Oh-Mazh, If You Will…

by Chris McGinty of AccordingToWhim.com

A long time ago, on a DVD
commentary far, far away, I noticed that someone said something to the effect
of, “We were paying Oh-mazh, if you will…” It didn’t really catch my attention
until I noticed that every time someone said it they would say, “Oh-mazh, if
you will…” If it wasn’t for that weird apology, I think it would have never
caught my attention. It would have been one of those words that my brain tuned
out because I didn’t know the meaning, but I caught the context. But that, “If you
will…” jarred me back to reality, and I realized that they were saying,
“homage.” I’ve been bitching about it since.

Nathan and I named the first
episode of According To Whim “Homage.” This was because of my irritation with
the pretentious pronunciation of the word. Because of this the naming convention
of the episodes of Season One was a single word with a pronunciation and a
definition. After that first one, we themed the word to the episode, but the
naming convention was created because of this. This was 2004, so it’s been
irritating for a while.
Let me say this. I’m not an
expert on the English language, spelling, grammar, or punctuation. I don’t get
everything right. It’s likely that I’ll screw something up in here as well. My
complaint is the more that people point out that there is no such word that is
pronounced “Oh-mazh” the more argumentative that people get about it.
Seriously, there is an argument now that “Oh-mazh,” which is spelled “homage”
is not the same word as homage… which is spelled “homage.” They say that while
they have similar meanings that they’re not the same.
Let’s follow that:
1. Same spelling.
2. Similar meaning.
3. Massively different
pronunciation that changes both vowel sounds and adds a Z somewhere in there.
4. Seems legit.
Let’s look at the definition real
The definition that people feel
it is pronounced like the dictionaries is as follows:
1a : a feudal ceremony by which a
man acknowledges himself the vassal of a lord
b : the relationship between a
feudal lord and his vassal
c : an act done or payment made
in meeting the obligations due from a vassal to a feudal lord
2a : expression of high regard :
respect bowed in homage to the king
b : something that shows respect
or attests to the worth or influence of another : tribute
Now let’s look at tribute:
1a : something given or
contributed voluntarily as due or deserved especially : a gift or service
showing respect, gratitude, or affection a floral tribute
b : something (such as material
evidence or a formal attestation) that indicates the worth, virtue, or
effectiveness of the one in question the design is a tribute to his ingenuity
2a : a payment by one ruler or
nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection
also : the tax levied for such a payment
b(1) : an excessive tax, rental,
or tariff imposed by a government, sovereign, lord, or landlord
(2) : an exorbitant charge levied
by a person or group having the power of coercion
c : the liability to pay tribute
Basically, the same word.
So I declare that from this day
forward that artists don’t pay tribute to other artists because it’s archaic
and references kings and rulers, like homage. From here forward, it shall be
pronounced “Tri-byoo-tay,” because it’s a completely different word, like

Chris McGinty is a mediocre blog writer who recently realized that Hollywood pronounces Homage like Homogenize, as if they’re trying to say that everything they make is uniform or similar. Almost as if they are excusing the fact that they fear, or can’t create, original ideas.

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