Gini Dietrich

How Do You Pronounce Ghoti?

By: Gini Dietrich | May 25, 2010 | 

One of my favorite sessions during Counselors Academy this past weekend (as it is every year) was Darryl Salerno’s English As a First Language. I am an English major, and take great pride in my grammar and spelling skills, but this session always does me in. As my friend Roger Friedensen says, “This is a great way to keep your ego in check.”

I created quite the stir on Saturday when I tweeted that “celibate” means “unmarried” and “forte” is actually pronounced “fort.” But my favorite is how do you pronounce “ghoti?” The answer is “fish.” You take the gh from enough (F), the o from women (I), and the ti from option (sh).  Rather tongue in cheek, but it’s a great representation of our language.

For our weekly Inside PR podcast, Martin Waxman and I took a few minutes to talk to Darryl and I got the interview on film, with me behind the camera. Watch here for insights on the English language, as well as a couple of resources you can read and/or listen to in order to better understand the mistakes we make daily.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • What do you shave? Nice.

    What was the first book book he mentioned? I couldn’t quite hear his answer.


  • How about some of these from :

    Schiesourrhce (“scissors”)
    Phaighpheawraibt (“favorite”)
    Gnuitheierrh (“neither”)

  • Thanks for including me, Gini. Just so people don’t think that I like to play with a fake mike, that was a portable digital recorder so the sound quality for the podcast will be decent. BTW, you pulled a Hitchcock in that interview. Can anyone spot Gini in the shot?

  • Oh yes, I spotted Gini.

  • Thanks for the shout-out, Gini. Darryl’s annual invitation to the ego woodshed is, oddly enough, somewhat refreshing. Kind of like how a visit for a lower-GI exam is refreshing, but refreshing nevertheless. Our challenge, though, is to view this process (now, is that “PRO-cess” or “PRAH-cess”?) as less a yearly laugh-filled game with friends and more of a “this is something worth more daily study and practice” type thing. Perhaps Darryl would be willing to share daily or weekly tips via the CA Website?

  • Kev – the book is “The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations.” And you know me, I can’t let a time go by to make fun of someone!

    I think it’s hilarious you can see me in the picture behind Martin’s and Darryl’s heads!

    Also, everyone should know that Roger got “ghoti” right when it came up during the session.

  • Daniel Tisch

    Great article, Gini. It was a good dose of humble pie for all of us as we rail about the quality of writing in media and PR circles! I intend to incorporate this sort of enjoyable and educational “test” into our firm’s in-house professional development program. Regards to all! – Dan

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