I’m no fan of Americanisms slavishly adopted this side of the Atlantic, particularly if they make no grammatical sense. I must confess, however, to having an hypocritical soft spot for the American pronunciation of ‘buoy’.
Not only do I like the sound of ‘boo-ey’ but it at least has a certain logic to it.
My fondness for it only deepened this week, as I struggled against the prevailing wind on a northern reservoir, in what was my first experience of float-tubing. Still acquiring the correct flipper technique, I could feel myself drifting further away from the harbour than was ideal, as a fresh breeze pressed against my back.
Noting my travails, one of my fellow tubers shouted across the widening stretch of water between us.
“Would you feel better being tied to a buoy?” he asked, unfortunately using the British pronunciation.
Suddenly, I was delighted to be so far out of anyone else’s earshot.
‘Boo-ey’. We need to give it some serious thought.