Going to the Caribbean? There are a couple things you should know.
As of this writing, I haven't read any of the articles in this (flashing lights here) SPECIAL CARIBBEAN ISSUE (OK, lights off) except for the one I wrote on visiting Jamaica, but my guess is that they tell you all about the sugary beaches, the aquamarine waters, the tropical foliage, blah, blah, blah.

What they probably don't tell you is how to pronounce the word conch.

Pronouncing conch correctly is important because you'll be ordering it a lot. Impossible to avoid and irresistible especially when you're slightly tipsy, conch is to the Caribbean what funnel cakes are to local carnivals.

There are two differences between conch and funnel cakes, however. One is that funnel cakes are made from easily accessible household ingredients like cement and paste that are transformed into a toothsome snack while conch is a rare delicacy from the sea that tastes like cement and paste. The other is that just a small portion of a conch is poisonous while every part of a funnel cake is.

If you've never had conch, it's like squid, only more rubbery and less flavorful. Sort of like eating a radial tire. But you'll eat it because it's frittered, and everybody likes eating funny-sounding food items, especially on vacation. Actually, you'll also eat it because when properly prepared it's deliciously delicate and sweet, which, after so many other versions, will explain why, in the end, it is classified as a foodstuff and not a type of footwear.

The problem is this: Unless someone told you otherwise, you'd think the word was pronounced like it's spelled. Conch. What's to mispronounce, right?

But somehow, out of c-o-n-c-h, they get "konk."