05 January 2009

I Need to Go Lie Down Now

At the barber's this morning, I heard a deejay talking about trying to buy a chaise longue. That term means, of course, "long chair" in French, and is properly pronounced shezz long.

For quite a while, however, English speakers and spellers have transposed a couple of letters and turned the phrase into "chaise lounge," pronounced shezz lownj. Which makes some intellectual sense, as a piece of furniture one lounges on. And it's common enough I've gotten used to that.

But this deejay was talking about a chayz lownj. Over and over.

And that's one reason I left the barber without getting my hair cut.

(Above, a "car chaise," crafted in 2004 by Jonathan Smith of the Urbanoia Design Group and Ryan Hagan of the University of Texas "from padded glove-box covers from Detroit autos of the 70s and 80s.")

4 comments:

Anindita said...

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world!! I'm so glad I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard anyone refer to it as a "chaise lounge" in the UK, or seen it written down as such either.

Joseph said...

I've only ever heard it pronounced as "chase lounge," but I haven't really heard too many references to it in my life. I wasn't even sure what exactly it was until reading your post.

J. L. Bell said...

I once went through a museum exhibit totally devoted to chaises longues, and their relationship to architecture.