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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

So this very morning I was debating with a co-worker about the importance of correctly pronouncing words in the English language. (I believe the argument started yesterday after she mispronounced cache). Actually, I should clarify, since I'm on the phone most of the day, conversations with coworkers tend to be entirely in email. So, here is a direct email quote (I only added the quotation marks/italics): "Doesn’t the populace make the words? I mean, the dictionary can say one thing, but if 74% of people say it the other way, I would say the dictionary is wrong. Words are tools, not rules." This statement angered me a little, probably because I am one of the few people in this country that knows how to correctly pronounce the words forte and mauve...now I can't say that I have ever had the occasion to use "mauve" in a sentence, but I usually mispronounce "forte" just so people won't wonder what the hell I'm talking about.

However, after a quick trip over to stokefire this afternoon, I realized I was on completely the wrong side of this issue. I don't know what craigslist is like over there, but here it's mostly a place to find casual encounters and cheap cleaning ladies...

9 comments:

Anonymous Snake Girl said...

How come you listen to Anonymous Branding Guy but not Snakewoman (who by the way should be the final word on what the snake movie is about)?

Nicole Lasko said...

Just because your friend jumps off a cliff doesn't mean you should, too.

74% of people saying something incorrectly simply makes the educated 24% look a lot smarter.

Jessica said...

I will soon be overrun by the Lasko's...but I will attempt to hold the fort...per Oxford:
http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/wordfrom/hardspell/?view=uk

"the word life was pronounced as we now pronounce leaf, and name was pronounced as two syllables to rhyme with farmer".

Pronunciations change, and I think over time, majority wins. You can argue that life is actually leaf...but what's the point? No one will understand you. Although we can be the 0.000001% that says life "correctly" and make it a really exclusive club. This might be fun.

Still Anonymous But Now A Thing Namer said...

Name is still pronounced quite similarly to "farmer"... in German. Near as I can remember they say it "Nah-meh."

I'm just sayin...

Thing Namer Number 2 said...

No clue who that other guy was, but your Craigslist link is broken.

Might want to use this one:
http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/crg/193894187.html

... at least until it expires.

Michael Lasko said...

Thanks thing namer #2...I can't seem to get that link to work. Something to do with my domain forwarder, I think.

Anybody interested in naming things in the DC area, please cut and paste the link above...hey, you can't beat free food.

Nicole Lasko said...

The plural of Lasko is Laskos. As in, "The Laskos are a very attractive couple."

The possessive of Lasko is Lasko's. As in "Mrs. Lasko's fondue is fantastic."

The possessive plural of Lasko is Laskos'. "The Laskos' condo is tiny."

Someday through teaching I will rid the world of incorrect use of the possessive.

Jessica said...

I believe this is Lasko's dream come true: comments galore. The Laskos do tend to cause much opinionated banner. The Laskos' commitment to proper grammar should be commended. I'm afeard to write anymore.

Mike, I think Nicole can do wonders at our workplace...but then again she might run away in horror...

Jessica said...

ARG. I meant banter. I'll just stop. Really, how did I end up with banner? I'm convinced I have Wernicke's aphasia.