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Monday, January 28, 2021

Is it (ko-pen-HAY-gen) or (ko-pen-HAH-gen)?

That’s the conundrum I found myself in today when I chose the latter pronunciation for the capital city of Denmark. The purpose of which was to order a Copenhagen Zesto sandwich at Pax.

I guess I’m in a distinct minority among lunchers in midtown Manhattan, because the order-taker did a double-take and asked me to repeat the name of the sandwich. I did so, then jabbed my finger at the glass to make sure there was no further confusion.

Maybe I should reconsider my choice of long or short vowel for Hans Christian Andersen’s turf. Although maybe not, both because I’ll invoke my first-generation Euro heritage and because I’m hesitant to let a deli-counter jockey dictate my diction.

And to further hint at where my head was at after this encounter, I actually walked away with the Beastie Boys’ “Super Disco Breakin’” reverberating in my mind. Specifically the lyrical snippet, “When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannenkoeken”. Dutch, not Danish, but somehow it felt like a proper coda.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/28/2008 05:37:20 PM
Category: Food, New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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