Make that a regular coffee

December 29th, 2005
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“I told you there’d be snow up here. Now you owe me a double expresso!” — Overheard on the chairlift at Whistler-Blackcomb ski area

Clearly there’s no eckscape from the mangulation of the English language. Mr. K. felt there was no ecksplanation necessary, but Dr. J. was of the opinion that the mispronunciation of the word describing that dark-roasted mini-cup of Italian-style coffee is so widespread that we have to point out that, yes, indeed, it is pronounced ESS-PRESS-OH.

Some years back Mr. K. was travelling with a number of other ski writers to the Alps, and recalls spending much of the flight lecturing them along the lines of, “OK guys, in Europe they don’t say it EX-presso, so if you don’t want the Euros to think you’re a total knob, make sure you say it ES-presso.”

On their first day’s skiing, after an hour or two of sliding around on the slopes, the local French guide languidly suggested, “Are you feeling desire for a leetle break? Perhaps some tea, or an EX-presso?” So who’s the knob?

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