I’m watching Auction Kings and a lady from Atlanta (who does not have much of a southern US accent) is putting a calliope up for auction. What caught my attention was the way she pronounce it: /kæliːop/ (cal-ee-ope) instead of /kəˈlaɪ.əpiː/ (call-I-oh-pee).
It didn’t stop there either, otherwise I would have chalked it up to it being just her unfamiliarity with the word. The owner of the gallery, Paul (who has a mild southern accent, similar to Matthew McConaughey), pronounced it the same way during several shots of him filmed after the auction, and numerous other times during the episode. In fact, in one scene, Paul pronounced it like that in front of a musical-instrument expert who was called in to appraise it, but the expert did not correct him (I note that the expert did not say the word at all throughout the segment, possibly to avoid embarrassing Paul on television).
Two of the bidders also pronounced it like that as did the owner again.
I particularly noted the pronunciation because this show was the third time this week that I heard it pronounced this way. The auctioneer however pronounced the way I expected.
(This reminds me of when I was young and saw the name Penelope on paper for the first time. I read the whole book pronouncing her name in my head as Pen-eh-lope—and thinking that the girl was unusual because of her strange name.)
I thought that maybe it’s just a case of people hearing a new term pronounced incorrectly and repeating it, but Paul and the gallery manager pronounced it like that several times after the auctioneer pronounced it correctly.
Is there a regional (specifically southern US) pronunciation of the word calliope?