Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pronunciation of Design Terms

Have you ever come to a point when you are about to say a word out loud & realize that you've never actually spoken it before & are unsure of the pronunciation? You've read it a thousand time & know its definintion but are now embarrassed to say it?

I think this happens a lot to book worms (myself included) who've been reading a word for years & have never looked up its pronunciation. Being mostly self-taught, when I first started out in this field a couple of years ago, I realized there were lots of design terms that fell into this category. (And I'm sure I'll run into more.) I thought I'd share a few that I hear pronouced differently all the time and others that rarely get spoken out loud. I looked them up to get non-biased pronunciations:

Damask: "damn-esk" (with the emphasis on the first syllable)

Jacquard: "Jack-ard" (with emphasis on the first syllable)

Ikat: "ee-kot"

Chinoiserie: "Sheen-waz-er-ee" (image from here)

Patina: "pa-tee-na" or "pa-tin-a"

Grisaille: "griz-ai" (pronounced just like "Versailles") Click here to read a previous post on them.

Etagere: "Ay-taj-eir" (with "taj" pronounced like the "taj" in "Taj Mahal") (image from here)

Klismos: "kliz-moss"

And finally, a name I hear pronounced every which way to Sunday is "Vicente Wolf." Now I'm not sure exactly how he pronounces his name himself, but looking up the pronunciation of "Vicente" you get "Vee-sent-ee"... we might have to "ask Vicente!"

I'm sure a lot of you have probably known these terms for years but maybe some of you, like me, are newer to the design world or had just never spoken the words out loud. (I mean honestly, how many times does the word "grisaille" come up in causal conversation?!) I think it's important for us all to be okay asking questions and to be okay admitting we don't know it all. You learn so much more once you've realized how much you have yet to learn.



ps- I know I've forgotten a bunch so if there are any more of these words that we hear pronouced lots of diffferent ways or anything you're just unsure of, be sure to mention it in the comments section! I'll post them below! :)
Matelasse: "Maht-luh-sey"