There are two ways to pronounce “villa.” If you’re in Italy looking to rent a villa, it should rhyme with “Godzilla.” But if you’re managing an old-style, Spanish-flavored, pre-war hotel in Santa Barbara called the Villa Rosa Inn, you obviously need to pronounce it like a Spaniard or a Mexican and call it the “Veeya Rosa.” It’s not rocket science. I’m mentioning this because I’m staying at this Santa Barbara establishment next weekend, and twice when I called a woman picked up and said “Villa Rosa Inn” like she was Raymond Burr in Tokyo.

Santa Barbara’s Villa Rosa Inn.

I’m just making a point about how provincial and uneducated Americans can be, even when it comes to representing a business in a hip, wealthy and sophisticated city like Santa Barbara. It would be one thing if the Villa Rosa Inn was located in some runty Texas backwater, but Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage is the main selling point. If I owned the place I’d gently suggest to the desk lady that pronouncing it like she’s Alfonso Cuaron or General Mapache in The Wild Bunch is the way to go. No biggie. Just saying.