A US Man Only Uses The Italian Way Of Saying 'Bruschetta' & It Set Off A Huge Accent Debate
"My wife said I sound like a wanker."
Do you know someone who uses an accent to pronounce words like "bruschetta" or "gnocchi," despite having no actual connection to that culture? Or to put it another way: do you try to pronounce words without putting an English spin on them?
An American on Reddit has ignited a major debate about whether you should use original accents to pronounce various words, after he shamed a server for the way she pronounced bruschetta at a casual U.S. restaurant.
The guy, 40, asked Reddit's AmITheA**hole community if he was wrong for insisting that his server pronounce it "broo-skeh-tah," and people were not impressed by how he made a scene, although the accent question proved a bigger issue.
The poster explained that he is an "American with no Italian accent," although he does "quite appreciate Italian food and culture" and he has "visited Italy a number of times."
He then described a family visit to Buca di Beppo, an Italian-American restaurant on par with Olive Garden. He says he asked for "broo-skeh-tah" off the menu, then corrected the waitress for saying "bruh-sheh-tuh" in response.
"My wife said I sound like a wanker when I say broo-skeh-tah and that I should stop," he wrote, adding that she accused him of "acting like a show-off."
He defended himself and claimed that he feels "uncultured" when he says it the other way, and that there's "no such thing as an American way of saying it."
"I refused to stop, and when the appetizer showed up I asked family members if they wanted me to pass the broo-skeh-tah, despite some of them being confused what I was even asking them."
Many Reddit users shredded the guy like Parmesan cheese in the comments, where they pointed out that he was being needlessly "pompous," especially when he trolled everyone about it later.
"Language is about communicating," read the top comment, which concluded that he was the a**hole. "You insisted on using a pronunciation that no one else was familiar with, even though you're not Italian. Why?"
A European user said she was baffled by the whole thing and suggested that everyone should calm down.
"Just pronounce it how you've learned it," she wrote, adding that everyone sucks in the situation except the waitress.
"(Original poster) shouldn't have corrected her," she wrote, "and his family should have just let it be. At the end of the day no one f-ing cares how you pronounce it."
Others came to the guy's defence for at least trying to use the "correct" accent from another culture.
"As someone of Latin descent myself, I tend to appreciate people using the correct pronunciation for Spanish words regardless of their culture origin," wrote one user. "Calling a guy pompous for pronouncing an Italian word properly comes off as closeminded."
Another self-described "very white American" said they like it when they get corrected because they want to "learn" how to say things right.
"I think English people are just used to everyone adjusting to them and to suggest they adjust is pompous," added another user who grew up in Europe. "It reeks of 'we're in merica, speak English!"
How do you pronounce a word that comes from another language?
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.