• http://gorgeoux.blogspot.com gorgeoux

    Textbooks and audiobooks and TV courses for (even American!) English as a second language have CRAYON and nothing else. If you call it a CROWN, then what do you call a CROWN?!

    I’m amazed by the many interpretations “you” people can put out, use, and discuss freely. The Romanian community at Microsoft would have dropped the language skills tests for trying something this funny. And Bill Gates would be really angry today without 300+ developers.

    I find it entertaining enough to try out Russian, French, Greek, or Italian accents when I feel like scarying an American counterpart (leave aside British!). Your game sounds dangerous; I must be with the Lil League.

  • mkdaugherty

    Wow. This may be the first time I’ve read your site and disagreed with you :) You don’t have to tell Jon he’s right, though – husbands do not need that sort of leverage.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/sparkgrrl658 stephanie

    i’m just confused. i thought the audio clip would totally clear it up for me and i too would be going “crown! i get it!” except what happened was totally the opposite. i admit, i say cran, because if said “cray-on” it would sound like i was leta’s age trying to sound out a word for the first time.

    seriously, i don’t get the crown thing, at all. like, to the point of, if i was in your house and you said “can you hand me the red crown?” i would have no idea what you meant, unless the king’s royal headpiece was laying around, which is what i would hand to you.

    part of the reason that i say “cran” may also be that i am from the northeast, and not only the northeast but rhode island, where we certainly have our own dialect too as i’m sure you know, the least of which is never using the letter R. thankfully, i have outgrown my hideous r.i. accent [although it still haunts me in the form of old home movies] but i guess some things just stick with you.

    in conclusion, i vote you both lose :D

  • http://gwennierocks.livejournal.com guinnevere

    oh lord heather you dont really talk like that. honestly. i can tell youre one of those people who spent their entire young adult life training the hick right out of yourself with foreign films and too much booze. which was counterproductive, by the way.

  • http://www.kategilbert.com/blog Kate G.

    It’s pronounced “cran”, thankyouverymuch. No two syllables. No O. Cran.

  • flytrixie

    Sorry, Heather…I work for that big greeting card company (yeah, you know the one) that owns Crayola, and trust me, Crayola makes ‘kray-ons’. A ‘crown’ is what appears above the company name in our logo.

  • http://www.WannabeHippie.com GingerLane

    Ok, I’m from Southern California (and no, I’m not in the Gen Y group that makes everything sound like a damn question). I am not from the valley; I am just an ordinary girl speaking like they do on the news.

    CROWN is crazy talk. How can it possibly be “crown”? I can’t even wrap my brain around that one, hon and let me tell you, I’m willing to follow many the places you go. But this, dear Heather? I cannot agree.

    While I’ll accept that two syllables is more than required, I am a CRAN gal. So as far as I’m concerned, you’re both wrong.

    That’s all I’m gonna say ’bout that.

  • Teresa

    In our household both my husband and I pronouce it Cray-on, but our oldest child says Crown. Now you choose the smarter grouping, child or adult.

  • sonjaag

    Born and bred in Alabama, albeit north Alabama, but even I say Cray-on. However, I can’t even fathom how one could say walk, talk, and chalk without pronouncing the L. It’s right there in the middle of the word, people. You can’t miss it. Begging to be spoken!

  • http://wealhtheow.diaryland.com wealhtheow

    CRAY-ON!! But thanks to my Bostonian mother, I was propbably 20 before I realized that everyone around me pronounced “loafers” as “Loaf-errrrrs” instead of the far more civilized “loaf-ahs.” Barbarians.

  • Notorious M.I.L.F.

    “Elmo loves his goldfish…..
    His CRAY-on too”

    I know you know this song.

    Sorry Heather. Elmo says. Case closed.

  • Amy

    Hate to say it, Heather, but I’m with Jon in the great crayon debate. I battle with my family in south Louisiana over the correct pronunciation of mayonnaise. These people think MY-nez is the way to go, but it really doesn’t sound like anything I’d want near my sandwich.

  • Bird Lover

    I’m just going to beat a dead horse and repeat what others have written: it is Cray-On not CROWN or any other variation thereof. How would you pronounce Crayola? CROLA? No, it is Cray-Ola. It is Cray-on.

    I’ve got a word for you – Iron. Being from the north I pronounce both syllables like “I-ern”. My baby daddy, who is from Alabama, says “ern”. I’m guessing it’s short for Earnhardt, but I’m putting it out there for you to tell me. Who’s right, me or him?

  • paper

    it should be obvious, “colored pencil” is both the prefered writing/coloring instrument, and the preferred pronunciation!

  • Erin

    Ohh, the point about Cray-ola and cray-on is spot on!

  • Jaida

    Arkansan here and there are people who pronounce “water” or “Washington” with an “R”. WaRter or WaRshington!!!

    Go ahead and color with a CROWN! I’ll be using MARKERS! hehehe!

  • http://emilymichelle.blogspot.com/ emily michelle


    none of this “crown” foolishness, they’re coloring implements, not headwear

  • http://overdressedconfessions.blogspot.com/ kalisah

    I was raised in Northern Virginia and have always subscribed to the two-syllable version. I’m raising My Kid in Memphis and now I understand why he says “crown.” Here I thought maybe he had a speech impediment.

  • salmonday

    I’m sure that on “Hard L Sound Island” where you come from, the indiginous peoples say “crown,” but the overwhelming majority identifies it as a CRAY-on. No amount of screaming into the wind is going to change that. Just like, as a Minnesotan, I know that the correct name of the game is “Duck, Duck, Grey Duck” and that somehow the entirety of the planet Earth manages to get it wrong by calling it “Duck, Duck, Goose,” but I have learned to live with it.

  • http://www.tallgirlnyc.blogspot.com SMD

    Having spent time in Easton, PA, home of Crayola, it’s two syllables – cray-on. Sorry Heather!

    I love all the accents in this country! I’ve rotated through the Jersey, Boston, Texas and NYC accents – maybe I’ll move to Utah and try the Morman one next!

  • http://www.flickr.com/people/katrain/ Catrain

    Cheese and crackers will ya? What’s this “crown” buzinazz? I grew up in the Nasally Northwest not really coloring with crowns. But now I’m confused in how I myself pronounce it. Stage fright is gripping my ankles. I think I almost mush the two syllables of “cray-on” into a “crane”…

  • http://www.simplygeeky.com geeky

    cray-on. but then again, you’d call me a “yankee” :)

  • langus

    I am from Seattle. I talk (with a silent L) like people on TV. It is cray-on. A crown is what you get on your teeth or you put on your head.

  • jacks

    A midwesterner weighing in – CRAY-ON.

  • kelley

    I hail from California, so I have no accent AT ALL.


    And, wok, tak, chok. All correct. Sorry, Heather.

  • Mine

    I say CRAY-ON (say what you see)

    so how do you say Crown then H??

  • Tracey

    As an Aussie, I’ve never _heard_ of crayon being pronounced “crown” !!! (I mustn’t watch enough American shows on TV!!) A crayon is a cray-on – and it’s got nothing to do one’s personal music preferences!!! If you pronounce crayon as ‘crown’… how do you pronounce ‘crown’ ???!!!

    I am however enjoying this within-US debate on pronunciation.

  • http://maisondangereuse.blogspot.com Brad Martin

    My best-friend/hetero-lifemate pronounces the word pillow as PELLow, and it drives me nuts. I always ask him, “what do you snort a lot of?” To which he replies, “Pills.” And then I ask him what he rests his head on at night and he says, “My pellow, dude.”

  • http://www.justsayjes.com jes

    Oh, wow. Until you actually spelled “cee-arrr-aee-yiiy-ohh-iiin” I never realized just how deeply the South affected your accent. No wonder you pronounce it “crown.”

    I’m with Jon on this one.

  • Ms. Pants

    California native, currently living in Texas. I’m a “cray-on” gal. But here, I’ve also heard “cray’n” which doesn’t bug me too much.

  • Paul Bailey

    Pronunciation variation is a delightful source of disagreement in my household, northern Englishman versus occasional Californian valley girl.

    Of particular teeth-grinding heinousness to me are ‘months’, pronounced as ‘munce’, and ‘clothes’, pronounced as ‘cloze’. And it seems to be that the standard US pronunciation of ‘mirror’ is heading very quickly to ‘meer’, if it hasn’t got there already.

    (Oh, and it’s cray-on, by the way.)

  • kendall

    I’m from Baltimore and say CROWN with pride.

    I’m with you Heather and GEORGE! Screw everyone else.

  • Carli

    As much as I love ya Heather, Jon is correct. Your dialect is just a bit too Southern. Cray-on. And yes, lots of silent “L’s.” But hey, you’re much better looking, so maybe you could do a puppet show and he could do the talking and you could mouth the words. My mental picture is getting a little x-rated, so maybe share that when Leta’s asleep.

  • creed_nm

    Absolute, utter proof it is cray-on from those nice people on Seseme Street:


    How many times do they have to say it before you get it right Heather, and do the decent thing and apologise to Jon?

  • yogurtweaver





    [deep breath]

    Sorry Dooce, but I’m with Jon on this one.

  • Herb Fairy

    I am from Pittsburgh. We say Cray-on. But of course I also call pepsi and coke pop and not soda.

  • http://dailydepartures.blogspot.com Mark B.

    I am neither a Yankee nor a Mormon and I have neither of the respective accents.

    I say: Cray-on
    I say: Tak
    I say: Wok

    And so on.

    I’m actually curious Heather, if a dictionary didn’t convince you (at least) that Tak and Wok, what on earth could convince you? I.e. what would it take for you to say: “Ok John you are right.”?

  • http://melkist.blogspot.com MeLKist

    AAAHHHH!!! Most of my relatives speak with that Utah mountain accent. It drives me insane. My husband (a lapsed presbyterian) doesn’t understand Mormon Utah and its specific idiosyncracies.

    Until I made him watch the new episode of “what not to wear” with the chick from SLC. The verbal equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard for me. He finally went “Ohhhhhh… so THAT is what you are talking about. Yeah. Pure Mountain Evil.”

    Crowns. Definitely. Having nothing to do with the fact that I spent most of my formative years in the south. I swear.

  • iwouldlovetohearfromyou

    My Yankee blood says it Cran, like gram, bam, slam, jam…crayon. I never understood how people can say, Cray-on and be ok with it. That sounds like some disease, or maybe an undiscovered fish at the bottom of the Yellow Sea.

  • kenniecat


    I grew up in Salt Lake City and lived there 30 of my 35 years.

    People that said “crown” were definitely from somewhere else. :)

  • http://verymom.com Very Mom

    It’s CREN, people. CRENS.

  • http://https://obtusevita.blogspot.com saralyn

    I feel like I need to come to your defense! I say “CROWN” and always have, so does my sister. We both spent our formative years (she until 11, myself until 8) in little pockets of Mid and Mid-to-South Virginia. I’ve been in the DC Metro area since I was 8, and I’ve lost almost all of my accent, but I still say “CROWN”. So there.

  • Babs


  • clhannah

    If you really want to start a firestorm – debate the pronunciation of BAYOU.

  • junkyardlove

    Try being from Upstate NY (we’re talking up by Canada)where “crayon,” is pronounced “cran.” One syllable, and make it kinda nasal-sounding.

  • http://biodtl.diaryland.com biodtl

    Another Yankee (Pittsburgh) weighing in with CRAY-on.

  • http://Hope Hope

    when I saw this post I HAD to comment, (I LOVE your site by he way; my husband always knows i’m reading dooce when I laugh so hard I fall off the couch!)

    We have this argument all the time in our house, but my husband is from Boston so he says Cray-ON with a boston accent while I say Crain, with my horrible New England accent.

    I will say nothing is as bad as my grandmother that say Ohio as Oh-he-o

  • http://blogthemagnifcentferret.blogspot.com/ blogthemagnificentferret

    A solid vote for the Midwestern CRAN. I think in the years that I’ve lived in Tennessee, it’s degenerated into CRAY-un, but just about every word in Tennessee has one more syllable than it did in Illinois. Except for “fire,” which has been shrunk to FAHR, instead of FY-yer.

    In seven years of living in Tennessee, I’ve never heard anybody say “crown.” What backward, pestilent, sibling-marrying part of the state are you from?

    BTW, it’s fascinating to me that you say Mormons drop the “T” in “Mountain.” I’ve never lived in Utah, but I noticed people doing that when I lived in New York: they didn’t pronounce the t in “bottle”–there’d be this little stop in the middle of the word: “bo–ul.” Are you sure they’re Mormons and not old Jewish people from Brooklyn?

  • Babs

    Oh my God.

  • http://www.myaimistrue.com Amber

    Amber of Norfolk, Va., via Valdosta, Ga., backs you. It’s CROWN.

    Also I’d love to hear you pronounce “pecan” and “aunt.” Where I come from it’s PEE-can and ANT. In Virginia now it’s puh-CAHN and ONT. Ugh, not even.