An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

You might need to run this through a translator

I bet you pronounce crayon wrong. YES, YOU. I’M LOOKING AT YOU.

Someone today (hi, Yao!) challenged me to participate in the new collaborative Flickr group called Word Time which was set up to, ahem, “share the variations in our pronunciations with weekly lists of words.” Which is an elaborate way of saying here, record yourself talking so we can sit at home and laugh at you. This week’s list of words can be seen here and it includes words like: barbiturate, diaphragm, and stethoscope. I know. Why not HAIRY BUTTOCK? Because with my accent those two words would have come out sounding like PARADISE.

So why not? Except, I couldn’t do it without having Jon do his own pronunciations, and then there’s all that email that goes, don’t you pronounce “crayon” funny? NO I DON’T. IN FACT, I PRONOUNCE IT ACCURATELY, PAY ATTENTION. So this video ended up being more than two minutes long. And then it was too long to put up on Flickr, so instead we had to put it up on Vimeo, and the only reason we’re going through the trouble of all of this is because, this? This here thing here? Yeah, if you’ve ever wondered what goes on in our house all day, just take this video and multiply it by about a million. Watch Coco get so fed up with my Southern accent that she CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE and jumps off the couch. Welcome to our home, Internet, please remove your pants before stepping through the doorway.

  • Whenever I’m in Philly, I drink lots of wooder.

  • Caramel-CARMEL!

    Crayon, crayon, crayon.

    CRAY ON!

    Say it with me…..

    CRAY ON!

  • totally cray-on. ‘fraid jon’s right. but dooce, you sound like my wife. seriously. i bet you also say ole for “oil”. huh?

  • Dani

    I say Cray-on because that’s the way my Mom taught me but we also say “wadged” which is apparently not even a word. I pronounce naked ne-kid but that’s just ’cause it’s fun to say.

  • Anonymous

    It’s Cray-on and global warming is a joke!

  • meghan

    that was hilarious!

    us true southern girls say “crown.” my favorite is wash, in kentucky we like to put an ‘r’ in there, “warsh your hands.”

  • OMG, I’m from NY, live in LA, I have NEVER heard anyone pronounce crayon like that. Hubby is right – Cray-ON. Crayon. Now try saying drawer. That one, I CANNOT say without sounding like a true New Yawk-eh.

  • More Armstrong video content, please!

  • And yet, I detected no accent during your Today Show appearance.

  • Ashley in NYC

    OMG I literally almost fell off my chair when you broke out the part about the FANCY SHOES!!!

    I so wish that you guys would visit NYC more often – we had so much fun meeting you!

    Also, I’m sorry, but as a born & raised AZ girl (motto: “the state with NO accent whatsoever”), I have to go with CRAY-on. But hey, I own Crocs, what do I know? 🙂

  • It’s totally CRAY-ON. I agree with Jon on this one.

  • idgiepug

    How the passive aggressive deals with the great crayon debate:

    Me (to my 3-year-old son): Here’s a yellow crown to color your picture.

    Husband: What? Is he coloring with a king’s crown?

    Me: No, it’s a Crayola crown.

    Husband: NO, it is a Crayola CRAY-on.

    Me: Here, son, is a CRAY-on. Don’t you like coloring with CRAY-ons? Can I get you some more CRAY-ons? Do you think Daddy would like a CRAY-on?

  • Andi

    It’s like on Sesame Street with the two blackedout profiles saying parts of a word then putting the two parts together. “Cray…On…CrayOn!” Two syllables, and I’m from Texas where we make words have more syllables without even realizing it, y’aaall.

    When my daughter was 4 or 5 we went to Maryland for a visit and my friends there got a huge kick from her accent. Their favorite was hotel because she said Ho-Tay-El.

  • Heather in MO

    I wrote out a sentence with crayons in it and had someone read it. We both pronounced it “craons”. Which looks quite odd. We don’t say CRAY ONs we just sort of run it all together without the long A sound. And now i’m going to be saying craons all day THANKSSOMUCH

  • Kristin

    yep… Michigan: CRAN.

  • I will think of you when I eat my free Southern-style chicken sandwich at McDonald’s tomorrow, Heather. And I will ask it if it wants a “crown.” Cause I can speak its language, thanks to you.

  • Don’t even get me started on how we pronounce stuff in Philly. Murder of the English Language at its worst.

    Also? Sneakers. But my cousins in TN call them Tennies.

  • Heather, I totally have a girl-crush for you but I have to side with Jon on this one.

    You two are awesome and look at it this way Leta is young and she can pronounce her words any way she wants and what the hell–so can you 🙂

  • Oh that is good. Now, I’m a Connecticut (ite?) from Nashville, and am sorry to say that we never said crown. We say Cray-on. That may be how to get the dog to behave though, just speak in a nice ol’ Tennessee twang. My twang gets stuff done around here.

  • Watched Nightline last night – great segment!!! Oh yeah, and this video is hilarious and you can say Crayon however you want 🙂

  • Again seconding CRAN. My mom grew up in Memphis also and she pronounces it CRAN, hehe.

    Here in Wyoming they way we have an accent but I believe that’s only if you’re a hick. Or if you’re stupid and pronounce creek like “crick.” ooooh, I hate that. I’m sure you’re familiar with the phenomenon being so close.

  • Diana

    Yea, yea, yea – what went down with Good Morning America??

  • How does a southern girl pronounce the name of the company that makes the crowns?

  • coneja

    Hey, I’m from Memphis too, but I say cray-on. There’s a Y in there people!! Then again people always tell me I sound like I’m from the Midwest, even though I’ve never been there. When I was growing up my mom just called them “colors” haha.

  • coming in from brooklyn – DEFinitely CRAN. but being born and raised in missouri i still find myself saying things like:
    “tennis shoes” for those lace up things – sneakers is just ridiculous.
    “coke” for ALL sodas. i.e “what kind of coke do you have, miss?” well, we’ve got sprite, 7-up, regular (which is actually Coke). and “aaags” for eggs.

  • Sarah

    Why does it matter how you pronounce “crayon” when they are called colors!? LOL! My husband calls them “cray-ons” and I call them colors. Our children call them “crans”

  • Anonymous

    Now that the window was left open for unsoliticed advice, I have 3 points:

    1. Kathie Lee was an overbearing, daft cow, not unlike a befuddled ‘ol Granny, on the Today show.

    2. I hate to agree with Margie, but you bought the act and started to sound childish as you defended your work. Maybe not Brit-worthy, but c’mon, you’re a professional. Kathie is an Entertainer!

    3. Stop comparing people who live in big cities as a comparison when questioned about posting Leta’s pic. Look at all the parenting chat rooms that allow pics on every post these people make. They’re posting their children all over the place, not just on one blog. I think they are more irresponsible – just read how much they divulge. You are a pioneer of a new wave of communication and you are responsible about it. In short, give yourself more credit!

  • Sarah

    PS…My brain might explode if I don’t get to read your synopsis of the Today Show experience SOON. No rush. And I stayed up an hour past my bedtime last night to see you on nightline. Feel the love.

  • You could just split the difference like I do: “cran.” Rhymes with bran, and still one syllable!

  • for the next video could you please pronounce the following in the manner you see fit:

    Ketchup or Catsup
    Pretzel or Prenzel
    Pittsburgh or Picksburgh

    I live in western PA and we eat Heinz Ketchup but not on our Prenzels while we watch the Picksburgh Stillers!

    And I agree with Jon, CRAY-ON!

  • Nashvlkat

    I argue about this with my 15 year old daughter all the time. Cray-on. I agree with the geeky hunk this time.

  • SO worth the angry look from IT for using up ALLLLLLLL the bandwith the company can afford 🙂

  • rb

    add to your list:







  • Going to have to watch this at home since my dinosaur computer doesn’t have sound. But for the record, it’s cray-ahn.

  • Hey Hollywood, I would totally see this movie. And buy the DVD. Just sayin’.

  • Mel

    I’m with Jon. It’s CRAY-ON. I loved the video. Thanks for a great afternoon laugh.

    I’m waiting {patiently} for your post on the Today Show. If they can’t get a Hi-Def TV in their green room (Thank you, Jon), I am not surprised they had you interviewed by someone that can’t turn a computer on.
    They totally fu-bared that one.

  • I am so glad to see you guys do this too. Recently, after we drank a lot red wine, my husband suggested I have my tonsils removed so I could pronounce “that” correctly.

  • Deb

    LC: dont forget Khakis: those things yah staht youah cah with!

  • Cherie

    Around here (central Illinois), some of the words with a distinctive local flair are cement, route, and creek. The way I grew up, it’s SEE-ment, “root” 66, and that thing down the hill was a crick (not a creek). We all said “crayon” and not “crown,” though… Love your blog.

  • I say “cran”. I have never heard it called a “crown” anywhere but here.

    I’m glad to know that other couples argue over things of such life-changing importance. It makes me feel less alone. I’m still, after 5 years, trying to teach my husband the difference between seams/seems and rite/right. Want to beat head into wall.

  • We’ve got cricks around here, and it was some time before I realized that it was indeed a creek instead.

  • Everyone around me (in Atlanta) adds extra syllables to every word so I’m surprised that you (from TN) chose go to the brevity route with “crown.” See? You CAN take the country out of the girl. My in-laws would say craa-yawn. With a break in the middle to pick their teeth and eat some boiled peanuts. Which they would pronounce “bowlt” peanuts.

  • My family is from Louisville (Loo-a-vull) and I got all kinds of shit in school (here in Michigan) for pronouncing “hour” as “ire” and “flower” as “flire.” Also, my Louisville cousins call a toilet a “tarlet” without a hint of irony. I have dubbed them, collectively, Tarlet O’Hara.

  • Jessa

    I say CRAN. I know it’s wrong, but I just can’t help it! My mother-in-law (who is English) had the hardest time figuring out what I was saying! She’s like, ‘CRAN?’ Yeah, you know, CRANS, to color with! ‘Oh, you mean CRAY-ONS!’ Yeah, whatever, CRANS. That’s what I said. LOL!

  • i’m italian.

    more importantly, my mother is italian.

    this means it is genetically impossible for me to let things go. ever. arguments in our family are measured in generations.

    the crayon thing would make me bleed. i would seriously go to my grave with headstone that read, “it’s CRAY-ON.” so THERE.

  • Ali

    Can I just say I am disturbed by the entry of a third contender – “cran” – and of the huge numbers of people who say it this way. I pronounce it cray-on.

  • If you asked for a “crown” at my house, I would offer you fancy something to wear on your head. Request a “cran,” however, and you’d in business. If you were looking to color, that is.

  • I say it like “cran” which is probably not the right way either. You are the only person I’ve ever heard pronounce it like crown though. My ex came from TN and I’m pretty sure I never heard him say crown when referring to a crayon. Of course, I don’t think we ever had a hankering to color either.

    I’m curious if you also add an ‘r’ to anything with ‘ash’ in it. Like, when you wash your hands do you warsh them?

  • Debby

    Sorry Jon. The correct pronunciation of the word Crayon is “CRAN” as in CRAN berry =). That’s how it’s said by most people I know. I’m from New England, can you tell? Loved the news article about all y’all in this morning’s paper.

  • Katie

    I grew up on the panhandle of Florida with parents who grew up in Tennessee. I used to say “crown”. I forced myself to learn to say “cray-on”. I am the only person in my family who says “cray-on”.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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