Another pet peeve

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    While watching the Vice-Presidential debates tonight, instead of focusing on the personalities and the issues, I was struck by one burning question: Why can't these people pronounce the word "nuclear"? THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST AS I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE OF BOTH PARTIES MISPRONOUNCE THIS WORD. I understand that there are alternative pronunciations of some words. If you want to call your aunt by a word that starts with a like at the beginning of after or a like at the beginning of awful I can deal with that. But calling nuclear "nucular" is not an alternative pronunciation. It is wrong. Alternative pronunciations do not add a syllable where there isn't one. You can't add a vowel sound where there is no vowel. What is wrong with these people? Are they mispronouncing this word to appear "folksy"? Are they just stupid? Do they just not care? Do I have CDO instead of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because I want the letters to be in alphabetical order like they shoul be?:tongue: I know this is totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things but it bugs the stuffing out of me.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I didn't watch tonight, but that particular mispronunciation has always bothered me, too! :D

    I don't have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (as far as I know ;) ), but I do find it hard not to correct glaring errors I find in everything from the newspaper to flyers my kids bring home from school.

    Probably has something to do with my degree in English... or my years spent proofreading stuff for work (everything from product literature to annual reports).
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They dealt with this in an episode of Simpsons. Homer is correcting Lisa. "It's pronounced NUKE-YOU-LAR," he explains.

    We get people mispronouncing it like this here, too.

    Other words that annoy me - FOLIAGE mispronounced as FOLE-AGE.
    And mispronounciations that are ambiguous, such as "I want to be quite pacific when I say, I do not like the shirt you are wearing." (Which statement, frankly, is more a declaration of war and therefore not pacific at all).

    These things annoy me especially when uttered by people who should know better or who are seen as examples (such as journalists and politicians).

    Another example of what annoys - when someone is referring to themselves and others but always refers to themselves as "I" because it SOUNDS more genteel and hopefully is therefore correct. But they have forgotten the rule (if they ever knew it) for using these words correctly - you put yourself last (not first in the list) and depending on where it is in the sentence, "I" or "me" is correct. To test which it is, remove the other names in your head and try the sentence, to see if it should be "I" or "me".

    For example, "Janet & I were sitting in the shade of the tree." And "In the shade of the tree sat Janet & myself." (Because it is what works, if it's on its own).

    And that is another thing - the wrong use of apostrophes. When unsure whether an apostrophe should be used, think about what purpose is the word you've chosen. We use apostrophes to indicate a missing letter. So "they're" is short for "they are". But because we also use apostrophes to show ownership when the owner is named, it confuses people. For example, "Is that George's hat?"

    But when we're talking about his or hers, we don't use apostrophes. So we shouldn't use an apostrophe when writing "its" as in "is that dog wagging its tail?"

    But yes, we DO use an apostrophe when using the contraction for "it is" as in, "The dog has lost its bone so it's time to go to the shop to buy a new one."

    And it REALLY burns me up when English teachers make mistakes like this - I get even angrier when they mark my child wrong, when they were correct!

    At least when politicians speak we can't hear the wrongly placed apostrophes!


    PS It doesn't matter who you vote for, you're going to get a politician!
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    That annoys me, too. Makes me cringe.

    Another pet peeve of mine is when they keep changing the pronunciation or spelling. How many different ways did we spell Khadfi, or Qadfi, or Quadafi? Every time he was on the news (was that the Reagan years?) it was different. I still don't know how to spell his name. And it was Al-Qaida with an "I" sound and now it's Al-Qaeda with a long "A" sound or something. I can't keep up. And when I was in school Uranus was pronounced, "Your-anus". Now it's "Your-uh-nus". Make up your minds. It's the same word.

    Marg - I have issues with apostrophes. I always have to think and then just use my best guess. I tend to like commas a lot, too. :D

    My daughter does online school at home. They have an interactive classroom with interactive classes. If the kids don't or can't make the class, they can listen to and watch the recording. I can't believe how often the ENGLISH teachers mispronounce words, leave words out or rearrange them when they're reading the text that's on the screen.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, you said, "I have issues with apostrophes. I always have to think and then just use my best guess. I tend to like commas a lot, too."

    Use my tips above, to help you with apostrophes. As for commas, it's more difficult to help you there. Think about what you're writing as if you're speaking. Use a comma where you would naturally pause to take a breath. You don't pause mid-word or mid-phrase (or shouldn't, despite the appallingly low standards being set on "Idol"). That should get you close.

    As for sentences - every sentence should have a verb. It's a bit complicated when you're dealing with compound verbs, but the important bit is the one that is doing all the work in the sentence.

    Now, what was I saying about singers who take a breath mid-word? Grr...

  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The mispronunciation of the word nuclear drives me nuts too.
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Ain't it the truth!!!!

    And we have weather people on TV here that can't pronounce temperature. To them, it's tempachur. UGH
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Add me in to the group bugged by nuclear mis-pronunciation.

    Add to that list a local favorite - that thing that takes you to the hospital in an emergency? I call it an ambulance. Pronounced much like it is spelled - am-bew-lance. Many, many people where I live call it an am-blance. Drives me bonkers.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member do you say it?

    See....Im a person who reads a lot and I know what a word means but not how to say it. Always have been. I can remember being quite young and not knowing how to say they word "gesture" and "gesticulate". Was it a hard G or a soft G? I knew what they meant by third or fourth grade but had never heard a person actually say the word.

    Nuclear could clee are or nuke u lar or clear.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    It's a KEY trigger Mutt.

    It's a word or group of words that are PURPOSELY mispronounced to see what "target demographics"

    3.) WHERE will the CONVERSTATIONS (among what groups) will this be a problem.

    These are educated people ......they don't mispronounce words willy nilly -

    I used to think it was CODE for - something (Big brother theory) but now I am SURE it's done to see if we're watching, who is watching and WHAT ELSE are we saying about it.

    If this post is political, or more political than the rest of the answers then feel free to erase it. :whiteflag:
  11. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    OK, I can see new clee are and even new clear but I fail to see how it can possibhly nuke u lare. It is spelled nuclear. There is no vowel between the c and the l so how could you put the u sound there? Dictionary says: NEW klee ur
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    How about realty pronounced real-i-thank you?

    Or cavalry pronounced cal-very?

    Makes me nuts.

  13. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Height. It does NOT have a th at the end. Never did. Hopefully, never will. Every time I hear heighth, it takes all of my effort to not get the in person's face and correct them. Nuclear doesn't bother me so much but it does grate.

    Now, can someone please explain why island isn't pronounced is-land. And what's with Arkansas? If Kan-sas is good enough for Kansas, why isn't Are-kan-sas good enough for Arkansas?

    I hate English. It is a stupid language that breaks every rule it has.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think this really comes down to accent maybe?

    Im sitting here reading through all this and honestly trying to sit here and pronounce all these things as you type them out and they dont sound all that different to me in some ways. If you have a really strong can come across differently. Dang...I dont even know how to talk anymore.

    air, are...ear...can all sometimes be the same sound but different in different parts of the country. Here if you heard someone say the word "tired" you would swear they said "tarred" as in tarred and feathered. They also go get tars for their But they mean those black things that roll.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh, talking about weathermen....what is it with the word, "unseasonably"? It will be the dead of winter and below zero and they'll say it's "unseasonably cold". Well, if it's not supposed to be cold in the winter, when is it supposed to be cold??? It just sounds stupid. Maybe "unregionably cold" (I just made up a word!) or "unusually cold for our climate".

    And some people also get their hairs (plural) cut. :tongue:
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    well wouldnt it be kind of dumb just to go get one hair cut? LOL.
  17. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT loves to take me to Back-to-School Night, because I proofread the handouts the teachers give out and give them back. It cracks her up. I don't do it for comic effect...these people are teaching my kid, and they should at least have the sense to send the handouts through spell check before giving them to the parents! I am very picky about spelling and was easy to break Hubby of his unfortunate "I seen" habit...but I don't go out like the grammar police and correct everybody.
  18. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    well here in jersey we butcher all kins of werds wit ar funkie akscent!

  19. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    My husband has that "seen" thing too. I do wonder sometimes who put an R in wash to make it warsh. So many others also but that happens to be a big one.

  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, an Aussie whinge here. It especially annoys husband, as a chemist - element No 13 on the Periodic Table is Alu-MIN-i-um, not Al-OO-min-um. There's a little "-ium" at the end of it, as there is at the end of a lot of other elements in the Periodic Table (Polonium, Curium, Fermium, Uranium, Mendeleevium, Yttrium, Ytterbium, Erbium, etc). While there has been some history of element 13 being spelt and pronounced in a manner different to the rest of the world, husband says that international convention has now dictated that we all come together on "Al-you-MIN-i-um" as pronunciation of "Aluminium".

    Similarly, the planet Uranus gets pronounced two different ways. However, there is less strict rule with this one, either pronunciation is valid (however much it might annoy). It sounds vaguely offensive whichever way you pronounce it.

    Believe it or not, there are international conventions on this - can you imagine being in a room with representatives of various groups around the world, deciding on how words are to be pronounced?