Friday, July 9, 2010

A World Cup Homage

The talk of the soccer World Cup has been, aside from the usual bashing of Americans for our lack of enthusiasm for the sport, the vuvuzela and its role in driving those of us who wanted to watch a bit of Cup action absolutely crazy. Were this just a World Cup phenomenon I would not be concerned. But there is a clear and present danger of the plastic horns showing up at American sporting events.

It was with dismay that I read of the infernal plot between a promotional company, a Chinese manufacturer and the Florida Marlins baseball team to introduce the hellish horn to Major League Baseball. Say it ain't so, Joe!

But the news report's wording also caught my eye: "As an homage to the South African World Cup, (the Marlins) ordered their branded horns back in February..."

An homage? My computer dictionary and my OED both stick with the traditional pronunciation of homage as "HAH-mij." That's it. There's no second pronunciation contemplated. So I would say "a homage." I wonder if the writer of that news clip has fallen victim to the film industry's self-important Frenchification of the word as "oh-MAHZH."

"Homage" has a French derivation all right, but it probably crossed the Channel with the Normans. It certainly has been with us since at least the days of Chaucer. Surely we can give it an Anglo-Saxon pronunciation after more than seven centuries.

No comments:

Post a Comment