By Request:

Words are constantly transitioning between languages.  One of my favourite examples is the chaise longe often pronounced  chase lounge.  It began with the french pronunciation which is like shez long, which is just a long chair, and has been evolving into the chase lounge, which is a specific asymmetrical upholstered sofa.

In the case of the chaise longe I don’t really mind because it’s not just a long chair.  The french and english terms refer to different categories of furniture so there needs to be different terms.  This is not the case for the word I want to discuss today.

I make something of a hobby of knowing coffee terminology.  Different coffee drinks have many wonderful names with wonderful stories that go way past the menu at Starbucks.  Americano, for example, is a drink of watered down espresso originally served to Americans for whom espresso was too strong in European cafes where drip coffee was mysterious.

Espresso is the English word for what France, Italy, and Spain call cafe.  It only means one thing in the English word.  Espresso is an Italian word meaning pressed.  But because the italian word sounds like our English word express, many North Americans, perhaps even most, pronounce the word express-o.  All you have to do is read the letters:  es-press-o.

In my humble (not) opinion, we are not so far into the evolution of the word that we cannot correct this simple mistake.

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