The Corner

Rode-o-do

I’m glad to know so many Texans listen to Radio Derb, and care enough to e-mail in with corrections to my pronunciation.

Rodeo.  This is really annoying. Back in England we pronounce it “ROH-dee-oh”. However, I somehow got the idea that Americans say “ro-DAY-oh”. So with true immigrant zeal, I tried to conform to what I thought was the local style. Now people are telling me that “ro-DAY-oh” is a loathsome Californization of the noble word, which every red-blooded, calf-scrambling, steer-roping Texan pronounces as “ROH-dee-oh”, like an Englishman. I’ll never get this darn country figured out.

Tejano.  Not “tee-JANE-oh”, but “tay-HAH-noh”, I’m being told. (Though there is general agreement that Tejano is to music as crabgrass is to horticulture.) Whatever. I call ‘em as I see ‘em. If I am still, albeit only for a short while longer, permitted to say “MEX-i-coh” instead of “MAY-hee-coh”, then why can’t I say “tee-JANE-oh” instead of “tay-HAH-noh”? Huh? Huh?

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