When we attended a local Baptist church, a few years ago, I was sometimes asked to read scripture in one of the services. Before even attempting this duty, I would ALWAYS check with our handy-dandy Assistant Pastor to be SURE I wasn't taking anybody's name in vain by mispronouncing it to the point of ridiculousness. I knew there were people in the audience and on the stage who KNEW better. So if I wanted to remain on the non-laughing-stock side of the aisle, I checked pronounciation first then practiced copiously before opening my mouth. This was, after all, a matter of complete self-preservation.
Today, my hysterically funny Aunt told the story of a woman in her church who was tasked with reading, much like I used to do. Sadly, this woman didn't get "Scripture Reading 101" in her church. Or a really sweet, helpful Pastor. To boot, I think she barely got out of the gate on "Phonics 101".
The scripture reading was of the Hitites. From Genesis. Their name is prounounced HIT TITES*.
But this poor woman kept calling them the HIGH TITTIES. As if this was a band of peoples with over-done boob augmentation who could no longer run lest they give themselves concussions with their breast tissue.
Sadly, this passage had several references to the name "Hittite" in it. And she just kept merrily mispronouncing the name, all the way to the bitter end.
I didn't think to ask if anybody made her aware of her pronounciation faux pas. My guess is nobody ever looked her in the eye again without having to keep themselves composed or feeling an urgent need to make a booby joke.
And, I bet, nobody in the audience that day will ever forgot the book, chapter, and verse.
Or those crazy High Titty people.
*Sounds like a tribe of people who have uncontrolled urges to pound on each other with very short limbs.