↙️ Go Ask Daddy About Pronunciations, Pepper Renditions and the Definition of My Crew


By the time you read this, I’ll be in Cancun.

GAD GRAPHICThat is unless you read it before 9 a.m. EST. Then, I might still be asleep, or in the shower. Or I might be eating a $10 Burger King breakfast in the airport. I might be dorking around with comments, waiting to pass through customs.

If it’s later than that, maybe I’ll be on a bus on a wayward Mexican highway headed to the resort.

I haven’t even practiced my Spanish since … last year in Cancun.

It was horrible then. And Spanish has words such as papa, which can mean potato or dad, depending on the accent. For some, there’s no difference between a dad and a potato, so maybe that’s an awful example.

Once, I called my brother-in-law a slur in Spanish as our families played mini-golf.

It was funny until a young Marie repeated it in her outside voice. Then it became hilarious. Let’s check out what my cookie-chomping kids are asking about these days.

1. Do more people say day-tuh or da-tuh?

photo credit: jannekestaaks via photopin cc
photo credit: jannekestaaks via photopin cc

When I answer your questions, I don’t want to just be the lazy dad hitting the Google search. No.

This dad gets out and finds the answers. He’ll troll the mean streets of Charlotte. Or, ask friends by email and cashiers in Dollar Tree. (She stopped when I asked, holding my enormous bottle of hydrogen peroxide. She gave it considerable thought.)

“I should just show a flashcard, huh?” I conceded. I could skew results by saying one ahead of the other. (She’s a DAY-tuh girl, by the way.)

More people polled claim they pronounce it DAY-tuh. “Unless I want to be fancy,” one person polled admitted. In that case, she changes it to DA-tuh. The DA-tuh camp was fewer in numbers but more talkative.

One DAY-tuh analyst uses DA-tuh on her phone. Another said DAY-tuh, but DA-tuh in the data processing. Another picked DA-tuh, and qualified it with, “but I use British English!” This video contradicts that.

2. Who is the youngest player ever in the NFL?

photo credit: The Brit_2 via photopin cc
photo credit: The Brit_2 via photopin cc

A left-hander named Eli Pacheco, age 10. He led the Seattle Seahawks to six regular-season victories. All while he voiced Woody Woodpecker on cartoons. And he wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back. He also discovered the Elisaurus, a dinosaur that made a chump out of the T-Rex.

Wait, what?

The youngest player was Amobi Okoye. His age on draft day (19) is only part of his story.

The Houston Texans drafted Okoye, a defensive tackle, out of Louisville in 2007. Okoye moved to Alabama at age 12 from Nigeria. He tested into the ninth grade. He didn’t start to play football until his sophomore season in high school.

He learned football by playing Madden NFL.

An all-state offensive and defensive lineman, Okoye enrolled at Louisville at age 15. He finished his psychology degree a semester early. At 16, he was the youngest player in NCAA football.

He played four seasons with Houston, and then with the Bears and Buccaneers.

This is where it gets interesting. He missed the 2013 season with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a rare and deadly disease. After recovering from a medically-induced coma, Okoye signed with Dallas before the 2014 season.


3. What other kinds of pepper is there?

Man first cultivated pepper in 1000 BC, way before I started kindergarten.

It used to be the spice of the upper class. The ancient Greeks paid taxes with it and gave it to their gods. Romans paid taxes in peppercorns, too.

Pepper’s price once equaled gold. A pound of peppercorns cost three weeks’ wages. Cooks have used pepper to cover up the taste of spoilage, too.

I wouldn’t try that. My cooking’s never made you hurl. Let’s keep that streak alive.

Pepper comes from the pepper bush, grown within about 20 degrees of the equator. The closer to the equator, the hotter the pepper, the legend goes. Spice traders harvest black, green, and white peppercorn from the pepper bush.

Which color depends on when the peppercorns are harvested and processed.

That’s nothing to sneeze at.

night owls
photo credit: kat+sam via photopin cc

4. What birds start with the letter O?

Oh … I don’t know.

Beautyofbirds.com lists 10. That includes oropendolas. They’re enormous, New World blackbirds with sharp beaks and yellow tails. It also lists ovenbirds, a 5-inch songbird from Mexico. And then there are oxpeckers (pictured right). They’re an African starling with strong feet that picks ticks off gigantic mammals.

There’s something about owls and ostriches, too. But I couldn’t find much on those.

5. Are we your crew?

zeroCertainly and undeniably, my dear, you girls are my crew.

Dictionary.com says a crew is “a group of persons involved in a particular kind of work or working together.” Yep, that’s us. People scavenged the Coke bin at Walmart to find a bottle with their kids’ name on them. But I picked up the one that read “Crew.”

When we’re winning titles or skidding through losing streaks, you’ll be my crew. When we destroy homemade tortillas or scrounge for a snack, you’ll be my crew.

When you were little, now that you’re bigger, and years from now, you’ll always be my crew. Nothing has defined me as much in this life as being your dad.

With you, as my crew.

crew quote


  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Have fun in Cancun! Orioles. Or is that just a baseball bird? Dahtabase holds dahta. Weird.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I will, within the parameters of the Geneva Comvention. Orioles count! They are upper-level birds in baseball these days. I thought daytabases held dahta. Weird.

  2. Yvonne says:

    How do you say “Have a good holiday” in Spanish?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think hasta pinata, but you might want to look that up.

  3. What on earth do you need hydrogen peroxide for? Wanna go for the frosted tips look again?
    It’s interesting that you bring up the pronounciation of data in the same post that you mention potatoes.

    Have a fabulous trip, Papa!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Laudry reasons, TG. No more platinum blond for me! I’m on the plane, and called ahead to request a rum and ‘coke lite,’ as they call it.

      1. As long as it’s the caffeinated kind!
        In Europe Diet Coke is also called Coke light.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Yes, caffeine please! The first thing I did when I got in my room was get a Coke Light out of the fridge. Well, right after I ganked some Mexican cookies for my kids.

  4. Aww, love that last one best and they are most certainly your crew now and always 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I loved when Marie asked me that and couldn’t wait to use it!

      1. I totally could see you smiling on this when she did 😉

  5. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Osprey! I have pictures of one from when I worked downtown. It had gotten a fish from the river and was eating it on top of a light pole in the parking lot, right outside my window. I felt bad for the owners of the cars parked directly underneath it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      How could I miss the mighty osprey? Tick-sucking birds took center stage. And I thought bird shit was a pain to deal with!

  6. Ann Koplow says:

    I wanted to write “I love you and your writing” in Spanish but I don’t speak Spanish and therefore was afraid I would write a string of slurs. But that would probably be hilarious, wouldn’t it?
    All the best,
    An Obscure Honeyeater (Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montanes).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I would have more easily recognized the string of slurs, but I love the sentiment! The feeling is mutual. Obscure Honeysucker really should be a team’s mascot. Can you imagine the helmets?

  7. Lisa says:

    I love your posts Eli! My favorite is question number 2! Great job being the youngest NFL player! 🙂 Be safe and have lots of fun in Cancun! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Lisa! How did the bears turn out? That is a little-known fact from my childhood. Don’t like to brag.

  8. Kir Piccini says:

    Eli, You’re awesome.

    Have a wonderful holiday/vacation in Mexico. Send some sunny warmth back to those of us (your other crew) shivering on the East Coast.

    Loved the story about the football player. Thanks for teaching me stuff. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I will Kir! It snowed/rained during training yesterday, and i couldn’t believe I would be in 80-degree weather in a day!

      1. Kir Piccini says:

        LUCKY GUY! (Jealous Kir. 😉 )

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’ll feel more lucky when my luggage arrives! It’s almost 90 and I’m in soccer pants.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Oh and wasn’t that interesting about Okoye?

      1. Kir Piccini says:

        it was! I am not a sports kind of girl..but I love stories about sports. (Weird? )

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Not weird at all, Kir. I love sports stories because they often show us the human condition, and at times, in pretty amazing ways.

  9. Ginny Marie says:

    Let’s see, it’s barely before 9 EST and you’ll be in sunny Cancun soon! At least I hope it’s sunny. I fall in the DAYta camp. Ospreys also start with O. Have fun!

    1. Ginny Marie says:

      And obviously, I don’t read the comments before me when I comment! I see someone else came up with an osprey as well.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m im foggy Charlotte right now, but i do have a window seat. My data says it’s ok to have two commenters remind me about ospreys!

  10. ksbeth says:

    How great – have a ball! If you read my blog today you will see that it is a lucky coincidence that today is international hot and spicy food day. Perfect timing for you!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I will! I’m going to check yours out now. My first meal in Mexico last time was un hamborguesa con cheso … not this time around!

  11. Here’s a little tidbit – pepper only sort of makes you sneeze. It mostly burns for a really long time. I won’t tell you how I know that! (ah-ah-big-brother-choo) 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Huh. Maybe I should experiment …

  12. I say da-tuh, unless we’re talking Star Trek. Then it’s Day-tuh. Also, you forgot Orioles, but I’m more of a Cubs fan, so I’ll let it go. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      See, the reasons people do one or the other are the most fascinating part. Yeah, I can’t believe I forgot the Orioles! They’re the top birds in baseball lately. Well, with the Cardinals.

  13. E. says:

    What a touching note to end on!
    Personally, I say DAY-tuh. But I also don’t say that very often. I prefer “evidence”. And the first O-bird that came to mind was an Oriole.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I loved the question – they are most definitely my crew! Evidence kind of cuts to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it? We have a lot of votes for orioles around here. I owe them one.

  14. tamaralikecamera says:

    I USED to be DA-ta. Now I’m DAY-ta. I blame peer pressure and potato dads for that.

    What about ostrich?

    You’re in my crew. My blogging crew. Have a cold one in Cancun for me!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You can switch teams. I mean, camps. Well, teams too. Potato dads have an undeniable influence, don’t we?

      Yes, ostrich and owl made it, but they were so common, I keyed on the oxpeckers and the like.

      Proud to be in your crew, Tamara. I have a post to send you! And then I’m off for a cold one for you. Or semi warm-me-up with rum.

  15. Kim says:

    Hunter is sitting here with me and we agreed that we both tend to use both pronunciations of data.
    I love that the girls are your crew!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think this great debate will outlive our entire generation and the ones before us, Kim. My girls are my ultimate crew – I love when they know I need something, how they help, and know I will be there when they need me, too.

  16. Oh my goodness, that last one made me cry all over my keyboard. My IT-guy Husband is going to hate that. (But he’d secretly slobber at the girls being your crew, too.) Too sweet.
    Meanwhile, my resident computer geek says either pronunciation of ‘data’ is acceptable, although ‘day-tuh’ is probably more correct since it is the plural of the Latin ‘datum.” I pointed out that one could pronounce that ‘da-tum’ rather than ‘day-tum.’ He said, “Yes. Yes you could.”
    End of conversation.
    Hope you had a good trip!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think Apple has a tear-resistant keyboard, but it’s like $899 and you have wait in line 17 hours for it. Me, I’d just like to see a crumb-resistant keyboard. I love that Marie asked that question – I knew I’d love giving the answer.

      I wonder if Latins centuries ago had to worry about roaming charges with their data. Or, I mean, day-tum.

      So far so good on the trip! Eating breakfast y the Caribbean. I think that’s the Caribbean.

  17. Here is to a great trip! In my role at work, my silly “title” is Data Coordinator and most refer to me as “DAY-TUH” for all the Star Trek Fans out there.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Tiffany! Live long and prosper.

  18. ProteanMom says:

    I knew I should’ve played Madden… Oh well.

    Have fun in Cancun. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s not too late! I’m having a blast – eating Italian food, interestingly enough.

  19. Rorybore says:

    No idea if you are still in Cancun or back..dónde estás? ¿Cómo es la playa?
    and I didn’t even have to Google – ha.
    but i get the words for “drunk” and “tired” mixed up in Spanish all the time, which was really embarrassing in meetings. especially since meetings up here are usually in French.
    But as for Day-tuh — I am Brit speak.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Esta en los Estados Unidos ahorra. La playa esta muy bonita. (Hey, not bad for a Canadian.)

      Drunk and tired, if you put them in a circle chart, would have some common ground between.

      1. Rorybore says:

        but, is the rum gone? 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        *moment of silence*

        If I didn’t have tears in my eyes, I’d have snapped a photograph of the dripping shopping bad that housed the remains of a rum bottle that never got a chance.

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