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This is my first entry in a little group blogging project started by Blue Witch. For more details, or to join in, click here.

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I understand occasional pronunciation differences between the UK and the US. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. Whatever.

What mystifies me is when international brand names have different pronunciations in different markets. The one that always strikes me (ouch!) is Pantene shampoo. Those of you reading this in the UK will have just seen a word that rhymes with hen or zen. Stateside readers will be rhyming said haircare product (which is basically Ivory shampoo with a different dye and perfume and an astronomical markup) with keen or sheen.

It's spelled the same in both countries. It's produced by the same company (Procter & Gamble) and it's packaged fairly similarly. It's geared towards the same target market. And yet, in company-controlled advertising, it's pronounced differently. WHY?

And why does it bother me? I guess with Pantene, itís because I used to work on the product. Many many moons ago, in my pre-avuncular days, I was still living in Cincinnati and had a long-term contract job at P&G, where I was the Assistant Brand Manager (in packaging) for Pert, Ivory and Pantene shampoos. In fact, just before I followed a boy down to Houston, I was offered a full-time job at P&G. Oy. Imagine if Iíd stayed in Ohio and become a Proctoid. Houston wasnít the best experience Iíd ever had in my life, but at least it got me to where I am today.

So anyway, brand names. Adidas is another one. In the States, weíve always said ah-dee-des (accent on the dee). Over here, I hear ah-dee-dah (accent on the ah).

I would think, having been in the brand business, that companies would promote a preferred pronunciation of their product. Iím flummoxed as to why this hasnít happened.

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Read more about things that mystify other participating Bloghuh? bloggers this week:

Blue Witch
bob's yer uncle
Kitchen Witch
Purple Pen
Santiago Dreaming
Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From