Friday, October 06, 2006

Elephant Butt

While I'm on this topic of correct use of words I was reminded of a vacation my wife and I took. We were watching the evening news and the newscaster announced a wildfire raging in Elephant Butte, NM.

Having owned property in New Mexico, I will tell you that residents of New Mexico have a hard enough time convincing geographically illiterate people that New Mexico is a state and part of the United States and not at all part of the country of Mexico, but that's another story.

On this broadcast, the so-called professional newscaster announces the fire is in "Elephant Butt" and then begins to giggle. This would be bad enough, but she doesn't even realize that what makes it so funny is that she is the butt of her own joke (or is she the butte of her own joke?)

She wasn't content to let well enough alone, she decided to explore this a bit more.

"Is that really the name of a city? Elephant Butt?" and then she began laughing again.

Why wouldn't someone on the staff alert her that it was pronounced "byute" and not "butt"? Did they have it out for this girl or was the entire staff all so stupid that no one knew how to pronounce "Butte"?

Of course, I still laugh when I think about it. I'm sure she thought she was funny at the time, but little did she know people would be laughing at her ignorance for years and years to come. Probably not the mark she wanted to leave when she got into television.

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