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Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Dave!Packin' my suitcase!

And trying not to freak out at all the crap I have to do before I drive over to Seattle tomorrow.

On top of a pile of unfinished work, impending snow on the mountain passes, my car acting up again, a missing cable for my iPod Shuffle, and the TOTALLY CRAPPY EXCHANGE RATE FOR THE U.S. DOLLAR... well, it's not been the best day for me.

But I still had reason to smile, because this was the random photo that landed on my desktop this morning...

Happy Statue

Anyway... I had bought some of those new Quaker Mini Delights snacks and was telling a friend about them...

DAVE'S FRIEND: So they're like tiny rice cakes?
ACTUAL DAVE: Yeah, but they've got frosting drizzled on them. The chocolate-mint ones are really good... kind of like Girl Scout Cookies. The caramel ones are okay, but the frosting tastes like plastic.
ACTUAL DAVE: The rice cakes?
DAVE'S FRIEND: The CAR-mel ones?
ACTUAL DAVE: Yeah, the frosting is plastic-like.
DAVE'S FRIEND: On which ones?
ACTUAL DAVE: Uhhhh... the caramel ones?

And that's when she pointed out that I pronounce caramel as "CARE-AH-MEL" which she tells me is wrong. It's supposed to be "CAR-MEL."

I asked around and found out that everybody else thinks I pronounce it oddly as well. I never noticed before.

So what the f#@% is that extra "a" doing in there? Stupid superfluous vowels! I hate silent letters!

Hmmm... I should probably take some underwear on my trip.

It's always the little things you forget.

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink


  1. seewhy says:

    Well, in Australia you’d fit in just fine. We pronounce it car-a-mel here too 🙂

  2. Car-mel/care-a-mel is a to-may-to/to-mah-to kind of thing. It’s pronounced differently from region to region. I pronounce is care-a-mel myself, all the way on the other side of the country from you.

  3. turnbaby says:

    I say it both ways.

  4. Darci says:

    My husband used to travel as much as you do…On one trip to Dallas I received a phone call to please send him 3 pairs of jeans – he had forgotten to pack them. I did but I put my foot down when the request came a few trips later for a week’s worth of underwear. I sent him to the local store – it was cheaper then the shipping.

  5. Baak says:

    I believe it can be pronounced more than one way.

    Remember that Mounds commercial with the catchy jingle? 🙂

  6. Mrs. K says:

    The whole car-ah-mel car-mel thing cracks me up too. Ad people don’t know what to do either. Every other commercial pronounces it differently also. Glad your headache is gone and safe travels!

  7. Penelope says:

    It must come from all of the travelling you do because here in England we call it Car-A-mel ;o)

  8. You pronounce it the British way! You should be proud!

  9. Megan says:

    It’s CARE-UH-MEL. Not CAR-MEL. Your friend is a doofus.

  10. kilax says:

    Hmmm, how exactly are you supposed to pronounce caramel? I’m not sure. I’ve heard it both ways, but I’m a “car-mel” girl.

  11. Chris says:

    If you come over to England, we say the extra a! Check out an old tv advert for proof.

    So you are right, just in the wrong country.

  12. Eileen Dover says:

    It’s car-a-mel to me, too. I secretly cringe when people say car-mel, because it’s just not right!

    Dave, I think you’re secretly Australian.

  13. Anthony says:

    Everybody hear says it like you say it. Once again, the rest of America is wrong, Dave is right. 🙂

  14. yellojkt says:

    I just got back from vacation in London and I will agree that the exchange rate sucks. I am dreading the credit card bill to see just how bad I got taken to the cleaners with the currency conversion.

  15. miftik says:

    You can say it either way. So say most dictionaries. I’m with you though. The a is there, it needs to be recognized.

  16. Kyra says:

    I say it Care-Ah-Mel too. It sounds prettier.

  17. Jeff says:

    Looks like 3 syllables to me. Car-ah-mel.

  18. Michelle says:

    I used to pronounce it care-a-mel as well…. until I got corrected. Silent A in the middle, that is just silly. I usually do call it car-mel now, though.

  19. Avitable says:

    No, it’s CARE-a-MEL. You’re right. And so am I.

  20. Winter says:

    It’s only CAR-MEL if it’s popcorn. Otherwise, it’s CARE-A-MEL. I cannot call dark chocolate covered caramels from See’s CAR-MEL. Besides, CAR-MEL is a town I used to spend a lot of time in.

  21. Dude, I pronounce it car-a-mel, with the a. Carmel? Annoys the piss out of me.

    So there. You’re not alone.

  22. Tracy Lynn says:

    Dude, if I pronounced it the way your friend did, my Nana would rise up from the grave to beat me senseless.

    No such thing as a silent A in the middle, my friend.

  23. MRKisThatKid says:

    Weird, I’ve never heard it pronounced with only 2 syllables. I pronounce it Ka-Ra-Mul

  24. Suzy says:

    It’s car-a-mel. There’s an extra A for a reason. The French pronounce the extra A so that’s enough proof for me, it being the most romantic language in the world. Which has nothing to do with the way to pronounce it.

  25. andi says:

    I guess it’s because I’m Canadian but I say care-ah-mel. Also I used to love those Quaker bars that were cinnamon bun flavored… mmmm

  26. karla says:

    Car a mel. Me too. There is an ‘a’ there in the middle, Last I heard, it’s still being pronounced.

    Bring the THERMAL underwear and the wool socks, weather here has gone to hell.

  27. Troy says:

    We say Car-A-Mel in my area of Ontario.

    According to Merriam Webster it can be pronounced either way. It’s okay either way.

    Though it sounds like you are in the minority in your part of the world.

  28. Brittopia says:

    Both pronunciations are accepted so she is wrong to tell you that you are wrong.

    car·a·mel (kār’ə-məl, -měl’, kär’məl)

  29. I say care-ah-mel. But I think it is just because I’m from The South and we like to draw out letters that aren’t meant to be and to drop letters that aren’t meant to be dropped.

  30. diane says:

    Ah, I was just sitting here wondering if anyone would check the pronounciation on M-W.
    I say carmel. I’m too lazy for the extra A.

  31. mew says:

    ugh, i have never called it ‘carmel’


    says it’s either way.

  32. Hilly Sue says:

    Uh okay. I swear that I commented here first thing this morning.

    I think I said something about Merriam Webster saying you can pronounce it both ways and that I say “carmel” corn but “care-ah-mel” for other stuff.

    That might be exactly what I said, actually ;).

  33. ChillyWilly says:

    Forgetting underwear. I did that in December when we went to Orlando. Got to the hotel the first night and realized I had 10 pairs of boxers sitting on the bed at home. Found the nearest shopping area and got myself some basic boxers for the week.

    Now when I pack my bags, the boxers are the first thing that gets put in.

  34. jake titus says:

    Now that I’m 40 (and showing it in the waist) I don’t use either pronunciation. I tell the Barista to “give me non-fat latte with none of the good stuff”! It sucks to get older!!!

  35. Suzanne says:

    Perhaps your friend’s confusion stems from the fact that caramels (care-uh-mels) are made from caramelized (car-ma-lized) sugar.

    Is she a Pronunciation Nazi of some kind? Was she self-satisfied with her mocking air of superiority? The dictionary does list either pronunciation of caramel as correct, so your friend is kind of a bitch for trying to make you feel stupid.

  36. claire says:

    It’s 3 syllables, no question about it in my mind.

  37. Melanie says:

    It bugs me when people say “carmel.” It’s not a silent A, sorry.
    Pronounced as spelled over here.

  38. apricoco says:

    i am a care-a-mel person too.. you aren’t wrong! pronounce it how you always have.

  39. Mik says:

    I say it the way you do too, what’s wrong with that?

  40. Stacey says:

    Your friend doesn’t have something better to do with her time than pick on your pronunciation of caramel?

  41. kapgar says:

    Depending on the situation, I’ve found myself pronouncing it both ways. But if it helps your argument, Amos Lee sang a song called “Caramel” live in concert (never been released that I can find) and it’s pronounced with the added “a.”

  42. Brandon says:

    I say it care-uh-mel. Car-mel is the name of my guinea pig. Care-uh-mel is the name of deliciously cooked sugar.

  43. Bec says:

    Give in and come and live in Britain. Car-mel – isn’t that a town/city/place?

  44. Cheeseycom says:

    I know people are saying there’s no right or wrong way to say it, but it’s originally a french word meaning ‘burnt sugar’.. which is pretty much what it is.. so I’d say their pronunciation, which includes the middle ‘a’, is the right one.

    Plus I just really, really hate the sound of ‘Car-mel’. I don’t know why… it just bugs me.

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