How do YOU say T-O-Y-O-T-A?

Toyota Logo

Why is it that so many people can’t seem to wrap their tongues around the oy/oi diphthong? Now it may be a local phenomenon (southern United States), where I live, but I almost NEVER hear “Toyota” pronounced correctly, even by people who ought to know better. Worse, I hear it mispronounced in radio and TV commercials!

There are at least three variations: TAY-ota, TYE-ota, and TEE-ota. Is that the way these people HEAR the name? Why is it so hard to say “TOY-ota?” Is it a case of “lazy tongue?” Or is it because that’s the way “everyone else” says it?

Which brings me to another word that is almost universally mispronounced due to ignorance: “TINNITUS,”  the term for abnormal noises or ringing in the ears. It is not “tinn-EYE-tus”, since it is not really an “itis”, like “arthritis.” It is correctly pronounced “TINN-it-us,” with a short i. Normally, it just grates on my nerves, being a word geek. But when I started hearing commercials with the word being pronounced “Tinn-EYE-tis,” I had to wonder if the people pushing their product (which claims to *cure* the condition) did not actually know how to pronounce it, or worse, they were condescending to the level of potential customers who both believed that it was an “itis”, and that there was a quick, “all-natural” cure?

Well, this gives me two pet peeves that are up there with the all-time champ, “NOO-kyu-ler!” “GAG!”


Author: b4i4get

I am a 68-yo retired Physical Therapist Asst. living in Texas. Currently I have ~5 dozen webpages, including 3 homepages, an e-novel, and 1 blog. I love cats, writing, and thinking about the big questions. I am also a singer-songwriter, though no one has heard of me--yet.

2 thoughts on “How do YOU say T-O-Y-O-T-A?”

  1. Thinking: I pronounce TOYOTA AS
    “TOY-OT-A” .

    Our national broadcaster-ABC Australian Broad Casting-has produced a book of pronounciations for their staff.

    Kaye,how about “kilometres” ?I say ‘ki(key)lo-metres not ‘ki(key)lom-etres-the latter sounds ugly to the ear !

    As for reporters who say “Now we are going LIVE to the match(whichever)-DEAD MEN/WOMEN DON’T TALK !!!!!!

    Another: ‘He was shot at the corner of the street’ ??? I didn’t know he had ‘a corner of the street’on his body ?

    All very offensive to my ears !
    Just a grumpy old woman !

    xxx Maggy

  2. You have several good points there, Maggy! “Key-LOM-etres” is the way I most often hear it, when I do hear it. Our signs and labels have both English and metric terms, since Mexico and Canada use metric weights and distances (somehow it failed to gain enough acceptance in the USA.) But if we say either kilometre or kilogram, we usually shorten both to “key-lo.”
    “Live” news or performance must sound more exciting, since you can’t make a mistake and fix it before the audience hears it (except for the 7-second delay to delete obscenities.)
    I have not heard of anyone being shot at the corner…;-) Most people reading the news on network radio and TV have gotten rid of their regional accents and have trained themselves in correct or acceptable grammar and pronunciation. They also get foreign names and words spelled phonetically. But some commentators and local talk show hosts don’t bother.
    You have probably heard about our President’s goof (which they were quick to explain away as customary at Harvard–don’t believe it!) He called the military medical personnel “corpse-men”, and he did it twice Surely it was not spelled “corpsemen” on his teleprompter!

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