parMEzian cheese

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Tue Oct 1 15:58:35 UTC 2002

I think "Parmesian" cheese must have been fairly widespread (oh all
right--widely sprinkled).  I remember my father expressing annoyance at the
pronunciation after we had bought some at a store (Southern California,
late 40s or early 50s).  Now the invented "Parmesian" seems to have been
supplanted by the equally invented "parmeZHAN" (as also noted by Peter
Richardson), apparently via the line of reasoning: "To make a word sound
more foreign, and hence more authentic, stress the last syllable, pronounce
spelled <g> as 'zh' and ignore all other spelling cues."

The first time I heard "parmeZHAN" was when I ordered Veal Parmigiano in a
restaurant and had the waitress correct me (probably mid- to late 50s, in

Peter Mc.

--On Monday, September 30, 2002 6:37 PM -0500 Beth Simon <simon at IPFW.EDU>

> in des moines iowa, it was parMEzian cheese. so much so, that when i
> first heard PARmezahn, i inwardly snooted my nose at the speakers.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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