steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Old French

For years, I've been remembering the old Milky Bar ads as pronouncing the word "Nestlé" like the English word "nestle". Checking on this video, however, I found that even the oldest advert from 1961 has the words "Nestlé Milky Bar" rather than "Nestle's Milky Bar", as I remembered. Was my memory wonky? Apparently not, if the video description and several of the comments are to be believed: rather, the soundtrack has been silently remastered so as to correct the French pronunciation. For proof whereof, this New Zealand version from the 1980s retains the classic "Nestle's", which to me will always be the "proper" way to pronounce the name of that particular grasping conglomerate.

It's interesting that they went to the trouble of retrospectively changing things, though. It got me to wondering how many people these days say "caff" rather than "café"? Fewer than of yore, I'll warrant. That was always partly a class thing, of course, with the question of whether something was a caff or a café depending not only on the speaker but the establishment in question. "Greasy spoon café" wouldn't sound right at all, to my ear.

Then there's Michelin - perhaps an even more interesting case, since the same company is well known for three different things, each of which falls into a different stereotypical class bracket...

Poll #1992866 Old French


Meesh-e-lain (last syllable to rhyme with the French word for 'bread')
More than one of the above, depending whether it's in connection with tyres, travel guides or restauruants
More than one of the above at different periods of my life
Some other answer, which I will explain in the comments.
Tags: language
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