Acia berry is a common spelling – an incorrect spelling, but a derivation nonetheless – for the acai berry. The simple fact that ‘acai’ is a word that is foreign to our tongues makes it inherently difficult to pronounce and recognize; the ‘c’ and ‘i’ of acai use a diacritic marking in the native Brazilian, and this means that the word looks even more strange to our Anglicized eyes. For those interested in the technical details, the diacritic on the letter ‘c’ makes it sound more like an ’s’ when placed before the vowels ‘a’, ‘o’ or ‘u’, while the mark on the ‘i’ makes the accent move to that letter at the end of the word.
Acia berry is – or acai berry – is actually pronounced, as a result of all these marks and differences in intonation noted above, Ah-Sigh-ee. The variation in interpretation for English speakers when they attempt to use the word for the first time is marked, to say the least. Perhaps the direct result of this pronunciation problem is the alternative spelling acia that we see so often.
Acia berry has perhaps caused so much confusion not purely because it is a foreign word, but also because many people just haven’t heard it discussed before. It is not something that – until recently, at least – was heard in relation to the stores around the corner from your home. This is something of an Internet phenomenon, and the reaction has shown this: people read but do not speak. There have been some famous examples of national news readers being caught out by the word when it appears on their teleprompter.
Acia berry is a misunderstood fruit, and I mean this in a wider sense than just the pronunciation. It has been forced into the limelight and, much like the child prodigies forced by pushy parents to act, make music, or do something else worthy of praise, it can only take so much attention before the general public begins to resent it for one reason or another. Here the analogies with people abruptly stop, of course, but there does seem to be a general feeling of distaste for the berry despite it being shown to be such A Good Thing by so many medical professionals. Some of the people pushing the berry have pushed it too far – gone too fast in too short a time – and have engendered feelings of distrust amongst the populace. Don’t fear the berry; give it a proper chance.