Do NOT sound it out

Cotoneaster beautified

I “knew” this plant long before I remember hearing its name. I knew it had nice red berries come autumn. And some bright red leaves. I knew it had stiff woody branches, and no thorns. I knew that the branches were quite rigid, far more than most shrubs.

When I heard the name, I heard coh…toh…neee…assss…ter. Sure, fine. Then, sometime later, I saw the name spelled out, and I tried not to sound it out (as I was told to do, over and over; and over) because I found sounding it out to be misleading.

This is an artistic rendering of a section of an autumnal branch of a cotoneaster. So, again, it’s a distortion of reality…?

Then again, cotoneasters are taxonomically related to photinias. 😎


  1. kayak woman says:

    I remember (at about 10) reading a book and pronouncing Chicago *Chick*-a-go (the “a” being more like a schwa sound). Also colonel just about how the word would sound out.

    Then there was my mother reading a news article to my dad & pronouncing misled as “mizled” (long i & accent on 1st syllable) multiple times. Neither of them caught it.

    And Harry tells a hilarious story about reading a seagoing story where people kept talking about bastards (strong accent on the 2nd syllable). Living in the Bronx, he realized his mistake upon hearing a cab driver yell “you bastid”.

    I guess that’s about enough for now 🙂

  2. Cousin M says:

    Oh..its not Cot(t)on easter?? : )

  3. Anne Regenstreif says:

    I loved the strong purple-pink color in the crayon box, and thought that it’s electric color was “magnet-a”. A wee bit of creative dyslexia?

    In college I discovered the the word “paradyme” that all the professors used was NOT spelled that way, nor did anyone understand me when I said “pair-uh-dig-m”!