Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mangled pronunciation

Bush continues to mispronounce the word nuclear as “nucular.” I am sure that he has been alerted to this gaffe by his advisors many times. But he pays no heed. In its small way, this stubbornness is emblematic of the arrogance and folly of a man who has done more to damage the United States than anyone I can remember.

It is a curious fact, though, that many who wince at “nucular” insist on inserting an extra ‘n’ in the term that by convention has come to describe the whole talking class, so tha they say “pundints,” a sad distortion of a venerable Sanskrit term.

I am notoriously not a Hispanophile, but I can’t help but be astonished at how little our newscasters care to learn the proper pronunciation of Spanish words. This evening I heard the city named for a distinguished Mexican president called “warEZZ.” In reality the stress should be on the first syllable, the initial “j” needs to be sounded (as “h”), and there is no “z” sound in Spanish. The final letter must be pronounced as “s.” That’s three mistakes in a simply Spanish name.

“No problemo,” you may say. Exactly. The correct word is “problema,” ending in "a." It is of the masculine gender because it is derived from Greek. Idiots!

1 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

There are several ongoing discussions on this: http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/grantbarrett/saying_it_wrong_on_purpose/

5:58 PM  

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