Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Pronunciation of Jaguar

A silly thing to post, I know, but this blog is about my musings after all, and I think about all sorts of random things.

Here's a pet peeve of mine: on the radio the other day, there was a Jaguar ad spoken by a guy who had a weird accent. It was most definitely not a British accent, but something elsewise European. Anyway, so he kept repeating the name of the car he was advertising, as he should have, but every time he said it, I flinched. I recognize that I'm a pseudo-redneck unsophisticated American hack with no hope of being considered truly pretentious, but seriously, the word "jaguar" in the United States is pronounced ja-gwar. Look it up. Yet he kept pronouncing it ja-gyoo-ar.

Now, I recognize that in England, the latter pronunciation is correct, but the radio spot was not delivered in England! I can understand the desire to sound sophisticated, particularly for that brand of automobile, but even so, it was downright annoying.

Here's how sophisticated I am: when I think of the word "jaguar" I think of Mater from the Pixar movie Cars when he says, "You know, I once knew this girl Doreen. Good lookin' girl. Looked just like a ja-gwar, only she was a truck! You know, I used to crash into her, just so I could spoke to her."

It's just me, I totally know it.


Courtney said...

You crack me up. Especially your Mater quote. Maybe where ever the guy in the commercial was from, they pronounce it the British way too. We American's tend to do things differently from just about everyone else.

Brad and I been watching a lot of BBC's Top Gear lately. Now whenever I see Jaguar, I pronounce it the British way in my head. I wouldn't ever say it that way in conversation though. I'd stick with Mater's pronunciation too. :)

Mark said...

OK. In Autralia, we had terrific sportscar named after a region in Souther NSW. This region was named by early British explorers after enquiring with the local Aboriginal folk about what they called their home. They replied - 'Man-Air-Oh' [my spelling]. The explorers wrote into their notebooks - Monaro [their spelling]. In the 1960's, Holden released their famous sportscar - the Monaro. The voiceover guy on the TV called it 'Mon-Ah-Ro'. Simply unaware of the original pronuciation. To this day, the Monaro region of NSW is called Man-Air-Oh, not Mon-Ah-Ro. Holden re-released a new version early in Noughties - it sold well, but was discontinued; I think the export market weakened or fuel prices scared buyers off the bigger car. Thought you might be interested. See a Monaro on Wikipedia here:

Click here to see the full blog.

Visitor Map