In an incredible interview with Don Lemon in this month’s GQ, writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner opens by letting the CNN anchor humiliate himself by insisting that sorbet is pronounced “sor-BET.” Unfortunately, that is not how that word is pronounced.
The scene: Brodesser-Akner and Lemon dine at the restaurant in the MoMA. They decide on dessert—“something light,” because Don Lemon is on TV. They settle on sorbet, pronounced “sor-BAY.” But then something happens:
He leans in, big warm smile, not wanting to correct me, but needing to: “Sorbette,” he says, like a news anchor. “It’s pronounced sorbette.”
“Sorbette,” I repeat, shaky. I smile, not quite understanding the joke.
“Sorbette,” he says with the confidence of a man who informs hundreds of thousands of Americans each night about what is happening across this land as well as many others. “It’s pronounced sorbette.” Sorbette! Could he be right? I’ve been saying it like a French word for years, like a complete asshole. Have I, a native English speaker, a graduate of a four-year college, a frequent eater of frozen desserts, been mispronouncing it all this time?
And yet, and yet: When Don Lemon says this to me, I am sure that he is sure of it. And who can we turn to if not our news anchors?
But now here comes the waiter, and he asks if we’ve decided, and Don Lemon asks for the sorbette, and the waiter looks at Lemon like, Are you joking? I give the waiter the silent, wide-eyed micro head shake—No, he’s serious, proceed with caution—but the waiter has guts that I don’t, and so he says, “It’s sor-bay, sir.”
It’s sor-bay, sir
Shocking that a man who has a documented habit of indelicately and moronically articulating himself would make a mistake like this!
[Image via Getty]