You Should Just Ignore The Ephelant In The Room

| NM, USA | Friendly | May 22, 2017

(I overhear this conversation between two students, a guy and a girl.)

Girl: “I just can’t say it!”

Guy: “Okay, just try. Say ‘eh.'”

Girl: “Eh…”

Guy: “…le…”

Girl: “…le…”

Guy: “…phant.”

Girl: “…phant.”

Guy: “Elephant!”

Girl: “Ephalent!”

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  • Jennifer Smith

    I have a friend that is this way with the word cinnamon. Try as she might, she would always say sim a nin, even after breaking it down a syllable at a time.

    • Larthan Delaponte

      Mmm synonym rolls.
      Just like the ones grammar used to make.

      All fun aside, my own mother couldn’t say ‘ambulance’ (amber lance), or chimney (chim-a-lee). Luckily I haven’t had the same problems, but honestly it just takes some patience. <3

      • UrbanDweller64

        Actually chimley seems to be an older English variation. My mom and some of her family use it. That being said, my mom could not speak French or pronounce most French words to save her soul. We are an English from a French community in Manitoba and my mom could not get the accented words to work for her… ever. Think of Joey on Friends when Phoebe is trying to teach him French. That was my mom… syllable by syllable she was fine. Put it all together and it made no sense. lol

      • Benny

        My mother has a few words she has difficulty with (“Janruary” comes to mind…and yet she says February with the first “r” silent).

        • Cathrope

          Same here. To me, the first “r” should be silent.

  • EJ Nauls-Poland

    For the longest time, a friend of mine claimed that he couldn’t pronounce the word aluminum correctly, always pronouncing it alunimum. One day I told him that I would give him $50 bucks on the spot if he said it correctly. He said it correctly immediately, then realized that the $50 was fake.

    • Becca Clark

      I had to take speech therapy as a 5 year old because I couldn’t say certain words, such as cinnamon and aluminum.

      • Trihan

        My wife can’t pronounce cinnamon or caterpillar. She says “cinnonim” and “capertillar”. It’s adorable.

        • Kida Ferrari

          My father can’t say “sushi”, it comes out as “shushi”. It was really fun when he met a waiter that pronounced it “chuchi” (chilean thing). My sister and I almost cried.

      • I had speech therapy, but then my doctors finally noticed my jaw was a lot smaller than it should’ve been and my front teeth stuck out too far to fully close my mouth…

        Surgery fixed most of my problems but if I try and say “brewery” I sound like Homestar Runner.

    • MartinH

      Heh – no American can pronounce the word aluminium correctly.

      • EJ Nauls-Poland

        We pronounce it correctly, it’s you all that both spell and pronounce it incorrectly.

        • MartinH

          Of course – it was originally named aluminum after alumina, but Sir Humphry Davy thought -ium sounded better, and campaigned to change it. So -um is the more legitimate spelling.

          • Isa Frostborn

            I did not know that. Thanks for sharing!

      • Veronica Niechajczyk

        al-oo-meeneeum, you mean?

  • Krissandra Humphrey

    I do the same thing with a few words. The way to train your brain is to slow down the word every time you try to say the word, for example if I was using the word philosophical in a sentence I would slow it down to phi-lo-soph-ical before continuing. Over time you start to say it right the first time

  • Just Melly

    This is literally my sister. Her brain moves too fast for her too keep up. Especially when she’s talking.

  • Blake Barrett

    I’ve never heard of that aminal.

  • sacke5

    If a word pronunciation is stuck in your head, it’s very difficult to change that.

  • Kalu-chan

    When I was a kid, I loved multivitamin juice. It took me years to get that said juice was not, in fact, called “vultivitamin” juice.

  • KashyaCharsi

    Reminds me of Joey in Friends.

  • ladyrage8

    So I took an acting class taught by Aaron Jackson– ran for I don’t even remember how many years on the sitcom California Dreams and works as a producer/agent/casting director/etc. in the business now- and he told us a story from his first day on set for the show.
    The first ever scene he shot, he had to say “Carnegie Hall”. And he couldn’t. He kept saying CarnEGGie, which the pronunciation doesn’t read well but you get the idea. They took 57 takes. After the 56th take, he was told that if he couldn’t say that line correctly, he would not be continuing on the show.
    Like I said, he ran on that show for many years.

    • Deanna Klemm

      CarnEGie is the Pittsburgh way to pronounce it.
      Source: I live in CarnEGie and pronounce it CarnEGie

      • ladyrage8

        It’s common to say “CarNegie” where I’m from and that’s what they wanted for the show, I guess.

        • Deanna Klemm

          CAR-negie is the common pronounciation, but I think the actual person prononuced it Carn-EGG-ie

          • ladyrage8

            THAT’S the pronunciation I was trying to give!

      • Ellex

        Wha? It’s Car-NAY-gee.

        Unless that was what you were intending to convey. I’m unsure.

        OTOH, while I am a born and raised “Picksburger”, I have to confess I don’t have the Yinzer accent.

        • Deanna Klemm

          Yup, Carn-EGG-ee, Car-Nay-Gee, same phonetic spelling

    • Leigh

      Random opinion: Always thought Aaron Jackson was cute in California Dreams. Such a baby face.

      • ladyrage8

        He grew out of the baby face. He’s pretty chill and hilarious as a teacher.

    • Megalodon

      Would that i’ TWER so simple…

  • Scott Frank Clemons

    Ooh, missed it by two syllables.

  • Megalodon


    • Jackie Fauxe

      It IS a place for learning.

  • Kimber Highfill

    That is precisely how my three-year-old says “elephant”.

    • Fyva Prold

      How about squillar?

  • Bethany Lieflijk

    “Elephalant… elphalant…”

    • Jackie Fauxe


      • Harold George Wagner III


  • Jane

    Oh dear! Extra strong ginger ale in my nose! That was funny, but painful!

  • Joseph Davis

    A ephelant or woozle/is very confuzzle/a ephelant or woozle’s very sly (sly! sly! sly!)

  • RallyLock

    When I was in middle school Health class (I think it was 7th Grade, but not positive), we did a group presentation project on STD’s/STI’s – basically talking about what your particular STD/STI was, what the symptoms were, how to treat it, etc. My group ended up doing our project on syphilis. One of my partners ended up mispronouncing it the first time he tried to say syphilis during our presentation, and everyone in class ended up hearing it as “silly fist”. We couldn’t finish our presentation because all the kids were laughing too hard.

  • Missy Lamb

    That’s adorable.

  • Realist

    What do you get if you cross an Elephant with a Rhino?

    • Huck Perry

      an Elephino or a Rhinphant