‘ is one of those words. I finally decided to look up the darn thing and alas, I have been pronouncing it incorrectly. Apparently it should be pronounced “ARR-tizz-uh-nul”, with the emphasis on the first syllable and no hard ‘ee’ sound. I’ve always known that an “artesian spring” gets the hard ‘ee’ and the emphasis on the second syllable, but I thought the same was true about artisanal. Have to rewire in my brain on this one.

Paul Brians’ ‘Common Errors in English Usage‘ seems like a fabulous book for answering these types of questions. Full of interesting little factoids about the use and misuse of the English language.

I wonder if it has any tips on apostrophe use for people whose last name ends in an ‘S’. I’m somewhat sure that I got it right above, but it seems like it could go either way.