Berenstain Bears

Just a quick survey here, out of nothing but curiosity.  Tonight we were watching a pre-recorded episode of Jeopardy!  The question was, "It's the last name of the bear family seen here, as well as their creators Stan and Jan."

The contestant answered BerenSTEEN, as did I.  My husband agreed with me.  Alex agreed with her.  Then, a few clues later, Trebek informs her she answered incorrectly and the real pronunciation is BerenSTAIN, therefore they could not accept the answer.  I mean, what the what?!  We were infuriated. I grew up adoring the Berenstain Bears books, tv shows, etc. and so did he.  AND THAT'S HOW WE PRONOUNCED IT, TREBEK!  BerenSTEEN.  I do not whatsoever recall ever having ever pronounced it BerenSTAIN.  Psshaw.

Also, why are the judges so inconsistant with pronunciation?  I understand if your mispronunciation means something else entirely, but let's face it.  When Badger says "ri-cote-ah" instead of "ri-cot-ta", you correct him but at least understand that he's talking about the same thing/knows how to spell it in order to save $1,000 on his Jeopardy! score.

Later, the same contestant was robbed some more money for adding an 's' on the end of a name and also lost the game by a mere $200.  Poor girl.

So I just want some input on this.  If you can remember, did you pronounce this family as BerenSTAIN or BerenSTEEN?  If you could so kindly reply at the top of the page to your right.....

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April June 12, 2011 at 9:09 PM  

I'm with you, girl. I hate seeing stuff like that on Jeopardy!

Felicity June 12, 2011 at 9:14 PM  

I always pronounced it STEEN, but I also always thought that it was spelled Berenstein. I wonder if they used a funny font or something where the a looked like an to research this. : )

Sara June 12, 2011 at 9:20 PM  

We always pronounced it BerenSTAIN, but I don't know how we decided to say it that way. I think either should have been correct on Jeopardy ... it's spelled the same way!

Hinshaw June 12, 2011 at 9:26 PM  

I am simply beside myself with burning, uncontrollable rage. I have half a mind to drive to L.A., sneak into Trebek's house, and shave his pompous head. I will only accept apologies in the form of Will Ferrell playing Trebek alongside Norm MacDonald's Burt Reynolds (aka Turd Ferguson) retracting the notion that Berenstain ever be pronounced "STAIN." Pshaw.

marissa at the boot June 12, 2011 at 9:28 PM  

this is hilarious - i definitely, and still to this day, called them -STEEN! and the contestant was robbed! it's the name that matters, not the pronunciation!

Katie June 12, 2011 at 9:34 PM  

BerenSTiNE is correct for the spelling, but I always heard it BerenSTEEN bears, and it should have been okay. That's just silly hat the girl missed it because of that!

jillian :: cornflake dreams. June 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM  

i didnt realize jeopardy was that picky about spelling!! another reason i do not want to be on that show. anyhoo LOVED the bears.. and Jem and the Hollograms? remember them? h and i came across an episode of Jem this weekend and i slightly freaked out... and made him record the rest of the shows. ahh memories. :) i hope when we have kids their shows/books aren't lame. k ramble much :) yes, i do. have a fantastic night lady! xo jillian

Miss Lindsay June 12, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

I had no idea, and I still have all the books at my parents house! It's like finding out you are have been singing the wrong lyrics to a song for 20 years...

Ren- Lady Of The Arts June 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM  

Psshaw indeed- it is SO Berensteen.

Michelle {lovely little things} June 13, 2011 at 12:01 AM  

I am a 2nd grade teacher, it is BerenSTEEN, do doubt about it. Trebek you are WRONG!

Michelle {lovely little things} June 13, 2011 at 12:02 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracey June 13, 2011 at 1:14 AM  

I totally agree with you ... I hate those kind of trick pronunciation cop-outs ... they just seem so unfair.

Mandy Crandell June 13, 2011 at 6:31 AM  

Sorry, but I pronounced it BerenSTAIN, but I don't think someone should have been penalized for pronouncing it that way on Jeopardy. What if that was due to his/her accent?

I'm actually a huge collector of these books. They were always a favorite growing up, and I have nearly every book (even some that were available at McDonald's). I also call my mom "Mama Bear".

Jenny in Ohio June 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM  

that is annoying! I always have pronounced it like you do.

annie June 13, 2011 at 8:25 AM  

i actually always pronounced it berenSTAIN, but i don't understand why that would matter on jeopardy, unless it's actually SPELLED that way. hmmm...

Hadley June 13, 2011 at 8:26 AM  

definitely BerenSTEEN!!

Stephanie June 13, 2011 at 8:59 AM  

Seriously, it drives me crazy that anyone would pronounce it STAIN! It's STEEN! Although, like Felicity, I thought it was spelt Berenstein, too.

Kirby June 13, 2011 at 8:59 AM  

I'm will you girl! I've never heard it pronounced that way before. I feel like they've even said the name on the show?

MapleandVine June 13, 2011 at 9:14 AM  

hahah def call it Steen. man that was a great cartoon.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} June 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM  

It's soooo BerenSTEEN. Trebek doesn't know what he's talking about.

I guess the spelling would certainly be pronounced "berenSTAIN" but I've never heard anyone pronounce it that way. :\

stephanie June 13, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

Bern-Steen. And that's how it would get announced for their TV show and everything.

Mo Pie, Please June 13, 2011 at 11:34 AM  

Thanks for your input, everyone! I'm not sure where this gets me, other than it gives me a peace of mind! I wish I could tell Trebek how angry this makes me. I guess I'll just have to rely on Sean Connery burning Trebek with a joke about doing his mother last night.

Kimia Kline June 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM  

its TOTALLY berensTEEN. alex is totally out of line

Gloria June 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM  

I would've thrown my shoe at the TV, had I seen this episode - it's ABSOLUTELY "beren-STEEN". Get with it, Trebek!

Erin June 13, 2011 at 2:03 PM  

You're too funny! We definitely pronounced it BerenSTEEN in our household!

natasha {schue love} June 13, 2011 at 2:53 PM  

So SOOO ridiculous!! I would definitely be upset if I were her! :(

Felicity June 13, 2011 at 8:00 PM  

We definitely said berenSTAIN. I guess I'm in the minority but I can't imagine pronouncing it STEEN. I've never heard that before. It doesn't make any sense if you look at the spelling! Nice to know I'm right though; usually I'm the one mispronouncing things (trust me, I am).

Jennifer June 13, 2011 at 8:56 PM  

Um, I totally loved the BerenSTEEN Bears growing up. I happened across your blog and knew I would love it just because of the Barenstain bear pic...I was right! :)

caroline June 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM  

This is too funny! these were some of my favorite books growing up and I always pronounced it STEEN, but I was corrected sometime in my adulthood. Also, before I could read, my mother used to call brother and sister bear Alex and Caroline... I totally believed those were their names until learned to read.

Jennifer June 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

I agree with all of you that the contestant should have gotten credit for her answer, but the proper pronunciation of their name is -stain, not -steen. Check out their official website for a little video about the couple, where they pronounce the name as -stain:
Go to "About the Bears" for the video :)
Jeopardy and Trebek suck eggs for counting her answer as wrong!

leahhg June 23, 2011 at 1:02 AM  

Definitely Berensteen. That being said, I LOVE Jeopardy... and your blog! Your blog is so real and fresh I am absolutely loving the posts!

hallwal April 17, 2012 at 2:30 PM  

You guys are HILARIOUS. There is NO OTHER way prounounce BerenSTAIN. It is pronounced "stain." Apparently hooked on phonics didn't work for you. The only reason some of you hilariouly think it is "stine" or "steen" is because, at a glance, you or your parents thought it looked like it was spelled "stein." (No one is used to seeing any name ending in "stain," but "stein" is an extremely common surname-ending, especially among Jewish or German lineage.) So you or your parents made a terrible guess or a "reading typo." This is the only reason for people's erroneous pronunciation. hahaha I am still laughing at this...

Anonymous,  September 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM  

I've always pronounced their name "bearn-steen" rather than bear-En-stAin. And, I thought it was spelled 'stein' instead of 'stain'.
I don't see why correct pronunciation is as big of a deal as it is; as long as others know what you're talking about, pronunciation shouldn't cause such hoopla. potAYto potAHto.

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