Saturday, January 24, 2009

Melancholy Musings on "Melancholy"

I have finally decided that I strongly dislike the word melancholy. The realisation came just an hour ago when I heard the word used on the radio and I suddenly realised how ridiculous the word really sounds. I'd been turning a blind ear to it for a while because:
For years well, since I was aware of the word's existence, I never heard it spoken out loud. Not once. So I of course developed my own pronunciation. I never tested this pronunciation verbally, but it sounded great in my head. In fact, I really quite liked the word. Then one day in a year 10 English class our teacher got a kid to read out a section of text, which had the word melancholy in it. I read ahead a bit, anticipating the word being pronounced the way I 'heard' it in my head and instead the boy comes out with, well how it's pronounced. Melon - Kolly. Right? I almost laughed out loud, But everyone else took it in without notice so I didn't. I went home, checked with the mum-who-happens-to-be-an-English-teacher-too and found out that my mental pronunciation (which is actually impossible to say out loud) was totally wrong.
"No way!" I thought. "Melan (long a) - chy. Not that hard. Sounds better. In fact, my way actually sounded melancholy, not like this ridiculous sounding word that had come out of nowhere and was not to be respected because it sounded anything BUT melancholy.
Since then, I've always been very dissapointed int he word melancholy, and when I read by myself, still relish being able to pronounce the word my way. But tonight melancholy crossed the line into that inenviable teritory of STRONGLY DISLIKED WORD.
I suggest you dislike it too.


cursoryglance said...

Was that 'boy' me? I seem to remember reading it in class once.

I learnt how to pronounce it from hours of playing the game '1080' on Nintendo 64. Apparently its also a snowboarding trick. Obviously it's an easy trick, because I remember hearing it lots, and I was not very good.

| : alyssa : | said...

I remember the boy being chris but who knows. I think my memory is a bit inaccurate. lol.

cursoryglance said...

There's a lot of melancholy being read these days.

Eric said...

i remember it being chris too... but i though he said 'melan-cholly; (you gotta hear it said). haha