Friday, January 31, 2014

I mispronounced “consortium” in front of a consortium

I said it like “consort-ee-um” and the consortium rolled its eyes. I knew I had messed up, but how often do you get to talk to a consortium, so I kind of felt like “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”

I kept talking for a while but I was aware I had goofed. I think it’s because I read a lot and don’t talk to a lot of people, so I say things in my head that I don’t get a chance to say out loud and sometimes the wrong pronunciation sticks. Eventually I stopped talking because the consortium was just looking at me. 

It just looked at me, but I couldn’t tell if it was looking at me with interest or pity or what. This was at a New Year’s party, I should say, and I had to talk loud to get my voice over the crowd, and I thought maybe it hadn’t heard me and that’s why it wasn’t answering me, but then the consortium started slowly pivoting away from me, so I was like “oooohhhh-kaaaay”. It was moving very slowly and I felt like everyone was watching it move slowly.

Here’s a true thing, this is actually the truth: when I was younger, I knew the word “epitome” and I said it correctly out loud, but when I read it, I pronounced it in my head like “epi-tome” and I think my brain actually categorized these as two different words. I mean, I didn’t literally think these were two different words, I didn’t think that hard about it, but I definitely remember one day in high school, walking to Algebra II and having this realization that the word I’d been saying in my head when I read it and the word I said out loud whenever it came up were the same. I guess it doesn’t come up that often in conversation. The consortium was moving to a different part of the room.

I was over by the table with the crudités and the consortium was going over to a different area where some people were smoking. It bugged me for a while, to be honest! It kind of nagged me that I had done something wrong, like maybe I had offended it? I kind of go out of my way sometimes to not bother people. It was only later on the train when my friend Andy said, “What were you talking about with the consortium?” and I was like, oh, whoops.

“Nothing,” I said to Andy.

Andy lives in Carroll Gardens and I’m in Windsor Terrace, so he got off a few stops before me. The consortium had still been at the party when we left, and I hadn’t said goodbye or anything.

My phone was at like 2% so I had a while after Andy got off the train to just sit there and think about some things that I could have done differently, or maybe should do differently, in the future.  

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