The Caribbean

I noticed on my way home last night that The Caribbean apartment building has put up their Christmas decorations. It’s pretty similar to many of the buildings in Vancouver’s West End, and doesn’t really stand out.

So why am I posting about it?

Because every time my boyfriend and I walk by, we inevitably end up in a discussion about the correct pronunciation of its name.

One of us pronounces it with a stress on the second syllable (“ker-RIB-ee-an”) while the other puts the stress on the third (“ker-i-BEE-uhn”).

But of course once we’ve both said the name each way out loud a couple of times, we trip ourselves up and can’t decide which sounds better.

Is this simply a case of tom-ey-to/tom-a-to, or is there actually a correct way to pronounce Caribbean?

Perhaps we’ll never know, and this can be added to the list of life’s great mysteries.

How do you say it?

– Marla

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We’re Marla and Stephanie, two friends separated by a 12 hour drive but not much else. We love to travel. We also love food.

9 thoughts on “The Caribbean

  1. I put the stress on the third syllable, and that is the only pronunciation given in the (British) dictionary on my desk (Longman’s Dictionary of English Language and Culture), but some of my older British friends put the stress on the second syllable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My wife and I, who have been frequent visitors to the islands, tend to stress the second. But I think that sometimes we stress the third syllable. Not really a big deal — it’s like here in France, worrying about what side (of the face) to start with, when you “bisous” someone. I have my own preference, but if it’s a French person I’m greeting, I let them take the lead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a strange coincidence. I also live in an apartment complex called Caribbean but half way around the world in Singapore 🙂
    FWIW, I used to pronounce it with the emphasis on the 3rd syllable but most ppl here emphasize the 2nd syllable so I’ve adopted the latter somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

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