Monday, April 08, 2013

Can You Say Wacko Taco?

The shutters on the new Wacko Taco stand will get
unrolled for opening day on April 11th,
Whenever I write one of my less-serious food pieces, like the one that just ran in the City Paper on the Charleston RiverDogs new beer milkshakes, there's always one line that gets me chuckling out loud as I write it. Invariably, that particular line will get immediately stricken from the story by the editor, probably because no one on earth but me would find it funny.

Usually Stephanie Barna is the one who puts the knife in my most beloved wisecracks, but this past week it was managing editor Chris Haire, who was covering the humor-suppressing duties while Barna was out on vacation.

Here's the line as it ran in the paper:

The Nacho House got its walking papers during the off-season, and it's been replaced by Wacko Taco.

Here's how it read in the original draft I submitted:

The Nacho House got its walking papers during the off-season, and it’s been replaced by Wacko Taco, a new stand focused on tacos whose name no one is really sure how to pronounce.

Okay, you're probably not rolling on the floor laughing, either, and looking over it with a little distance, I can definitely see there's a little structural issue with that sentence so that it's not exactly clear if its the name of the stand or the tacos themselves that no one knows how to pronounce.

I meant the stand, of course. You might find it more amusing if you had been with me at the park and realized that no one working for the RiverDogs seems to have a clue how it's supposed to be pronounced. The name "Wacko Taco" looks perfectly reasonable in print, but try saying it out loud a few times yourself.

It's clearly not "Whack-oh Tock-Oh," which is painful to even utter. "Whock-oh Tock-Oh" rhymes but sounds silly. If you say "Whack-oh Tack-oh", you sound like a housewife from Minnesota.

Both of the RiverDogs food and beverage gurus, John Schumacher and Josh Shea, stumbled over it when I asked them how it's pronounced. After butchering a few attempts, they both ended up landing on "Whack-oh Tack-oh," which I supposed is how it will end up being called.

Oh well.

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