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French Connection

Envelope? Or ahnvelope? Pretty sure I’m the only one at helveticka world headquarters who pronounces it without the nasal French affectation. Must be something they teach at those fancy design schools.

But which is correct?

Well…the word was borrowed into English from French some time in the early 18th century. Like envoy, encore, ennui, ensemble, entree, entourage, and entrepreneur, it retained its pseudo-French pronunciation—at first. But these days it’s pretty much completely anglicized, such that less than a third of the population says ahnvelope any more. That number is likely dwindling.

Both pronunciations are acceptable, though. So if you want to be a pretentious twit, say ahnvelope. But if you’re a patriotic American, well…you know what to do.



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