Monday, April 6, 2015

Lancaster Caramel Commercial Pronunciation vs #TheMusicMan

For people who've never visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania, you will probably be unfamiliar with locals' persnicketiness on the pronunciation of their home county. I was never able to properly pronounce the county's name to locals' satisfaction (it sounds something like "Linkester"). I usually just stuck with the standard pronunciation across the English speaking world of "Lane-cast-ter". I guess my pronounciation was closest with Webster's 2nd :

The voice over in this Lancaster, Pennsylvania propaganda video seems to use the 1st pronunciation:

as does the voice over for Hershey's new caramel commercial (which, of course, brings up whole new debate over the pronunciation of "caramel" vs "carmel"):

Obviously, some youtube commenters are just as frustrated as I am with the pronunciation controversy:

Commercialcritic seems to feel same way about the voice over "Lancaster" pronunciation same way the poor bedraggled husband feels about "chaise" vs "chase" in VCF ad:

"Lancaster" pronunciation controversy is very reminiscent of "Iowa Stubborn" lyrics from "The Music Man":

Man: "You are in Ioway."
Prof Hill: "Ioway? At least now I know how to pronounce it.  I always thought you folks preferred Iowah"
1st Woman: "We do."
Prof Hill: "But he just said Ioway"
2nd Woman: "We say it now and then but we don't like anybody else to."
As a minor footnote to history, I believe the controversy over the proper pronunciation of the name "Lancaster" was, in all likelihood, the primary reason why they were deposed from the English throne by the York family during the War of the Roses. A history lesson from "Looking for Richard"

Al Pacino: "Before the [ Shakespeare ] play 'Richard III' starts, we got to know a little bit about what happened before the play starts -- and what happened is we've just been through a civil war, you know, called the War of the Roses, in which the Lancasters and the Yorks ... clashed. Two rival families, and the Yorks won. They beat the Lancasters, and they're now in power. And Richard is a York." 

Comparing the plot of the War of Roses to the fictional "Games of Thrones" is a topic of a TedTalk:

In case the above youtube link breaks, here's another video of the caramel ad:

You'll notice that this abbreviated ad also removes the anachronistic and geographically incongruous footage of 1906 San Francisco, which also seemed to upset a goodly number of youtubers:

As Richard III 's long lost namesake,  Peppermint Patty, a proppos of nothing, @3:10 sang in "Snoopy, the Musical" "I know now that the price of a thought is a penny":

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