2020 was quite the year! We hope you’ve been holding on to all your favorite pens and inks. When 2021 hit we were ready to adopt one of our favorite sayings from The Addams Family’s Gomez Addams, “This is new business, and we do not discuss new business until…next quarter.” Sigh, but now “next quarter” is already here. In an effort to let the little things go, set aside our (probably misguided) philosophy borrowed from “The Addams Family,” and cut back on the drama, we’re addressing one of our biggest and longest standing issues: the company name.
Pen Chalet: Is There a Correct Way to Pronounce That (Or Did Ya’ll Make That Up)?
Since our quest to provide the coolest pen and ink fans with the best pens and inks at the best prices began, trying to pronounce the Pen Chalet name (correctly) has left many of you struggling with feelings of inadequacy and shame. Most start off confident and fearless with the common and well known “pen” of Pen Chalet. The 1st half of the company name is blameless; it enjoys close to 100% pronunciation accuracy.
Pen (/pen/) meaning an instrument for writing or drawing with ink, or to write or compose.
However, the pronunciation of the 2nd half of the company name, chalet, is more difficult to pronounce (and we hear a LOT of different pronunciations.)
Chalet (sha-ley, shal-ey) meaning any cottage, house, ski lodge, etc. built in the style of a type of farmhouse, low and with wide eaves, common in Alpine regions. Origin referenced a herdsman’s hut in the Swiss Alps.
Common Mispronunciations of Pen Chalet (phonetic spellings):
Fans of pens and inks are often sticklers for accuracy, so it’s not surprising that incorrectly pronouncing the company’s name leaves many of you uneasy. And it happens a lot. Here are some of the variations of Pen Chalet we’ve heard recently: Pen Cholit, Pen Kalut, Pen Kolit, Pen Chalit, Pen Shallot (isn’t that an onion?), Pen Chalee, Pen Sell It, Pen Caillat (wait…now I want to listen to Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly”), Pen Shelly…the list could go on, but we think that’s enough. Don’t you?
Just So You Know, Chalet IS an Actual Word ( It’s English, kind of/mostly)
We’re not saying it’s your fault; we’re just saying we’re going to blame you. Just kidding, we don’t even blame you! A lot of English words are really difficult to pronounce (or easy to pronounce badly). It’s not surprising when you try to pin it down to the actual facts. For instance, if Chalet is an actual word, what language is it? And the answer is English; kind of mostly by way of parts of Switzerland and southeastern France.
All Those Borrowed Words Make Correct Pronunciation a…Bit…Well, Difficult
Making fun of other people’s pronunciation may be an acceptable form of modern day entertainment, but doing so seems a bit risky considering English really has no strict pronunciation rules, and the spelling system operates on it’s own level of crazy. In fact, if it wasn’t more fun to blame you, we’d have a really easy time blaming it all on the English language. We could easily argue that the the universal struggle to pronounce simple little words like “chalet” is actually the English language’s own fault. Here’s a few of our hypothetical supporting arguments. (I mean, if we were going to let you off the hook and place the blame elsewhere).
Fun Games the English Language Plays:
- Different words have different pronunciations in different regions.
- Peculiar properties of English spelling often lead people to mispronounce words they’re reading.
- The same letters and letter combos often represent completely different sounds in different words. For instance, the “ch” combo used in the word chalet (as seen in Pen Chalet or PenChalet.com) sometimes represents a hard “k” sound (like in the word “chaos”).
- Many English words are borrowed from other languages (even if they end up mangled a bit), so sometimes pronunciation rules of English are borrowed (or partly borrowed) from an entirely different language. (Like that kind of french word chalet we’ve been talking about that has a silent “t” in accordance with the French pronunciation standard).
What If We Just Rebrand the Company Instead of Conducting a Crash Course in English?
In the last year we’ve all had to learn a lot of new things. Here are a few of the “new things” many of us had to learn in the last year: how to work from home, host a zoom meeting, celebrate birthdays, graduations, and weddings without leaving the house (or letting anyone else in), how to wear masks (all the time), how to hold entire conversations with your pens and inks for lack of human interaction, or how to understand what people are saying without facial cues or lip reading. It’s been a lot. So we don’t want to ask you to learn even one more thing. So we’re ending the English lesson immediately. We have a much more efficient solution to the confusion surrounding the pronunciation of Pen Chalet. We’ve thought about it long and hard and discussed it at great length with many great minds, some mediocre philosophers, a roomful of pen addicts, and multiple convenience store workers, and we all agree. We can solve the problem with a bold, fearless, simple, quick, complete and utter rebrand of the entire company.
The Re-brand: How Pen Chalet Became Pen Shelley
We had several choices (we listed some favorites above – you may remember). Since the goal was to choose a new name for the company that was easy to pronounce, we decided that there’s really no easier way to reintroduce ourselves than by giving the company an actual name; a name that will sound familiar to everyone. (Plus 1/3 of the Pen Chalet Staff members could swear that the winner of their high school’s “best smile” award was a Shelley – so you might even say the new name is award-winning). Once we agreed the company’s new name would be Pen Shelley, the re-brand just fell into place.
What Did We Include in the Pen Shelley Re-Brand?
You’ll notice the website is already sporting the new look. The re-brand, based around the company’s new name of Pen Shelley, began with a new logo design. Previously the logo featured a graphic representation of a chalet (and if you still don’t know, this references a building or a house and originated in the late 18th century referring to a sheepherder’s hut or cottage), but as the difficult to pronounce chalet is no longer part of the equation, we had our favorite designer replace it with Shelley. Did you already notice the changes while browsing the pens and inks on the site?
The Perfect Day for a Complete Re-Brand of the Company:
We hope our complete re-brand and reintroduction of the company as Pen Shelley creates an opportunity for you to cut out one of the annoying things that cause you daily stress and frustration. Now you don’t need to worry about how to pronounce “chalet” or whether it’s English or French of Swiss or something else. No need to thank us. We’re just doing what we can to de-stress your life a little bit and give you a reason to smile a little…maybe even laugh a little when you realize that today is actually the 1st day of the wonderful month of April, and this is our version of the traditional April Fool’s joke. And since we’d never play a joke ON you – only FOR you – we’re even including a Pen Shelley sticker with every order placed today (while supplies last) and offering you stellar sales on some outstanding pens and inks and pen accessories (check out the Pen Shelley Rebranding Sale for discounts up to 60% and an exclusive discount code). We hope you enjoyed the “rebrand” as much as we did. And happy April Fool’s Day – we hope it’s utterly pentastic and that you find all the pens and inks you’ve been dreaming of right here at PenChalet.com.
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