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.")


Anindita Basu Sempere 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.