After too many years of hearing people say real-uh-ter in reference to real estate agents, it's time to set the record straight. 'Realtor' is two syllables, not three. It's pronounced real-ter. Period.

You might chuckle, but I'll use some other improper speaking to make the point: it ain't no joke.

Here's why: Realtor is a trademark of the National Association of Realtors. They've set the standard for professional conduct in the real estate industry since 1908---one of which is "truthfulness in statements and advertising."

So if you're a mortgage or real estate pro going around saying real-uh-ter, you're not exactly up to standard.

Of course not every real estate agent is an NAR member, but Realtor is to real estate agents what Kleenex is to facial tissue---it's become so pervasive since the trademark was secured in 1950, the word is now used to describe any real estate agent.

Most dictionaries confirm this by defining 'Realtor' as a real estate agent. This includes all Merriam Webster dictionaries, and here's their pronunciation of Realtor.

So if you're a three-syllable holdout, click that link over and over and over until it sinks in.

And yes, I'll admit the topic is worthy of a chuckle. But only if you're the person laughing at the guy down the hall who still says real-uh-ter.

Julian Hebron is San Francisco branch manager and a top producer for RPM Mortgage and also runs mortgage and housing blog The Basis Point.