Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Bief with Bieber

This was originally entitled ‘The BEEF with Bieber’ and was going to post on Tuesday Stew- but although The Prude  liked the beef/stew connection she thought it worked even better as a ie diphthong tirade for
Readin’, Writin’ and ‘Rithmetic Wednesday.

Have you heard of somebody named Justin Bieber?
He reminds The Prude of Bobby Sherman. Have you heard of him?
They both have a lot of hair. No doubt have both been on the cover of Tiger Beat Teen Magazine.

That is all the Prude really knows about Justin Bieber.
So what is her bief?
His last name.

Think about Bobby Sherman’s last name. Anyone with a modicum of grammar knows that it is pronounced SURE-man. The only confusion could lie with which syllable to emphasize (Bobby sure-MAN?)

Mr. Bieber’s surname is another story.
One assumes it sounds like the rodent- Justin sounds-like BEAVER

BUT! it could also defy common rules of ‘ie’ diphthong pronunciation!

-If it sounds like ‘FRIEND’ he would be Justin BEBBER
-If it sounds like ‘LIE’ he would be Justin BIBER
-If it sounds like  ‘SCIENCE’ he would be Justin BY-EBER
Add the dynamic of which syllable to emphasize and the pronunciation combinations are almost endless.

Therein lies the bief. Grammar groupies not in the know could easily mispronounce this young man’s name. Scorn could be heaped on the hapless groupie’s head and possibly tar and feathering could ensue by enraged Justin Bieber fans.

Do you want your child to grow up to be on Tiger Beat Teen Magazine? Here are The Prude’s recommendations:

1) Feed the child protein and keratin for development of hair most incredible
2) Avoid unwieldy vowel combinations in your child’s name. Have it legally changed if necessary.

Grammar Groupies of the world thank you.


katstrange said...

The rules of German say that:

ie sounds like e
ei sounds like i

Thus, Bieber.

That being said, he's not nearly as cute as Bobby was.

Lori said...

I used to love, love Bobby Sherman! There was a big poster of him on my bedroom door. It came out of a Tiger Beat centerfold. I rarely had enough money for the luxury of buying Tiger Beat, so that poster was a treasure.
Thanks for the memories and the advice.

bethBA said...

Funny in that a teacher I was working with today asked how I would pronounce the name "Heman". We find out tomorrow when we take 50 first graders to visit his farm!