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If you collected Donruss baseball cards, you might be pronouncing your childhood wrong

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How do you pronounce the company responsible for Diamond Kings and watercolor portraits of Chris Sabo? Help us settle this.

I’ve always wanted to be at the center of a gif/jiff debate. So meaningless. So fun. And it fills me with a sense of superiority to be right about something when so many others are wrong.

I am pleased to inform you that baseball nerds can have one of these debates of their very own. We can own this one. And there’s a chance that you’re so very wrong, too.

This one came up when I was talking with other baseball nerds about baseball players.

Yeah, he was a Rated Rookie on his Donruss card.

It’s Donruss according to some folks. The wrong folks. Their whole childhood has been a lie. Because here in the real America, where pop is for Maroon 5 and the soda is delicious, it’s pronounced Donruss.

Right: Donruss, with an emphasis on the first syllable.
Wrong: Donruss, with an emphasis on the second syllable.

Except, like the gif/jiff pronunciation debate, where the creator of the format announced that he was wrong and called them jiffs, there are extenuating circumstances. The name Donruss comes from the creators, Don Weiner and Russ Weiner. Don Russ. Just saying two first names like that naturally forces you to put the emphasis on the second syllable.

Also like the gif/jiff pronunciation debate, though, it’s helpful to remember that language isn’t static, and that it’s always evolving. Donruss just sounds better when the first syllable is emphasized. Am ... am I grasping at straws? Perhaps.

A college friend who grew up in Oregon told me a story that applies here. When she was in the eighth grade, a new classmate showed up who had just moved from New York, and the new kid spent the entire day arguing with the rest of the class about how to pronounce "Oregon." It was "Or-ee-gone," she insisted, even when the teacher was joining in on the dogpile. It wasn’t "Or-uh-gun," it just wasn’t, almost to the point of tears.

She had moved across the country as a 12-year-old, which is already traumatic, and then she spent 20 minutes being aggressively wrong while making a first impression because something she thought she knew was a lie. For the rest of her days, she was known as the kid who wouldn’t let "Or-ee-gone" go, to the point where it became an anecdote that was shared by someone in college with a kid from a different state.

I think about that story a lot.

Also, it’s Donruss. Thank you for your time.