Thursday, November 7, 2019

Google as "goggle" and WhatsApp as "whatsUp": Illiterate Pronunciations in Nigeria

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Why do most Nigerians, including educated Nigerians, pronounce Google as "goggle" and WhatsApp as "WhatsUp"?

As I pointed out in my 2015 book titled Glocal English: The Changing Face and Forms of Nigerian English in a Global World, two "O's" always make the long "uu" sound; that's why we pronounce book as "buuk," good as "guud," hood as "huud," etc. 

What explains the choice of Nigerians to pronounce Google as "goggle," which, among other things, means to look stupidly? I'm sorry, but people sound really stupid and illiterate when they call Google "goggle."
And WhatsApp as "WhatsUP"? What's up with that? Who comes up with these grating, uneducated pronunciational habits in Nigeria? Since Nigerians don't call phone apps "ups," why do they call WhatsApp "WhatsUP"?
Yes, the inventors of WhatsApp were clearly creatively playing on the informal American English expression "what's up?" (i.e., "how are you?") in the choice of the name for the app, but the name clearly has "app," not "up," in it.
Nigerians are the only people in the whole world who call WhatsApp "whatsUp." Did people miss the letter "a" in the name of the app? What sort of mass carelessness is that? Who did this to us? Before anyone says it's about differences in accents, this isn't an accent issue. It's simply carelessness. What's difficult in saying "whatsApp" and "Guugul?

Related Articles:
Top 50 Words Nigerians Mispronounce (I)
Top 50 Words Nigerians Mispronounce (II)
Top 50 Words Nigerians Mispronounce (III)
More Words Nigerians Commonly Mispronounce

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