Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jerry Bruckheimer might be altering your behaviors

Last week I asked you to participate in a survey which posed the question how do you pronounce the word – Caribbean. Many of you answered, and interestingly enough some of you replied to me with answers that weren’t even options on the survey. I’ve included a bar graph below of the responses.

And here were emails about the survey that I received:

“I said “Cuh-RIB-ee-an” my entire life until Pirates of the “Care-uh-BEE-uhn” came out, and in the years since, I have said it as such. Media shaping my behavior, there you have it.”

--Alex Thomas, Clinton School Director of Admissions

“I answered your survey but for me it depends on the context! For the Disney ride/movie, I pronounce it "Pirates of the CARE-uh-be-un", but in all other cases is Cah-RIB-be-un.”

--Anna Strong, Clinton School class representative

“I cannot take the survey due to its not covering all possible answers. I use both pronunciations, and the one I choose depends on the context. That should be an option.“

--Adam Moreland, Clinton School kickball captain

So apparently only people with the letter A in their first name were so enraged or disagreed with the survey itself that they bothered to point it out to me. ; ) Don’t fret A’s – an evaluator does these things on purpose. The fact that media plays such an important part on your pronunciation is very telling. The fact that previously prior to the release of Pirate of the Caribbean, some of you stuck with one pronunciation and now say it depends on the context is also very telling. (Jerry Bruckheimer, if you’re reading this some of us want to know how you picked CARE-uh-bee-un vs kuh-RIH-been-un. Were there focus groups? Did you visit the Caribbean and ask the people? Did you think one pronunciation would produce a bigger box office hit than the other?)

What’s interesting about this movie when thinking from a public service perspective is that essentially what Jerry Bruckheimer did was put a face to a pronunciation. Jack Sparrow’s face to be exact. During the workshop last week, Dr. Singhal shared with the conference participants an interesting thing about education entertainment and measuring its effectiveness.

For the first time ever an EE program did something that was remarkable. Apwé Plezi, a program on family planning in St. Lucia, introduced a new term to the community. Within the show the characters began calling condoms “catapults.” It didn’t take long before St. Lucians began to refer to condoms as catapults too, and then began to purchase the “catapult” brand condoms that were being sold in stores. When asked where did they hear about “catapult” they would point directly to the show. Ah ha! The EE program on family planning is taking effect. And more importantly when a researcher asked another St. Lucian where they heard about “catapult” – and he didn’t hear the program but heard about “catapults” from a friend – then it became evident that Apwé Plezi was making a very real and effective change in the community. In fact, the population rate decreased from 3.4 to 2.3!

Thus by creating new terminology it’s like a marker which helps researchers like Dr. Singhal figure out the impact of an Entertainment Education program. Creating our own terminology also assists us in shaping our own worlds and realities. So, today I encourage you to make up your own markers with new and fascinating words!


Arvind said...

Dear Judy

A yes to catapults, markers, and word-making.....


Meesha Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sl said...

Can we make a chart about the amount of time we spend in coffeeshops? Gant Chart? (love the post)

Captain Judy said...

Thanks readers! And double yes to word-making!!!

Post a Comment