It’s All In How You Say It

A tutoring organization, Chyten (, opened a new location near my home. Chyten tutors kindergarteners through graduate students, and the website looks nice enough—pictures of happy college students sitting cross-legged on the quad, a parent login, news and events…but the question is, how do you pronounce it? 

Apparently they like to go by “CHY (rhymes with “Hi!”) –ten,” but couldn’t it easily be pronounced “Chee-tin”?  As in…cheatin’?  Hmm.  I wonder what your grad school advisor would say if you told him you had been receiving help from your local branch of Cheatin’.  He would probably not be amused, and this would be a hard one to back out of, whether you pronounced it incorrectly to him in person or just mentioned the name of the organization in an email—once you say “cheating” at a high school or college, it’s pretty hard to convince anyone that that is in fact not what you meant.

Just another reason why you should test a name before you use it (check out the Name Evaluation page on this site for additional details)!


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