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There’s surely no need to call Charlize Theron the name of a fish

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There is a perfume advert on TV at the moment which is perplexing. It is for J’adore, and features Hollywood actress Charlize Theron relaxing in what looks like a Turkish bath, before going for a daunder in a shiny gold dress with some of her chums.

Right at the start of the ad, a voice says the word “tuna”.

Why tuna?

Charlize is a bonny lassie, and I’m sure the perfume smells very nice (though I’m guessing it costs a few bob). But I’m not sure it is entirely fitting to shout the name of a large (albeit very tasty) fish at the poor girl. Her acting isn’t that bad.

What has happened here, very probably, is that I have mis-heard or misunderstood what is said in the advert.

It is dangerous to repeat something you think you have heard but not fully understood. An editor I used to work with sent an email to all staff in which he claimed he wasn’t offay with something. It transpired he’d been attempting to write au fait, the French term for “have a good understanding of”. He was highly embarrassed upon realising his mistake, which made it all the more amusing.

The remedy is simple, always check you know what you are saying. Superman isn’t afraid of crip tonight, and the USA national anthem doesn’t reference the donzerly light. There was a successful racehorse called Potoooooooo in the 18th Century. He was originally called Potatoes but a stableboy, told to write the name on a feed bin, wrote Pot and then eight Os. The amused owner kept the name.

There has been, however, a word on TV all week that I haven’t mis-heard. When can households meet over the Christmas period? I thought the Covid restrictions were relaxed from December 23 to December 27, but it turns out I am wrong.

The changed rules, it has been repeatedly stated by politicians and reporters, run from the 23rd to the 27th of Dezember, with a Z. A month I’m not familiar with.

A vertical line could be drawn down the map of Scotland (somewhere to the east of Falkirk, I’d suggest) to separate those who say Dezember from those who insist upon December.

Now you might suggest that there is little room for a Dundee laddie to criticise anyone’s pronunciation foibles, coming from a city which says peh (pie), eh (eye) and skeh (sky). But at least Dundonian word-mangling is consistent. I don’t hear the Dezemberists saying dezide, dezent, or dezeption.

 


 

Word of the week

Postern (noun)

A secondary or back gate or door. EG: “I wonder if the lad who wrote Potoooooooo was told to leave by the postern gate?”


Read the latest Oh my word! every Saturday in The Courier. Contact me at sfinan@dctmedia.co.uk

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