Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Right Idea, Wrong Delivery

I just went to Applebee's with Shannon for some half price appetizers after 9 where they were also playing some Applebee's Bingo. Instead of the regular bingo letters of B-I-N-G-O, Applebee's Bingo uses A-P-L-B-E.

Now, A and L do not rhyme with any of the other letters, but P, B, and E all rhyme with each other. To avoid confusion, it is common for a person to say, "B, B as in boy"...or some other word that starts with that letter. However, it does not make sense to use just any word that begins one of these letters.

During Applebee's Bingo, the person reading off the letter-number combinations said, "P, P as in Paul." So, what is wrong with this?? The speaker knows that she needs to distinguish between the letters P, B, and E...but I don't think she knows why. The "why" is because P, B, and E (pronounced Pee, Bee, and Eee) are all words that rhyme in each syllable. To distinguish P, she used the word "Paul", which rhymes with "Ball" (in all...one...syllables), which starts with B!! She ruled out E, but she still has the same problem she started with...two words that only differ when pronounced by a single consonant!

Minutes later, the speaker topped herself. To distinguish B, she used the word "Butter", which rhymes with "Putter" (in all two syllables), which starts with P! Again, she ruled out E, but we still can't be sure if she said P or B. I thought that this one was pretty amazing because she was able to do this even though she used a two syllable word.

As a final word, I actually thought of that fact that "Putter" rhymes with "Butter" just after the speaker gave her "Paul" example. I thought, "Wow, I hope she doesn't say that one too." Well, I spoke (in my head) too soon.

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