Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coupon: KOO-pon vs. KYOO-pon

The coupon pronunciation poll is about to close and I can't believe it - the results are exactly even. Thirty-four people said they pronounce it KYOO-pon. Thirty-four other people said they pronounce it KOO-pon.

Personally, I say it KYOO-pon. All through my growing-up years, I never gave a second thought to that pronunciation. I'm pretty sure that everyone around me said it that way. In fourth or fifth grade, one of my teachers told the class that the Pacific Northwest dialect was considered to be the standard accent of American English, the one studied by national newscasters if they wanted to sound generic. Who was I to question her?

But obviously there are quite a few people who say KOO-pon. I'm guessing that if there's a "right" answer to this pronunciation question, KOO-pon is it. But I don't think I'll be able to give up KYOO-pon.

One last coupon note before I put up a new poll: I found a map showing the distribution of the "KYOO/KOO-pon" pronunciation.

This survey had some 11,500 respondents. The red dots represent KOO; the blue dots are KYOO. The green dots are "other" - I can't imagine what other pronunciation there is, though.

In that survey, 2/3 of the respondents said KOO. You can see that it is dominant on the map. The interesting thing is that geographical location doesn't seem to be a huge indicator of how it's said.

OK, moving on. This is a sensitive one for me because every time I say this word, I feel like I'm saying it "wrong" (if we're being descriptive, there is no wrong answer, but you know what I mean). I'm torn between staying loyal to my upbringing and teaching Miriam a more mainstream pronunciation (in fact, to avoid having to make that decision, I often just say "colors").


Do you pronounce it:
cran (like man);
cray-awn; or

Please feel free to mock the pronunciations that you don't use, especially "crown," which is the one I say.


Liz Johnson said...


But I also say Ne-VAH-da and Colo-RAH-do, so Chris is convinced that I was raised by wolves or something.

AmandaStretch said...

Definitely cray-awn. A friend in HS was from Michigan said "cran" and I thought it was the weirdest thing I'd ever heard. And honestly, I'm not sure how you get "crown" out of c-r-a-y-o-n.

Kitty Crazy! said...

My mother always pronounced it "cren" (with a short e). I thought it sounded funny, so when I left home, I started pronouncing it "cray-awn". I, too, am wondering where you came up with "crown!" Janice

Fromagette said...

I think I probably said cran when I was younger, but I say cray-awn now (at least when I'm thinking about it).

Susanne said...

I tend to say "crowns" also. That's not normal? ;-) I live in NC ... we are used to saying things "wrong" compared to the rest of the nation's point of view. I love accents and how languages/accents formed in areas.

Lovin' that you now say "colors."

"Miriam, go get your box of colors." Ha, ha. You're so funny. :-)

As for those who say "cran," I think I'll go drink me some "crayonberry" juice now.

I'm having way too much fun with this. *ahem*

Cathy said...

None of the choices really reflect how I say it. I say it just as it's spelled - cray-on. The second syllable is not "awn" when I say it, it's literally "on". Cray-on. I suppose some folks say on & awn the same, but to me they're completely different.

Cathy said...

Susanne, while you go drink some crayon berry juice, haha, I'll go put a crayon on my head - how in the world is that crown? lol.

Susanne said...

Cathy, well, (as you know) we wear toboggans on our heads in the South so knock yourself out with the crayon. :-)

Amanda said...

Cray-awn. Cray on. Like AmandaStretch, I'm not sure how you could read that word any differently. But, I do, very occasionally, say melk instead of milk, so I'm not one to judge.

JackJen said...


(Also, I'm with liz on NeVAHda, ColoRAHdo, etc...)

Here's another for you.
How do you pronounce this word:


Huh? Huh? Eh? Eh?

That's my suggestion for your next poll....I feel VERY strongly about this one...Moreso than crayon, which is saying something.



Anna said...

These surveys are making me feel very powerful.

Britney said...

I'm not proud to admit it, but I'll admit it. I have always said "cran".

The cray-awn pronunciation makes the most sense to me phonetically, but it just seems like too much work. In fact, just thinking about pronouncing it that way is giving me a headache. :)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I have become lazy over the last 20 years or so & now say crahn but distinctly remember saying cray-ahn as a child in S. Cal.

Barrette should probably be pronounced bar-ette but am guessing most people (me too) say burr-ette.

The Ensign's said...

Woohoo!!! I say crown too!

I know it's probably VERY wrong, but that's how I say it and I'm stickin to it.

Lilianne said...

Cran. For sure. Pass along those roots, baby!

I pronounce measure like "may-zure" - which is totally a Utah pronunciation...just listen to Elder Perry! Anyway, while I say "may-zure" I don't pronounce treasure or pleasure in the same fashion. People razz me about it all the time!

Bridget said...

I know, I am so embarrassed to say "crown." I have no idea where that pronunciation comes from. But I'm not the only one, at least!

Jen, it's burr-et, right? If I say it barr-et, it sounds like I'm trying too hard. Or like I'm saying "a miniature bar."

Lili, may-zhur is a whole other post. See also: melk, pellow, acrosst (!!!!!!), pen/pin, Sundee (for Sunday) don't want to get me started.

Steven said...

I say cran, like man.

Kristen said...

As I child I said crans and specifically recall getting teased about it. Someone who actually had no idea what I was trying to say. And I believe that person said, oh you mean crowns!

Now I try to say cray-ons (like Cathy, there isn't much emphasis on the "aw" part), but I still feel uncomfortable with that. So I bought my daughter colored pencils and we call them pencils or colors, just like you do!

Bridget said...

Cathy, where are you from that "awn" and "on" are not the same?? Fascinating.

"Cran" is so weird to me. Probably as weird as "crown" is to everyone else.

Kristen, I'm glad someone else has experienced awkwardness over this word. I feel so ashamed about my pronunciation. And I think I would just change it except I don't know which pronunciation to change it TO, you know?

Brittany Cornett said...

Okay Bridget so this has been one of those things that really irritate me. I took a language class at the U of A and we had this very discussion that there is no right or wrong way to say something. Of course there is the majority, minority thing that you showed with the map but words are just nonsence noices that we put meaning to. Our language as we know it has evolved and will continue to evolve until the end. The reason I take this matter so personally is because I say kyoo-pon and Justin says Koo pon. Long story short every time I say kyoopon he corrects me. Even though I have become quite heated at times he continues to correct me. ugh. If ever I commit a violent crime it will be because someone has corrected me for saying kyoopon.

Inge said...

Cray-un :)

Not sure why! My English teacher back in Belgium said crown, and I haven't really been talking with anyone about crayons in real life.. Guess I picked my pronunciation up from a tv-show or sth :)

Lindsay said...

Crans. Does that make me a hick? I think saying Cray-awns is just too much work. And I totally don't get crowns??? :)

sarah said...

I hope I didn't make you feel bad by suggesting this one! I just thought it would be a good one. And if it makes a difference, I grew up saying 'cray-awn', but my friend that lived a block away from me and went to the same elementary, junior high, and high school as me pronounced it 'crown'.

Nattie said...

Cran, baby, cran! I have been severely mocked, but no, I will not change it. My other friend who lived in Michigan like me as a wee little lass, also says 'cran.'

Yesterday Charly asked for the 'crowns.'

Oh boy.

Anonymous said...

Wow people... learn to speak English!

Crayon has two syllables and coupon does NOT have a Y in it!

Aimee said...

Ha, and because your blog linked me back to this WAY back post. I say "Crans" and my husband says "Crowns." We each say it our own way and I can't wait to hear how our boys will pronounce it. Since we are on this subject it and people mention saying Colo-RAH-Do thats the only way I hear it pronounced here, but Oregon thats a different story! "or-E-GONE" or "Or-eh-GONE." It drives me crazy, no one believes me when I say its pronounced OR-eh-gun, at least in my opinion!

Bridget said...

I heard someone on a podcast - stuff you should know, maybe? East Coast, anyway - say that only people IN Nevada say it neh VAA duh, and that everyone else says neh VAW duh. But I always have said neh VAA duh. More discrimination against states west of the MIssissippi, that's all. :)


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