Monday, August 13, 2007

How Do YOU Say It?

I've always wondered what the correct way is to say: Ephesians.

I've heard Pastors say something that sounds like: eh-fish-unz (with the middle "e" pronounced "short" like you would say"fish" (in fact, the "phes" sounds just like "fish") and the "ia" pronounced like "uh")

I've heart Pastors say something that sounds like: eh-feh-zhunz (with the middle "e" pronounced like you would say "enter")

And then, I've heard Pastors say it the way I say it: eh-fee-zhunz (with the middle "e" pronounced "long" -- like you would say "erase" or "free")

I had asked a previous pastor of mine (who hails from Kentucky) why he said it the way he did (eh-feh-zhunz -- or maybe it was eh-fish-unz -- I've lost track), and he said it was the way he was taught to say it. That explanation rings too close to, "because my momma did it that way" when you ask someone why they cut off part of their roast when they cook it ... only to find out from "momma" that she did it that way because the roast was too long for the only pan she owned. You know what I mean???

Well, I heard it pronounced again this weekend, and it sounded like a cross between "eh-FIH-zhunz" and "eh-FEH-zhunz," and it really bothered me! What is the proper way to say the word Ephesians? I know! You're wondering the very same thing too! And if I don't find out, the entire world is going to stop spinning, fall off of it's axis and everything as we know it will... CHANGE. AAAHHH!

Well, the same pastor I mentioned earlier always told me that you should be ready to defend what the Bible says about something, including being able to "point to it" in the Bible ... not just say, "well it's in the Bible somewhere." So I took what he said, and changed it a bit ... I wanted to know why I pronounced Ephesians the way I did, and be able to explain it to people in the event that they might ask ... which happens so often, don't you know. So, I went on line, did a very quick, nitty-gritty Google on the pronunciation of the word, and came up with this:

eh-FEE-zhuhnz or ih-FEE-zhuhnz (with the middle "e" pronounced "long").

Now, all these "long" and "short" sounds really take me back to the days of elementary school, and that was way back when we were writing on stone tablets ... so I'm not even sure I'm using it in the right context ... I'm probably not. In fact, I vaguely remember a late music minister of ours explain how certain vowels are pronounced long, and certain ones are pronounced short ... something about the consonants surrounding the vowels ... or something like that (as in ... pronouncing the word angel like Ayn-gel (like for your hair) -- which according to him was the wrong way to say it, or Ayn-guhl, which according to him was the right way to say it). If you're a grammatical expert, do share!

Any way, I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert on grammar, pronunciation, vowels, or anything related to the English language (other than "I talk it") ... but I do know one thing... I was pronouncing it properly. Which is a tremendous relief for me, because I would hate to have been saying it wrong for the past 25 years! The world shall continue to spin as normal.

Yes. I'm totally confused at this point, as I'm sure you are also. And you're probably asking your self ... "who really cares, anyway?" And you're probably saying something like... "get ON with it, wouldja?" Well, I do (care) ... or did. Now, I don't, really. And, okay, okay ... I'll move on. ;-)

As for the rest of you? I'm curious how do YOU say it... and WHY? Oh, go ahead ... be honest ... this is a "no judgement" zone!

Here are two links that have a .wav file that allows you to HEAR how it's pronounced: Net Ministries and Your Dictionary

Have fun with it!!!

(edited to correct some crazy grammar problems I had -- heh heh!)


Ribbon Rock Star said...

I always pronounce it with the E being long also.


Jessica said...

I am from Kentucky and I have always heard it pronounced with the long e sound, so that's how I say it. Interesting, huh?

Kelli said...


Although like that, it looks like a Russian side dish.

Sandy said...

Not even gonna try - ha!

Never a dull moment on your blog :)

Will be fun to see the CUPCAKE results!

mandy said...

i'm @ a seminary... and (well, barring the accents from all the international professors/students) i think its supposed to go like:
sounds right to me!
just found your blog & wanted to say hey....

Rocks In My Dryer said...

Okay, my head is spinning just a little from all the phonetics this late at night, but I say it that way you say it.

Reminds me of the pastor I once heard who pronounced Isaiah so that it rhymes with "Mariah".

Barbara H. said...

I've always heard and pronounced it with a long e.

I just heard a preacher on the radio today say "Abednego" (Shadrach and Meshach's friend) in a way that I had never heard before. I've always heard it pronounced pretty much the way it looks (short e), with the accent on the second syllable. I heard it today with the accent on the third and the "e" sounding like a long "a" -- "A bed NA go." It sounded so strange!

Lizzie said...

LOL! I'm a newbie and come across oh, about fourteen different words in the Bible each time I read it that I haven't a hope of pronouncing correctly! I keep thinking all those with the benefits of having read/listened to the Bible their whole lives must know much more about the pronunciations than I do, LOL. For the record, I've always said 'eh-FEE-shuns'

Then again, I only recently came to realise the capital of Uruguay is on-teh-vid-ay-oh and not 'Monty Video', and I went through my childhood and a large portion of my adulthood automatically thinking it was 'mack-ar-bah' instead of mack-arb (macabre) perhaps I'm not the best person to ask! LOL.


Lizzie said...

Auugh, that was meant to be 'Mon-teh-vid-ay-oh'

(trigger finger...LOL)


Shalee said...

Good night nurse, GiBee. I call it "teakettle" and just go on. It's what's inside the book that really counts.

(And for the record, I want everyone to know that I'm just teasing GiBee. I know she cares more about the innards than about a pronunciation. No snotty comments to or about me please!)

Ms. Can't Be Wrong said...

I'm glad someone besides me thinks about things like that.

Thanks for making me feel normal!