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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:02 PM

Did Alex Witt just say 'valets'...and pronounce it 'val-itts'?

Lemme answer that myself. Yes. Yes she did.

It never ceases to amaze me how often you hear MSM talkers mispronounce words like this. Well known words, long in the vernacular words. It boggles the mind, it really does.

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Reply Did Alex Witt just say 'valets'...and pronounce it 'val-itts'? (Original post)
ClusterFreak Nov 2012 OP
SheilaT Nov 2012 #1
Rozlee Nov 2012 #27
SheilaT Nov 2012 #63
zuzu98 Nov 2012 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #48
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #69
teenagebambam Nov 2012 #3
Bucky Nov 2012 #4
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #26
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #29
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #30
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #46
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #59
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #62
PatSeg Nov 2012 #65
bayareamike Nov 2012 #54
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #61
Bucky Nov 2012 #70
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #71
Cleita Nov 2012 #5
boston bean Nov 2012 #6
BumRushDaShow Nov 2012 #21
drthais Nov 2012 #33
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #35
boston bean Nov 2012 #44
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #7
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #8
Jennicut Nov 2012 #20
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #32
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #40
Jennicut Nov 2012 #51
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #53
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #64
Jennicut Nov 2012 #47
Little Star Nov 2012 #60
Jennicut Nov 2012 #66
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #38
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #41
2on2u Nov 2012 #9
lunatica Nov 2012 #10
trackfan Nov 2012 #11
justabob Nov 2012 #15
1monster Nov 2012 #12
MineralMan Nov 2012 #14
1monster Nov 2012 #23
MineralMan Nov 2012 #24
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #16
dlwickham Nov 2012 #42
MineralMan Nov 2012 #13
MineralMan Nov 2012 #17
mainer Nov 2012 #18
MineralMan Nov 2012 #19
Laughing Mirror Nov 2012 #22
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #25
madamesilverspurs Nov 2012 #28
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #34
MineralMan Nov 2012 #49
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #50
MineralMan Nov 2012 #56
drthais Nov 2012 #31
drthais Nov 2012 #36
drthais Nov 2012 #37
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #39
RebelOne Nov 2012 #43
Kingofalldems Nov 2012 #45
MineralMan Nov 2012 #52
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #55
Buns_of_Fire Nov 2012 #57
uppityperson Nov 2012 #58
barnabas63 Nov 2012 #67
mrsadm Nov 2012 #68
hughee99 Nov 2012 #72

Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:05 PM

1. Yeah. Part of the problem is that too many

people in this country have never studied another language, and so have no clue about certain words, like valet, that come from another language (in this case French) and retain the French pronunciation.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:07 PM

27. People who are bi- or multi-lingual sometimes have problems carrying over pronunciation rules

from one language to another. I spoke Nahuatl and Spanish with my parents as a child, then mostly Spanish, and, after being in the American school system and married to an Anglo and traveling in the military, mostly English. I tend to mangle my English pronunciations on words I've seen written but never heard out loud, like corrugated, pestilential, and niche. I tend to roll my r's and broaden my vowels too much, automatically making words incomprehensible. I hate public speaking for this reason and I'm glad I've never had a need for it.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:18 PM

63. That's a different situatioin.

You're talking about having an accept specific to your first languages. And you are aware of this.

It's the mispronouncing of relatively common words by native English speakers that the issue here.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:06 PM

2. Savannah Guthrie is just as bad

I vividly recall her talking about an actress starring in a "bio-pic" of Linda Lovelace and pronouncing it like it rhymed with myopic.

Not to mention that most of them can't distinguish between less/fewer and further/farther.

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Response to zuzu98 (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:39 PM

48. It does rhyme...

it does not follow the same rules of pronunciation.

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Response to zuzu98 (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:20 PM

69. She's an idiot. I thought so when she was on MSNBC. But...re biopic...

I made the same mistake when I first noticed that word being used. I said "biOP'ik." My sis corrected me....BI-0-pik. So I can relate to that...except that surely SOMEONE should've corrected Savannah before she said it on air. I'm guessing others didn't know, either, so that's why that was corrected.

I know the diff twen less/fewer....not so sure about further/farther, except that I may instinctively use those terms correctly. Not sure.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:06 PM

3. Well that's how they say it on Downton Abbey! n/t

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:07 PM

4. It's the way British people (and American pommy-wannabees) pronounce it

Occasionally US elites get all anglophilic and start talking about their shed-jules or the latest conTRAHvursy. It was at its worst during the Faulklands War when talking about the "ArgentYne Chunta" was a way of signaling you wanted Margaret Thatcher to win (and Alexander Haig to lose).

People on TV do silly things sometimes.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:07 PM

26. I say ArgentYne and ConTRAHvursy

And vall-itt, meaning a dresser, and I'm from NC and definitely not a pommy wannabe nor an elite!

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Response to Bucky (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:13 PM

29. Alex originates from southeast Asia. I don't know whether she is full Asian or part,

I guess part. But one or both of her parents may have been trained in the british pronunciation, since many Asian countries were british colonies at one time.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #29)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:14 PM

30. That is an excellent point

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #29)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:35 PM

46. Alex Witt was born in Los Angeles...

last time I looked that was in CA.

I think you are thinking of Alex Wagner, whose mother was born in Burma.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #46)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:56 PM

59. Yep. Pardon. nt

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:07 PM

62. LOL.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:44 PM

65. I was thinking of Alex Wagner as well

I've made the same mistake several times. Very, very different people in so many ways.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #29)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:47 PM

54. Alex Witt is from California nt

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Response to Bucky (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:03 PM

61. I think you mean "conTROVersy"

It's not "ah"; I live in Britain, no-one I've heard say "controversy" says "ah" for that sound. (It's a vowel sound which doesn't occur in any American accent outside of New England, though.)

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #61)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:56 PM

70. Fair enough. My point was really about which syllable got the emphasis

In the states we hit the first syllable hard. In the Isles yall land harder on the second, which to American ears sounds contrived.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:01 PM

71. Nah, I stress the first syllable (but then I'm American).

My accent has probably gone a bit mid-Atlantic, and some of the words I use in everyday conversation have changed (because one wants to make oneself understood), but that's a pronunciation I haven't slipped into --and regarding that:

"a fair number of British intellectuals regard ‘new’, ‘distasteful’, and ‘American’ as synonymous. A knowledgeable British author complained about the supposedly American pronunciation conTROVersy and was surprised to hear that the antepenult accent is unknown in the States, being a recent British innovation. The assumption is that anything new is American and thus objectionable on double grounds."

http://www.pbs.org/speak/ahead/change/ruining/

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:11 PM

5. It might be a regional pronunciation.

In a weird way, it would give it a sort of correctness,

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:15 PM

6. I heard some guy on a tv show call a radiator a

raddiator (like radical).

I've never known it to be pronounced like that.

I've always heard it as ray-diator.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:39 PM

21. Here in Philly, we say "radd-ee-ator"

I definitely do...

Unless it's in a car and then I call it a "ray-diator"!

But then there are the folks who call a creek ("creeeek") a "crick".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:16 PM

33. Oh no no no

down here (Louisiana)
it is definitely RAdiater...always

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Response to boston bean (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:17 PM

35. Pronounce "Park my Car" nt.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:30 PM

44. I'm proud of my accent. yes I have a pretty strong yankee accent.

It's the peoples from Woonsocket, RI, pronounced Woon Sock ET by those who live there.

They have a completely different way to construct sentences. Take for instance:

"Throw me down the stairs, my shoes".


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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:16 PM

7. Not Hyacinth, is she?

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:17 PM

8. I love it when they talk about the Quinnipiac University polls.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:39 PM

20. Sounds like KWIN-uh-pe-ack.

I have heard that mispronounced many times and as a native of Connecticut, it sort of cracks me up.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:16 PM

32. My folks lived just a mile or two from Sleeping Giant

I grew up in Bridgeport.

Mispronouncing that makes my hair hurt!

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #32)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:25 PM

40. What is the correct pronunciation?

I've never had the need to say it out loud, so I've not given it any thought at all. How should one say it if one must?

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:42 PM

51. Like this:

Kwin-uh-pe-ack.

I grew up a town over from Quinnipiac University and that is how we always said it.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #51)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:46 PM

53. Thanks.

Where is the accent?

Is the UH accented, or the PE?

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #53)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:37 PM

64. KWIN uh pee ack

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #32)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:37 PM

47. I grew up in Cheshire. I understand the pain.

I have climbed up Sleeping Giant many times since I was a kid, despite my fear of heights. The blue trail is not my trail I have learned.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #47)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:02 PM

60. I was Born in New Haven but spent my first 10+ years in Cheshire...

My father was a stone mason and he helped build the grammar school in Cheshire, the one that was across from the boys reformatory. Don't know if it's still there or not.

I remember driving from Cheshire to New Haven as a wee person. My parents always tried to entertain me by pointing out The Sleeping Giant. It did impress me too! Just the mention of it brings back warm childhood memories for me.

From there I moved up to Massachusetts and have been here ever since. Still have relatives in CT though they live in the Niantic area now.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #60)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:48 PM

66. Must be Chapman School.

I have been there a few times but went to Doolittle School. I moved to another town in CT but my parents still live there. Sleeping Giant did not seem so bad but then I climbed it over the summer with my husband and the sheer rock part of one trail was a lot for me to handle. I think I will stick to the basic trail next time.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:20 PM

38. We should throw tv speakers a dish of New England names and watch their eyes budge out. nt

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:25 PM

41. I would pronounce it "Kwi-ni-pak".

Even in New England, there are micro differences in how we pronounce names. For example, a person that is a Boston bred and raised person would pronounce a word different than a person born and raised in western Massachusetts would pronounce that word.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:18 PM

9. No one (almost no one) mispronounces caucus. Causes, caucusing.... a word I have no idea

 

the meaning of, a word I won't look up, a word that imho should not exist a word that has as much meaning to me as furbish.... and you know you have to furbish something before you can refurbish it. My mind reels.



http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/furbish
What made you want to look up furbish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Answer: I did not want to look up the word furbish and I wish it were stricken from the lexicon.... now I will look up the word lexicon.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:19 PM

10. Maybe that's how it was spelled on the monitor

Spelling isn't taken very seriously anymore.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:21 PM

11. It depends on the context.

A person who parks your car is a val-ay, but a person who lays out your clothing is a val-et

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Response to trackfan (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:31 PM

15. +1

That is the way I've always heard it.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:21 PM

12. In a small defense of those who are reading aloud, I sometimes accidently revert to the first

pronounciation (hooked on phonics, ya know) I worked out on words spelled differently than pronounced.

Words from my youth and adolescence like segue, paradigm, ethereal, etc.

A few years ago, I was reading aloud to a sophomore English class when I read paradigm as para dig m and immdediately corrected myself and pronounced it correctly (para dime). Most kids in that class didn't know what the word meant, but one girl who was a reader and had a great vocabulary (as well as a need to score off teachers), raised her hand and asked "Do para dig em and para dime mean the same thing?" with a very smirky attitude.

I, of course, explained that I had mispronounced the word at first and then corrected myself. (But since I had corrected the pronounciation before she asked, I always thought that was a cheap point. :\

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Response to 1monster (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:30 PM

14. Ah, face it: That girl pwned you...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:52 PM

23. Yeah. That's why it still rankles six years later.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:54 PM

24. Yah. One of those kids shows up every couple of years.

Keeps you honest. I was that kid, until I figured out that it was not beneficial to me. My sixth grade teacher told me once, "Kid, nobody likes a smartass."

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Response to 1monster (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:32 PM

16. Phonetically speaking,

stomach becomes stow-match. Ours is a complex language.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:26 PM

42. its a f**ked up language

that makes little sense to native speakers and NONE to non-native speakers

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:28 PM

13. Reading off a teleprompter, it happens a lot.

someone isn't expecting the word, had no time to think about it, and blurts out whatever pronunciation pops out.

On the other hand, my wife and I have a running contest to see which of the 20-something reporters on our local morning news badly mispronounces a word that morning. It never fails. Of course, Minnesota has some pretty weird place names with Native American language roots, so there's a mispronunciation available almost daily. Try to figure out how to pronounce Lake Winnibigoshish, for example. Most Minnesotans just call it Lake Winnie. In fact, I'm not sure anyone really knows the correct pronunciation.

Another one that throws the kids on the news is Lac Qui Parle, not all that far from Minneapolis. Since we've given up teaching kids foreign languages in our attempt to pass standardized exams, that name might as well be in Greek.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:35 PM

17. English is weird.

Valet can be pronounced both ways, and in England it's usually pronounced as "vallit. "

We have lots of words like that, for example: Buffet. Very similar situation. Depending on the usage, it has the same issues as valet. It's easy to err in pronunciation, which introduces another word with two correct pronunciations.

This example provided for you by Mike Hunt.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:35 PM

18. It is the UK pronunciation

Although "Valet" is French, the Middle English word was "Varlet", which may be why the English pronounce it differently.

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Response to mainer (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:39 PM

19. Well done!

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:55 PM

25. Valets who dress people are called "vall-itts"

ie Bates on "Downton Abbey."

My nephew worked as a valet at a country club this past Summer, where he parked cars and was called a "val-a."

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:11 PM

28. Cronkite had a couple of interesting pronunciations.

Junta was joon tah, and Nixon's daughter was "Trixie-ah".

One of the most common mispronunciations is nookyular, most famously intoned by W, even though he didn't originate it. Even Jimmy Carter, who trained in nuclear engineering, tended to pronounce it nookier.

-

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:17 PM

34. My mother just confirmed via text the latter

ie Tricia Nixon.

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:39 PM

49. That's the correct pronunciation for "junta."

It's not an English word, and he pronounced it correctly.

I realize that I read the pronunciation as spelled above as though it were in Spanish, with the J pronounced as H. It is correctly pronounced "hoonta." My error.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #49)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:41 PM

50. He said it wrong

It's hunta, not joonta.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #50)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:49 PM

56. Oh, oops.

For some reason I read the pronunciation as in the Spanish. You're right. I'm so used to Spanish pronunciations that I didn't even see how you spelled it out.

My bad.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:15 PM

31. IMO;

people who mispronounce words don't read....that's been my experience...

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:17 PM

36. ok. pt peeve;

COUNSELtation
rather than Consultation.......grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:18 PM

37. oh yes and to add to THAT

why has it become common (even in the media)
to end a sentence with a preposition
in particular....'this is where I'm AT!"
good grief!

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Response to drthais (Reply #37)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:21 PM

39. There is absolutely nothing worng with doing that

That is an illegitimate rule of grammar. English is not Latin.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:28 PM

43. As a former copy editor,

I cringe at some of the grammar and mispronunciations I hear on TV. The most offense is when someone says "Me and so-and-so." I even heard the political hack Jamie Dupree say that on the radio.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:31 PM

45. I hear TV people say 'reek havoc' and 'wreck havoc'

interchangeably. I say it's pronounced 'reek' but I am not sure anymore.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #45)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:42 PM

52. Well, it's spelled "wreak havoc."

Both pronunciations, "reek" and "wreck" are OK. "Reek" is suggested, though, by most dictionaries. They're used interchangeably, and regionally. How you pronounce the word is probably based on where you grew up, but these days, you'll hear it both ways almost anywhere.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:49 PM

55. The more common British pronunciation is with the audible "t" (rhymes with "pallet", not "ballet")

the OED gives that pronunciation first. So it's not a mispronunciation.

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:50 PM

57. Two great empires, with everyone isolated by a common language.

Me, I'm still working my way through "supercalifragilisticexpealidocious."

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:54 PM

58. How do you pronounce geoduck and bonus point if you know what it is

OBVIOUSLY it is a gooey-duck. And a really big phallic clam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoduck

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:49 PM

67. Also heard on MSNBC - "ma-cab-er" for "macabre"....nt

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:16 PM

68. This is the way the British pronounce it.

I make that mistake myself after watching the BBC too much

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Response to ClusterFreak (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:06 PM

72. Perhaps she learned from Cary Grant?

That's how he pronounced it in North by Northwest.

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