Monday, 15 July 2013

Biopic

Che Guevara, Gael Garcia Bernal, Biopic, Rodrigo de la Serna, Argentinian cinema

BIOPIC

Noun. Colloquial. Mid-20th century.
[from BIOGRAPHICAL + PIC noun.]

A biographical film.

Biopic annoys me a bit as a word. For as long as I can remember, I've pronounced it incorrectly, firmly stressing the 'o' so that it rhymes (somewhat ironically) with myopic. However, virtually every authoritative source gives its correct pronunciation as bio-pick. Ever since I discovered the proper pronunciation, however, I've remained resolutely convinced that my pronunciation is the superior one. Yes, it's true that it doesn't make as much sense (after all, biopic means biographical picture), but it just sounds so much better. Biopic (spoken my way) sounds so much grander, with so much more majesty, bigger and bolder, with tones of the epic. The thing is - it isn't just my pronunciation; after a modicum of research on the interweb, it seems that others are also partial to my myopically-intoned pronunciation. So perhaps we're right, and to continue to deny so is simply ... ahem ... short-sighted?

How do you pronounce biopic? Is it just me and some other renegade internet weirdos? Or is something big starting here?

Oh, I rather like The Motorcycle Diaries, a biopic (pronounced my way) of Che Guevara.
If you have any favourite biopics (pronounced my way), do feel free to share.

14 comments:

  1. I pronounce it the myopic-way, too. I think the authoritative sources just don't know what they're talking about.

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    1. Oh no! Another renegade internet weirdo, just like I feared! *sniggers*

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    2. Well, growing up in east Belfast WE have a tendency to pronounce words which ever way we want.
      However Bi-OP-ic as I would say it, does feel and portray a somewhat legendary or Epic status.

      I like Long Way Round and Long Way Down
      Another motorcycle, educational, adventurous Epic Bi-OP-ic

      Hope you 2 weirdos like the comment.
      Regards,
      A non weirdo :)

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    3. Great! It seems I'm in good company. If I get any more consenting voices, I might even dispatch a letter to the OED.

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    4. @ The T 1 thousand: Don't try to sneak out of it, you're just as weird as any other person in this comment section. :)

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    5. Hey! I'm not weird. Well, ok, I'm weird. But at least I'm consistently weird, most of the time. At least I'm occasionally consistently weird. At least I'm inconsistently normal on weird occasions. Nope, can't remember my objection - carry on.

      -clueless.

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    6. You're weird, C, and as evidence I cite your protestation: "I'm not weird." Anyone that ever feels the need to say that is indubitably weird.

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  2. It DOES and SHOULD rhyme with myopic, but then I recently asked a teenager if they liked the band Kasabian, in a futile effort to seem cool, and pronounced it such that in a poem it would have sat nicely in a verse about Azerbaijan.

    -clueless

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    1. You must be some kind of rhyming wizard, C. I've gone over this numerous times in my head and I just can't make Kasabian and Azerbaijan rhyme, not in any way that is feasibly reasonable to think a person may have done it by mistake in their head. What kind of linguistic sorcery is this??

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    2. Kaz er by an. I'm not proud.

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  3. If you, native speakers, cannot agree on the pronunciation, what are we to do??

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    1. Oddly, Evi, it seems we do agree, something I didn't anticipate *at all* on this post.

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter today.
    I think a hearty well done old chap is in order for our founding blogger

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, T1, and it's great to have you commenting here : o )

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