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October 04, 2008

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Rick

Amen, John.

Jeff

I've thought about this before, trying to understand the seduction of saying nook-u-lar. It seems pretty easy to say "nu-cle-ar" but as the American Heritage Dictionary compassionately points out, this is an uncommon sequence of sounds in English. Much more common is the "ular" as in "particular" and "molecular." And so that pattern creeps in. I just wish ... well, I guess I'd wish a lot of things before wishing our leaders could pronounce "nuclear" correctly, not least that they understand what nuclear is really all about. That it's not something wink about and say "Gotcha!"

John Ptak

Very well said, Jeff--that's about the best one-paragraph summation of the mispronunciation and misuse of the word/concept/threat of "nuclear" that I have read. I've wondered why Fearless Leader has not been able to correct himself--or capable of correcting himself--on this very issue. he has had years of correcting going on about this, and still he always gets it wrong. I've wondered about what there is in his brain that does not allow him to either hear the difference, or remember the difference, or care about the difference. I thought it might be a dyslexia of some sort where he pictures the two in his head before saying them and always gets them confused, distracted. But if this was the case he should be able to get it right now and then, and I've never heard him say the word correctly. I have a terrific problem typing the word "the"--half the time it comes out "het", well, more than half, which makes spellchecking arduous. But still I get that word right allot, and I sorta relate this to nookuler in my way to try and understand...but I can't.

Miss G. Marshall

Love this post.

Jeff

Het problem of typing those short bursty words is interesting. I wonder if it's how jazz piano started? Many years ago in the DOS age, a reporter friend downtown always stuck a 'j' at the beginning of his typing. Whenever he paused and would begin, his peculiar motion of starting to attack the keys resulted in an initial 'j'. He didn't want to take the time train himself to do otherwise, so he wrote a little macro of some kind so that he could hit one f-key and it would remove an 'f' from the front of the previous word (or some many previous words, can't remember). It was easier than moving the cursor, deleting, and then going back and starting over, only to get another 'f'.

Jeff

No, wait! He hit an f-key to remove a 'j'!

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