How to Properly Pronounce “Boise” (Schooled by a 5-year-old)

Posted on
Dec 6, 2011

There are times when I start to get a little bit big for my britches. Fortunately, the universe usually decides that’s an appropriate time to slap some sense back into me.

Take a few months back, when I was in my kitchen, pouring salt into a concoction I was working on (because really, next to sugar, salt is the best thing you can eat), and thinking, “Damn, I am on it. I mean, I love my blog, and even though I don’t make a dime from it, it’s really going somewhere and it feels like EVERYTHING IS COMING TOGETHER and maybe I should even start working out and thinking about trying skinny jeans again and …”

BOOM. The lid came off the salt shaker. And it was a HUGE shaker. I spilled roughly three cups of salt onto my counter, the floor, my concoction, myself. And my brain snickered at the scene and said, “Sorry, what was that about you having it all together, girly?”

At which point I laughed, because it was either that or crying.

The thing is, there are times in life when we need to be slapped back to our senses, whether by rogue salt shakers who remind us that we are not all that, or by – as I learned last month – rambunctious five-year-olds who can teach you a thing or two about travel.

I want to introduce you to someone. I’m not going to give you her name, because I don’t want the paparazzi stalking her. She’s that fabulous. Anywho, this little gal politely informed me that I was pronouncing the capitol of Idaho incorrectly. Me, the intrepid traveler, was butchering the name, and it was how everyone was able to peg me for a visitor. I was only one state over, but I’d managed to stand out like a sore thumb.

She could also teach me a thing or two about fashion, I'm sure.

“You say Boise wrong,” she said to me gently, as though quietly informing someone that they had their shirt on inside out and backwards (which, for the record, was the case with me the other day at dinner. I rectified the situation immediately. At the table. In front of everyone. You only live once, kids.)

I stared blankly at the little one. “No, no,” I said, “I’m pretty sure I’m saying it right.” I looked at her parents for confirmation. They politely shook their heads. Nope. I was off base.

“You say BOY-zee,” she explained, as though she were the 30-something and I was in pre-K. “That’s wrong. You’re supposed to say BOY-see.”

“BOY-see,” I repeated. “No way.”

“That’s how you say it,” she said, confidently. And it turns out, she’s absolutely right.

The good news? I learned something new. And there’s now significantly more wiggle room in my britches.


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