Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chester Drawers and Other Mispronunciations

Writing about Chester Drawer made me think about how funny the English language is.  My friend John, a native North Carolinian, admitted that he spent roughly the first twelve years of his life thinking that "chest of drawers" was in fact pronounced "Chester Drawers."  After hearing John's brave confession, I was reminded of a sportscaster with whom I used to work.  He's a great guy who loves sports, but it drove me up the wall when he misspoke a particular phrase.  You know the phrase "for all intents and purposes"?  Well, Mr. Sports said, "for all intentional purposes"! Even after being corrected several times, he continued to say it this way.  Why?

It made me think of my own foibles with the English language:  I was in fourth grade when I discovered that supposed  was not spelled sposed, as in "He's sposed to call me tonight!"  In John's case and my case, we were children growing up in the south who were simply listening to the way in which others around us were speaking.  To a certain extent, we are the products of our environments*.  Luckily, common sense and higher education prevailed.  As for Mr. Sports, well, I think he was just stubborn.  (By the way, he's also from the south.)

A Google search of Chester Drawers led to a couple of discoveries, one interesting, one scary.  The interesting one is a library (not libary) of the 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English.  In addition to the beloved Chester Drawers, the list includes classics such as artic (instead of arctic), supposably (instead of supposedly), and - my personal favorite - doggy dog world (instead of dog-eat-dog world).  It seems as if most of these mistakes are made by people from the south, so I wonder if these are colloquial.  Irregardless, it was fun to read this list and think back to my childhood and how happy I am to have escaped it relatively unscathed.

The scary discovery I made while searching Chester Drawers is that a person named Chester Drawers actually exists.  Well, it's the name of a character played by a children's author, but still.  While I was too scared to investigate his entire website, I did notice a couple of instances where he misused commas on his homepage.  I hope the children he visits in schools don't visit his website and think that's the correct way to write.  

*I agonized over whether to type products of our environments or product of our environment.  I went with the plural because the subject is we.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chester Drawers

If you're looking for furniture, or you just want to see really large furniture, visit the Piedmont area of North Carolina.  High Point is known as the Furniture Capital of the World (or Home Furnishings Capital of the World, if you want to include things such as lamps).  Ten miles away in Thomasville sits what could be the world's largest chair.  And in quaint Jamestown stands a big-ass bureau at Furnitureland South

It's hard to miss this behemoth attached to one of the buildings in this mega furniture shopping complex.  Unless, of course, you're not paying attention.  Yes, this bureau, which a friend of mine called Chester Drawers, is big.  And ornate.  I wonder if the drawers open.  

Elsewhere on the compound one can find ridiculously over-price lawn ornaments, such as this seal here.

Cats of the Week: Sug, Weezy, and Elvis

Now my Cat of the Day has become Cat of the Week.  It really should be Cat of the Every Other Month.  Anyway, here are Sug, Weezy, and Elvis.  They belong to my friends John and Tammy down in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  They are soft and sweet.

Sug is not a Russian Blue - my first guess - but she's just as beautiful, isn't she?

Aww, doesn't this picture just break your heart?

Take a look at that exquisite silver coat.

Weezy, the softest cat in the world.

Weezy wears fur pants.

Weezy poses with the pink flamingoes.

This little guy is Elvis.  He was pretty elusive during the picture-taking process, so this is the best I could do!  He's awfully cute, though.