or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Can Do

A sign on a church that I pass on the way to work was advertising a Christmas "contata".

I don't expect everyone to know that "cantata" is Italian and comes from Latin "cantare", "to sing", from which English gets such words as "incantation", "chant", "chanticleer", and even "recant". If you know those things, then you could never misspell "cantata" in the way the signmaker did, because you know that the vowel is wrong, and in fact impossible.

However, I'm genuinely baffled that anyone could spell the word "contata". If you pronounce the first syllable "con-", don't you pronounce the second syllable with the same vowel sound? Wouldn't you get "contota" or "contotta"? Did the person charged with putting up the sign sort of know that the word ended with "-tata" but just didn't know what to do about that first vowel sound?

Sometimes people tell me I over-analyze things, and sometimes I think they're right.


Blogger Elaine said...

If you didn't over analyze things you wouldn't have such an interesting blog. Thank God for thinkers like you

Saturday, January 05, 2008 10:54:00 AM  

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