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#80453 - 09/13/02 01:40 PM Re: nuke'em
Faldage Offline
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get Faldage too involved in this discussion you'll get a lesson on bird and brid

In the case of nucular I'm more likely to bring up the example of Hercules and Herakles but then some nit-picker would probably complain that this should go in Words from classical mythology.

Nucular has a couple of things going for it. One is the large number of scientific words that end in -ular, e.g., molecular, cellular, etc., to act as models. The only other common word that ends in -clear is clear itself (and derivative words such as unclear). The other thing is that there is a standard linguistic process that I don't remember enough about to expound upon in any detail here but which perhaps one of our linguists could. It is probably the same thing that turned the Greek Herakles into the Latin Hercules.

#80454 - 09/13/02 01:54 PM Re: nuke'em
AnnaStrophic Offline
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but then some nit-picker would probably complain

must... resist... temptation...

standard linguistic process

metathesis? Like brid -> bird?

#80455 - 09/13/02 02:14 PM Re: metathesis
Faldage Offline
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brid -> bird

Yeahbutİ, I think there's something specific to the CL thang that makes it special.

This site http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/mispron.html points out that British and Australians find the American repetition of the [u] between the [k] and [l] quaintly amusing. Good reason [to] get it right.

Ut si!

#80456 - 09/13/02 02:28 PM Re: metathesis
AnnaStrophic Offline
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That's a cool site and worth a thread of its own!

Meanwhile, AHD has this to say:


#80457 - 09/13/02 02:59 PM Re: metathesis, ecsetera
Faldage Offline
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There's also something called Attraction that plays a role in nucular. If it were just metathesis it would come out something like nukelar. Attraction causes a vowel change to match a nearby vowel, giving us nucular (although it is usually pronounced nucyular).

Just googling metathesis nucular gives a small but interesting group of sites.

#80458 - 09/13/02 03:58 PM Re: metathesis, ecsetera
Alex Williams Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
The easiest way to remind yourself to pronounce it correctly is to remember that it sounds like "new clear." By the way there was an album in 1980 by a band called The Vapors called "New Clear Days" which contained the song "Turning Japanese."

#80459 - 09/13/02 05:12 PM Tilting at windmills
wofahulicodoc Online   content
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 6940
Loc: Worcester, MA
I'm afraid this is another of a too-large number of degradations of the language that have evolved despite all efforts. Chalk it up next to Febyooary, liberry, between you and I, and split infinitives.

Correcting these misusages is an unrewarding, nay a thankless task, and in the sense of choosing your battles may be not worth our aggravation. The best I've been able to come up with (see? preposition-at-end-of-sentence was another one one hundred years ago, wasn't it?) is to lead by example and choose my own words with care.

Still, it's frustrating to be "right" but smothered by the rest of 'em. Ain't it?

#80460 - 09/13/02 05:25 PM Re: Splitting Infinitives
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Let me know whether I'm incorrect in what I've learned--especially since I've never studied Latin--but what I heard an English professor state was it was ridiculous not to split the infinitive when a writer wanted to get the adverb closer to the verb itself for emphasis. The professor's reasoning was that the Latin infinitive was a single word, not two as are English infinitives. By forcing the adverb to either precede or follow the two-word English infinitive, force was lost and awkwardness was often the only gain. He gave us a long list of sentences in which the two-word infinitive had not been split and companion sentences in which the adverb was nestled up right against the root verb after the "to." I thought his was a point well-taken.


#80461 - 09/14/02 12:14 PM Re: nuke'em
TEd Remington Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
I guess the thing about this use of nucular by Dubya that most puzzles and amazes me is that his many advisors must all say it the same way; otherwise one of them would have gently corrected him.

I personally consider the mispronunciation of nuclear as a sign of lack of education. And if Dubya's been idificated and still does it it's a sign of stupidity. Ignorance can be cured, stupidity goes all the way to the bone.


#80462 - 09/14/02 12:26 PM Re: nuke'em
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Smart courtiers do not correct the King. That's why we call London's river the Tems.
Edit: Peccavi. The above appears to be a canard. No mention of it in AHD

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