I wrote to President Bush, Faldage. This is what I wrote:
Dear President Bush:
Although I realize you have little spare time, I wish you would consider learning to pronounce "nuclear" correctly. When you give your speeches, you consistently mispronounce "nuclear" and your mispronunciation becomes a distraction from the content of your speeches. I have heard various people in your TV audience say that they were so distracted by your mispronunciation of "nuclear" that they couldn't concentrate on content; instead, they were counting the number of times you said 'nucular.'
I realize that people from different parts of the country speak with accents that do affect their pronunciation. However, when a person in your position speaks before audiences, I believe it is advisable to make sure that standard pronunciation is used so that the speaker is understood.
I am en elementary school teacher and I try to make sure that pronunciations I use in class are standard pronunciations. I also have a keen interest in how the language does change--how certain pronunciations that were not standard when I was young have become standard. However, in the case of "nuclear" your own pronunciation, which sounds like "nucular," creates the kind of distraction from content that I do not believe you would want. I am sure you want your audience to focus on your speech content rather than on a perhaps awkward mispronunciation. I write this suggestion respectfully. And, no, I do not believe you would lose one vote because you mispronounce "nuclear," but you would certainly gain some respect for pronouncing correctly an important word.
Spring Run Elementary School
Chesterfield County Schools