Yaaarghh! It's pronounced SUB-SID-I-ARY, goddammit!!

I just about stabbed my eardrums with a pencil while at work today. In a nearby cube, one of my co-workers was giving some training on one of our back-end sales planning tools which maps account coverage hierarchies.

Now, I know this woman very well, and she’s a very sweet person, and normally I get along with her fine. But she is incapable of pronouncing the word “subsidiary” - instead, she pronounces it “subsidirary”. Which I’ve heard her do before - but since I don’t sit near her, it hasn’t bothered me much. No more so than hearing the stray “ex-cetera” or other mis-pronunciation.

But she was giving the training to someone sitting nearby. And since the training dealt with account hierarchies, it was very heavily focused on mapping subsidiaries. It also seemed to take all. fucking. day.

It bugged me so much I tried to clear my schedule enough to allow me the 30 minutes to get home, just so I wouldn’t be subjected to this verbal butchery. But I had calls scattered throughout the day, so I had to sit there clenching my jaw and waiting for it to stop, trying to focus on whatever tasks were on my plate.

So I got to hear “subsidirary” 200 goddamn times.

Seriously, who the fuck looks at that word and sees an extra ‘r’?

And the bigger question - after several years of giving these types of trainings, how come none of her teammates have corrected her? She often gives training to dozens of people at a time - hasn’t one person piped up, like, ever? And even if not, she must have heard how other people pronounce the word - I can even recall saying the word “subsidiary” in front of her on mroe than one occasion (one time, perhaps even enunciating just a bit too clearly). Is she simply incapable of correcting herself?

And before anyone asks, no, she doesn’t have a speech impediment that - this appears to be the only word that she molests with any kind of regularity.

Reminds me of the chemistry instructor I had back in Naval Nuke Power school back in '81. Kept talking about Cesmium.

Hardly seems Pit worthy.

Don’t get me wrong. I have language pet peeves and I imagine hearing someone repeat one over and over would bug me too.

Indeed earlier tonight I was complaining about a friend of mine who seems to not know the difference between to/too/two when writing. Actually I am sure she knows the difference but she gets it wrong nearly every time (and I mean every time so not just the occasional goof which I’ll let pass).

But in the scheme of things not worth much fuss. If it was we’d all go mad.

Did you correct her? You did expect that others should have already.

I’ve not pulled her aside and said “you’re saying subsidiary wrong” - since she’s not on my team, I would feel weird about explicitly correcting her.

But as I mentioned, I have said the word itself to her on occasion, and at least once, said it very carefully and perhaps a bit slowly: “Sub-sid-eee-ary”. One of her teammates was standing right there, and I could swear I saw him smirk a little as I said it, so I’m pretty sure that it’s not just me who notices.

And Whack-a-Mole - yeah, on the grand scale of Pitworthiness, it ranks pretty low. But I had to vent after hearing it all fucking day, and such venting required the use of language that would have precluded MPSIMS.

The incorrect pronunciation of that word that I usually hear is “subsidary.”

That I can understand - that damn “i” is so skinny I can see someone carelessly misreading it. In fact, I had to re-read what you typed to find the missing letter. But how does one find an extra letter in “subsidiary”?

Maybe the same people who don’t see one of the 'r’s in “February” and “library”? Hey, we gotta use those 'r’s somewhere, ya know.

(And for the militant descriptivists who will come in here at some point breathing fire: Yes, I know that linguistic correctness is ultimately determined by real-world linguistic practice. I was making a joke. Calm down.)

I was on a bus the other day and about 20 kids from pre-school got on to go to the library. One of them says in a loud voice “We’re going to the libery!” and a girl says equally loudly, with hints of Lucy in her voice, “It’s li-brar-ee”. The whole thing was just too cute.

Somebody assaulted me with “simular” tonight.

I spent 20+ years in the military. In all that time I never heard a single military training instructor say anything but “incenerary” instead of “incendiary”. Nearly drove me mad, it did.

I used to have a statistics teacher who had lived in China most of her life. She would pronounce standard deviation standiwation. Trust me, it was hilarious- or at least it would have been, if dickwad jockos weren’t openly making fun of her pronunciation. I was too busy worrying about her feelings to have a quiet chuckle to myself.

Is the subsidirary in Tipperary?

That’s going a long way for a joke.

A co-worker once started telling me about this great game that he had, Line Age. It took me about ten minutes before I realised he was talking about Lineage. I said, “Oh, Lineage,” to which he responded, “Yeah, Line Age.”

Luckily we moved on later to the merits of Wii vs PS3. Yeah.

Could it possible come from the British practice of separating vowels with Rs? For example, “I have no idea about that” becomes "I have nor idear about that, instead of the more American “I have no widea 'bout that.”

Those of us whose languages measure meter in syllables pronounce it sub-si-dia-ry. Is that ok? No extra letters!

English is a language in which some people add an h to “egg”, take out the one in “have” and/or manage to mute Ts (how many Dopers pronounce 20 as “tweeny”? Right). I commiserate with the OP’s plight, but I’m afraid that “pronunciations apparently unrelated to spellings” are a well-known characteristic of the English language.

Arrgggh - I absolutely hate it when people throw in random 'r’s. Idear. Warshington. It’s definitely not a British thing; I’ve heard it from people that the closest they got to Britain was watching old Benny Hill re-runs…

I say it that way, too. The dia is similar to a diphthong, like in the Spanish word hacienda.

One that I’ve seen in text a lot lately is “shitty grin.” Is that actually a term? Shouldn’t it be “shit-eating grin”? Although I suppose that one leads to another.