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December 21, 2005


At last, somebody has the courage to tackle this issue.

(Thanks to Mr. Gene Weingarten)


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Oh. Like someone who was in such a hurry to be first that she didn't read the article?
*blushes and waves seepishly[sic]*

Ohhhhhh.....I THOUGHT it was pronounced "Fitty Cent." Shame on my ears.

I thought he'd changed it on purpose from "fifty" to "fitty", like Puff Daddy/Puff Diddy/P.Diddy,etc.

so I'm wrong?? Is that what this article is telling me?

One of the funniest DB/GW stories I've ever read is when GW sent DB the "dirty" magazine from somewhere in the south.

Calling DAVE BARRY -
Can you tell it? Puh-leese?
*cute pouty thing*

One question, how exactly is it that saying "Fitty" is faster than saying "Fifty"? They're both two syllables.

What exactly is this article saying? It never really answers the question that is posed in the title - is it "fitty" or "fifty." It only states that people are too busy to bother pronouncing things correctly, simply speeding along to get on with something else.

So...was this just an opinion article (did I miss that somewhere?)? Just curious as to why I wasted one precious minute reading something that never answered its own posed question!

I would like to ask Mr. Weingarten to please refund the 45 seconds of my life it took to read that article.

& fo' shizzle's sake, everybody knows it's pronounced Fitty Cen'

Blingingly yours,


I think that the issue mentioned in the article is akin to they're, there and their or not and knot. Although the rapper probably does pronouce his stage name as "Fitty Cen'," it doesn't mean that newscasters should adopt the rapper's accent to pronounce his name.

To further confuse the issue, I've seen his name written with d's i.e. Fiddy. Not that I care really, but this is a wonderful distraction from the fact that I still have many gifts to buy and no time in which to do so. Carry on.

*sees we have another Seinfeld episode, everthing to do about nothing*

One word sums it all up HUH?

what a nitty article! I will pritt it out as a Chrittmas gitt to all my friends!

Yes, but in Oklahoma it would be pronounced fi-ah-fty cents. This is because we indiscriminately add an "a" to any word of our choosing. The amount of extra "a"s included in any one sentance will vary between metro okie and rural okie. Try it to give your accent that down home feel.


I like that the writer damn near slipped in a complete sentence, though not a complete thought.

Dare I say a "pitty" for your thoughts? I think not!

I like that the writer damn near slipped in a complete sentence,...


*goes back to look*

It's the rise of ebonics. Fitty Cent calls himself Fitty Cent, but that's just cuz he talks that way. I personally don't adopt other people's accents, being from Texas and all, y'all....

I'm kinda with lurker here. Dave - Gene's got nothin' over you - except that he's not on a break.

Wouldn't that be Fifty Cents?

It's painfully obvious that Judy Ramsook lacks street cred.

To clarify for everyone, he calls himself "fiddy cen", and if that's the way he says it, then that's the "correct" way to say it.

Lab, did you read that in Miss Manners or Emily Post? Enquiring minds and all...

That article was hilarious! OK, for those not in the know, here's what it's about. Fifty calls himself "fitty" and the "in" urban, hip hop crowd (a demographic between about 14 and 22) adopts the lingo. So then the pop culture crowd, trying to embrace the hip hop crowd (and the hip hop trend setters obliging because that's how they get the $bling$), they feel it's important to show respect and pronounce "fitty" correctly. So you get some 60 year old lilly white perky news guy on the perky news team saying "fitty" because he's trying to be hip, when actually, he's being politically correct (that's the most important point for understanding the joke). Oh, and just so you know, the hip hop crowd laughs its collective ass off at old white guys trying to talk black in an effort to be hip and/or politically correct.

So, the author is assuming (for argument) that it's something much more innocent, i.e. people wanting to save time in a fast world. And she takes that to its logical conclusion, and it's freakin hilarious. Subtle, but hilarious. You go girl!

Evidently, the correct pronunciation is "Fitty Cent", at least according to his fans, who would know best. A few years ago I worked security at the BET awards in Hollywood and a part of my job was to make sure that the maniacal fans stayed on their side of the railing and didn't cross over into the red carpet area.

Before he arrived they shouted, "Where Fitty Cent?" "When Fitty Cent comin?" and when he arrived they shouted, "Hey Fitty Cent!" "Fitty Cent looky over here!"

Fitty Cent didn't stop to sign any autographs or shake any hands, but he did smile, wave and flash some bling at them which threw them into a frenzy.

Tamara: Geography. It's proper to say a person's name the way he says it himself. It's proper to say the name of a place the way people in that region say it themselves. That's why Louisville is pronounced "lu-uvl".

Fifty cents? That buys you nothing! Is that why he changed it to Fitty? Maybe that stands for a million, gazillion dollars in Guyanese goat currency.

As for columnists, Judy (not Judi) has a looooong way to go. Sleeper city.

And why Natchitoches is pronounced "Nackadoesh".

And why my name rhymes with "camera" just because my parents are strange.

I get it now!

My name is SPELLED "Raymond Luxury Yacht" but it's PRONOUNCED "Throatwarbler Mangrove."

Brad: After reading three other articles she wrote, I cannot decide if she means to be funny, or if she's unintentionally funny. Some articles are completely devoid of humor. But... you HAVE to read the Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer? article!

Python quote! HA!!!!

PS - I love that you always know these things, Lab. But how do you always know them?

So, IF someone pronounces his/her name with a lisp, then I should pronouce it the same way - regardless of how it's spelt?

...don't think I get this....

We call it Vienna and they spell it Wien, pronounced Vien... nope doesn't fit the rule - dang.

*sees the English language going to the least common denominator*

Tamara: I heard the command "Get your nose out of that book and go outside, forheavenssake" from my mother a lot. She didn't know that I hid the book under my shirt and walked to a park, where I would then sit under a tree and continue reading.

Here's Judy Ramsook's advice to teenage girls:
One should avoid the excessive use of laxatives, don't indulge in purging and don’t take in more calories than one’s body can handle.

Kibby: I was speaking of regions that speak the same language as yourself. In English, we say GER-man-y. It would be wrong to say "ger-MAN-y".

I've always wondered why it's called Germany in English, though. Off to learn yet another useless fact. Maybe it will impress Tamara-rhymes-with-peanut.

does this person actually get paid for the crap she writes? and - look! - we can all join her mailing list!

I'm very impressive.
I mean, impressionable.

And whilst thou art digging up stuff, Labrador, see if perhaps thou canst discern the origins of the word, "bling".

I think I once read that bling was actually derived from a Jamaican word. But I'm not sure if that was legit....and I can't remember the Jamaican word.

Fitty, Fitty, Fo Fitty, Bananna, Fanna Fo Fitty...

too-may-toe, to-motto-toe
Salt and Pepper, Salt and Peppa
lets (let us not lettuce) call the whole thing off...


I was down at the gas station and the boys inna back was a-playin' sebem card, and I sat down 'n won me a hunnerd n ten.

1) I am, apparently, retarded. I assumed that Gene wrote the article, and commented accordingly. Duh.

2) Brad - if you have to explain it, it just isn't that funny.

how about if we just call him half dollar? no, never mind, someone would just call him haf dolla and get the writer all worked up again.

thanks for the clarification brad. i feel better knowing that there wa,s in fact, a point to this article, even if i, being a not quite but almost middle aged white chic, didn't get it. you may laugh at me now.

hmmm I might just be showing my own fears of other cultures (otherculture-a-phobia) but how come there are not rappers simply named Mike?

Speaking of phobias my favorite is antidaeophobia (Fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you).

though I suspect this was created by Gary Larson


the etymology of German

As usual, it is the Roman's fault. Had to rename everything.

Stupid or subtle? Sorry - but I think somebody hit her upside da head wit a smoove.

orcel, not showing your fear of cultures, but perhaps exhibiting a lack of hipness. check out mike jones.

lab, i read the reindeer vs grandma article. is she for real? i'm no grammer police (obviously), but i'm pretty sure there is some editorial law stating that 5 sentences beginning with the word AND in one essay is illegal and perpetrators should be corrected with a red pen.

cross -- While I'd never claim to be hip, (I'm still singing that stupid bannana fanna song in my head). I find my admittedly ignorant brain is wondering if Mike Jones is hip since he openly competes agianst people from "Rap-A-Lot Records"

That sounds like a label a church youth leader would create. And I am a church youth leader so I'd know.

Thanks markhh, I was trying to figure out how we got "Germany" out of "Deutschland".

I just call him 4 Bit...

...or would that be Fou' Bit?

Bis, only IF you cannot pronounce your r's.

Obviously none of us are hooked on phonics.

Obviously none of us are hooked on phonics.

Hey she wrote to me!!!

"at the time I wrote the 'Fitty Cent' piece I was unaware that it was/is Fifty Cent's nickname, and no, being humourous was not my intention. As to your question, the point of my article on the matter was that, since I did not know Fitty was 50 cent's nickname, to point out that maybe the newscasters were inadvertently mispronouncing Fifty Cent, or saying it too quickly, causing them to further say 'Fitty' instead of Fifty, and thanks for asking, Judy-"

Crossgirl, I'm right (not write) with you. Does one (not won) go to college to learn to write (not right) this way (not weigh)?

Which reminds me of ...this and this from Stanford University.

Hello, my name is Mr. Completely, and I'm hooked on phonics.

For an historical perspective, as well as probably thread-kill, I'm reminded of the story (don't know if it's true or not, but it seems so) of why Castilian Spanish is spoken with a lisp: The Queen (or was it the princess?) spoke with a lisp, so the courtesans (wisely wanting not to piss off royalty) began speaking the same way. Let it also be noted that "Castilian" roughly means "of the castle" in English.

Apropos of nothing, I guess.

resume regular silliness

And, of course, the French call it "Allemande" after yet a different germanic tribe.

And "England" comes from "Angle-land", which is named after the germanic tribe that invaded and settled parts of the island in the 400s - that is, if you want to believe the Venerable Bede. And who wouldn't?

Hey, anybody named "Venerable" has GOT to be a reliable source.

WAY TO GO lame guy!

Did you send her the link to this blog? She may want to know all the fuss we're making over her.

Mr C. I don't know if it is true or not, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Many of the French word in the English language filter from the Saxon court after Guillame conquered the Angles in 1066.

Beef was a court luxury so is named from the French. But many common people owned cows so use the Anglich word.

That ought to kill the thread.

Markhh - I'm pretty sure it did.

"Alas, poor Yorick..."

Lame Guy, looks like you may have found your soulmate there... (based solely on your moniker, you understand)

So, "Fitty" is 50 Cents' nickname. I don't think I've ever heard of a nickname getting a nickname... 'cause it's fer DAM sure 50 Cents isn't his real name either.

Fifty Cent. Singular.

You know, he's kind-of a name-conjuring master-mind, isn't he?

"Sand dollars are cool, and Sacajawea's cool, but I've always felt more partial to JFK. So maybe I'll be The JFK Commemorative Half Dollar Coin, or TJFKCHDC--no, that bling would be too heavy. All right, how about Two Quarters? No, not big on the wooden dentures guy. How about a random number? How about Eighty-Two Cents? Wait, was I born in '82? No, I don't think I was. Everyone else will think I was, though. But they'll know I wasn't born in the fifties, right? Okay, I'll be Fifty Cents. Wait, that's not "street" enough. Fifty Cent. Aw yeah, dawg! Snap! Dat's it! Like I dun' knaw muh plurals--yo, if dat ain't hip-hop, baby, I dun' knaw whut be! An' I kin change m'name aroun', like Puff Daddy Puff PDiddy Diddy. Won't nobody get me mixed up with Nelly now!"*

*Obviously, Tamara has taken leave of her senses. Smile and nod.

anybody still awake out there?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz -

Oh, please, everyone, read this one. It is an important public service announcement. Your future music listening capabilities are at risk.


Catya - Reminds me of the sensitive new age guy spots on SNL.

Everyone here is Catya's link. It really is worth the mind numbing.

Oh, and I was wrong. No subtle irony, nope, just bad writing.

Tamara RWC - I'm smiling and nodding...

Hey, it's "subtle" humor. ;)

Judy seems to be someone who has encountered and been influenced by the spirit of irony, but doesn't have the relevant cultural or linguistic mastery to wield it effectively (yet). However, it lurks there somewhere behind all the earnestness; and I think she deserves praise for those hints of iconoclasm which surface throughout her writing.
We need to foster the critical analysis of various cultural totems, however awkward; and hope that the fluency will come.
In the meantime, now and forever, alpha and omega, there's Dave.
Thank you. (takes seat and waits for next speaker)

Speaking of the artist formerly known as prince, sorry I mean fitty cent, previously 50 Cents, previously half a sawbuck...

He had a concert here in Toronto last night. There was a big hulabaloo with the politicians (we're in the middle of an election race) as to whether they should let him into the country as he is a convicted felon and somebody seems to get shot at every one of his concerts. A guy was killed the last time he was here a year ago.

End result was that it would have been easier to bring a gun onto a plane then into the concert. Everyone was patted down, went through a metal detector and photographed individually before they could enter the arena. No one was shot and he got to complain about being persecuted for his noble gangster rap ideals.

Anyone else notice the 'writers wanted' ad on the right side of the article? Talk about understatement!

*applauds politely for Betsy's speech*

Refreshments will now be served in the lobby.

Who taught this woman to write???

Answer: No one.

Eleanor...Thank you, thank you. And I tend to concur in your opinion: No one taught her to write; she's 6 ounces of random commentary rattling around in a 12-pound sack of cluelessness. On the other hand, I'd be hard-pressed to write any kind of essay relevant to her native turf (Trinidad and Tobago.)
I'd be a LOT harder on her if she grew up in, say, Armonk (or Chicago, or Nodak...)

But maybe you'd learn Betsy, if you were writing pop culture stuff about their culture on their turf..

just sayin...

or maybe you're just a nicer person than me! :)

Eleanor...Nah...I'm rotten to the core.

It appears to me (and not in a Virgin Mary on a tortilla kind of way) that Ms. Ransook's columns are the product of an underdeveloped, naive and otherwise unoccupied mind. In short, I believe Ms. Ransook to be the alter ego of Mr. Weingarten. And we should tap her phone. Immediately.

Thank you.

Betsy wrote:

"...she's 6 ounces of random commentary rattling around in a 12-pound sack of cluelessness."

Thank you for the laugh, Betsy! Hilarious and extremely accurate.

I think I found something to read at night when I just can't seem to fall asleep.

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