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CHAT: Tacos et al.

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Sunday, December 9, 2001, 22:13
It would be a strangely isolated or unobservant American who has not
encounted the correct and AFAIK only pronunciation of this delicacy.  There
is a "Taco Bell" eatery on practically every street corner, and their
immensely popular commercial on TV always concluded with the little dog's
"yo quiero Taco Bell" in pretty good Spanish.

It would also be an isolated (or maybe just uninterested) young person who
hasn't heard "tejano" (so written and correctly pronounced)  in connection
with popular music.  True, as a category of restaurant, it's not widely
known, but it's just a PC version of Tex-Mex, which is.

The word pasta (as [pAst@]) was not used in this country until fairly
recently-- outside of areas with substantial Italian population.  There was
spaghetti and macaroni, period, usually in Americanized versions that would
have been anathema in the Old Country.  Thanks to popular figures like Julia
Child and her Italian counterparts, we now know about manicotti, canelloni,
mostaccioli, ziti, penne, lasagne and all that happy tribe.  And, by and
large, we pronounce them correctly (tho I'm not sure I've spelled them

Gringo:  maybe a term of opprobrium in the mouths of our immediate neighbors
(ay, tan lejos de Dios, tan cerca de los EE.UU.), which is understandable--
but curiously, in Argentina, quite the opposite:  it refers to old-line
Argentines (of mostly pure Spanish descent) whose families date from before
the massive immigrations of the late 19/early 20th C., mostly Italians.