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May 19, 2000
This week's theme
Words about words

This week's words
haplology
verbicide
lexis
analects
metathesis
anadiplosis
anagoge

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

metathesis

(mi-TATH-i-sis) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

noun:
1. Transposition within a word of letters, sounds, or syllables, as in the change from Old English brid to modern English bird or in the confusion of modren for modern.
2. Chemistry. Double decomposition.

From Latin, from Greek, from metatithenai (to transpose), from meta- + tithenai (to place).

"The mischievous imps of metathesis are at play, for instance, when rural speakers switch the 'r' and 'e' in 'pretty' and say 'perty'."
Rob Kyff' Time to Bury the 'aks'?; The Hartford Courant; Dec 9, 1998.

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