Monday, March 8, 2010

The Noblest Obbligato

Talk about aftershocks. A hideous horrible natural disaster has forced us all to say the word Chile more often than we are accustomed to. The other day I got corrected because I said it as if it was chili, like a bowl of chili. “No, no, no,” she said. “CHEE-lay. It's pronounced CHEE-lay.” I was appropriately chastened, but then I got to thinking; I'll bet she says Paris and not pah-REE. Berlin, not bear-LEEN. But Chile is south of the border. Condescension is what it is. And it ruins an old third-grade joke that also invokes Turkey, China, and Denmark.

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