Friday, 8 May 2009

Primark Pronunciation

I had an amicable debate with a lady at the leisure centre today, the topic being so irrelevant and banal as the proper pronunciation of the clothing retailer, Primark. She started it! She was telling me about a building contract her son had for new Primark stores on the Continent, and said that she couldn't understand why "English people" pronounced it Prime Mark.

I retaliated by smiling and saying that I couldn't understand why people pronounced it Pree-mark!

Correct me if I am wrong, but I always assumed that the company took its silly name from the derivation of the words Prime and Mark; so what's wrong with pronouncing it Prime-Mark?

I heard a senior executive of Primark being interviewed last year on television and they pronounced it Prime-Mark. Surely they should know? They work for the company.

That's a weakness of mine; I can be a touch pedantic about grammatical pronunciation. I pride myself on how to pronounce many words correctly, viz. schedule, genuine, de Ros, Crom, Cadogan, Heathcote-Amory, margarine, heinous, contribute, and so on, ad infinitum. I cringe when some reporter on the BBC mispronounces a word, as occurs fairly often.

I'd never correct anybody, mind you. That's ill-mannered, in my book.

Now begins the Great Primark Pronunciation Debate!


Robert J.E. Simpson said...

I was at the Mark Thomas gig the other day at Custom House square and he pronounced it "Pri-mark" which is how it is spelt.

Needless to say, there was a chorus of local voices from the back of the venue shouting "Pree-mark"

Timothy Belmont said...


Annaliza said...

My lady friends and I prefer to call it "Pre Marché' or "Mark du Pri." I think it gives this shop an air of grandeur, off course, to which it has none!

Unknown said...

I call it pry-marni lol

Gareth Johnston said...

I was at a conference recently where one of their executives pronounced it "Pry-mark", as noted above. However I'm morally certain that the advertising jingle that used to run on UTV was "Preemark's got a whole lot of things for Christmas..."