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#80443 - 09/12/02 11:10 PM nuke'em
slithy toves Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
W's speech at the UN seemed rather more forceful and focused than some of the rambling we've heard from him of late. But wouldn't you think someone would tell him how to pronounce nuclear? I counted seven nu-cu-leurs in less than five minutes. Fifty years ago everyone was razzing Ike for saying it that way.


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#80444 - 09/13/02 02:32 AM Re: nuke'em
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
I counted seven nu-cu-leurs in less than five minutes

I was beginning to think it must be the American way of spelling the word, rather like aluminum instead of aluminium. Secketary instead of secretary is another common pronunciation error, with the "a" almost swallowed, as in Secket'ry of State.

dxb.


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#80445 - 09/13/02 06:16 AM Re: nuke'em
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Fifty years ago everyone was razzing Ike for saying it that way.

Fifty years and we still haven't gotten into y'all's thick skulls.

This is the leader of the free world we're talkin about here. Y'all have no choice but to follow him. Congerss doesn't *need to approve.


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#80446 - 09/13/02 07:07 AM Re: nuke'em
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Fifty years ago everyone was razzing Ike for saying it that way.

Trust me, many people are secretly razzing Dubya for it. I don't like it much either. But if you get Faldage too involved in this discussion you'll get a lesson on bird and brid, most likely.


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#80447 - 09/13/02 08:28 AM Bush's poetic side
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Meanwhile, a poem orchestrated by one Richard Thompson (I think he writes for the Washington Post) from real-live true documented Dubyaisms:

http://www.bushtimes.com/cgi-bin/iowa/news/record.html?record=115

PS slithy, we were groaning as we counted the nu-cu-lers, too...


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#80448 - 09/13/02 08:38 AM Re: Bush's poetic side
Alex Williams Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
http://angli02.kgw.tu-berlin.de/lexicography/data/MAVENS.html

Well this whole thing goes back to the debate over prescriptive ve descriptive "rules" of language. While it may be technically correct to pronounce "nuclear," many people obviously find "NOOK-u-lar" to roll off the tongue more easily. Since there is no lack of understanding on the listener's part, I don't see the problem, other than that heads of state are generally expected to speak more formally.


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#80449 - 09/13/02 09:10 AM Re: Bush's poetic side
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Some words just don't roll off the tongue right. When I was admitting physician
I used to have patients request referral to Chief of UnClear medicine.


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#80450 - 09/13/02 10:22 AM Re: Bush's poetic side
slithy toves Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
Alex, I understand your point and agree with much of the MAVENS essay. But there's a vast difference between kowtowing to obsolete prescriptive habits and simply avoiding messy speech. Consider particularly the tendency of so many members of our Congress to rant about so-sha-curity or the prezh-u-nida-states. I find it refreshing to listen to British politicians, most of whom can at least articulate. Now and then there's a fine speaker in US politics (e.g. Barbara Jordan) but by and large they're pretty sloppy. Could it be an intentional thing based on regionalism? After all, they're depending on the whim of voters from back home, who tend to, like, talk the same way.


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#80451 - 09/13/02 10:54 AM Re: Bush's poetic side
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Slithy, you may well have a point. In Britain it also happens that politicians and particularly trade union leaders who normally speak "standard English" will adopt a regional accent or even slovenly speech for the benefit of the audience they actually wish to impress - not necessarily the one they appear to be addressing! The late Frank Cousins, a trade union leader, was notorious for this.
dxb.


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#80452 - 09/13/02 12:27 PM Re: Bush's poetic side
Alex Williams Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
In reply to:

Could it be an intentional thing based on regionalism? After all, they're depending on the whim of voters from back home, who tend to, like, talk the same way.


Well that could be the case. There's definitely an anti-intellectual tradition in the U.S. and politicians don't want to come off as "eggheads." Even Bill Clinton, who was a Rhoades Scholar, played up an image of a good ol' boy, and the press was happy to help. I think Americans in general like a politician who comes across as strong, smart but not too fancy-schmancy, a cut-the-bullcrap sort of person. I'm not English, so I can't speak for them, but I think they might appreciate fine oration more than we do on this side of the pond. Winston Churchill, for example, could talk real good...




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