Earlier today there was a post about the challenges of pronunciation. Merriam Webster later posted “You’re (Probably) Saying It Wrong: 18 words even you might be mispronouncing. As I read the article I could heart the echo of my mom and several teachers saying: “OK, you know how to spell it….just sound it out.” There are at least 18 words where that advise wouldn’t have helped me.The opening paragraph of the article is:
English is famously difficult to spell. It asks us to accept the inconsistencies of has and was, do and go, and to resign ourselves to the logic-defying set of “ough” words, like bough, bought, tough, though, and through. A word like lachrymose helps us justify our spelling bees (which, incidentally, are nearly unique to the United States), while millions of children (and adults too!) each day look at Wednesday and wonder: why?
I was going to read the article in any case, but their reference to lachrymose was interesting as I posted about it earlier in the week, but I was fascinated that spelling bees are unique to our country. Who knew. Also, the reference to “Wednesday” struck a chord with me. I think I was in my 20s before I realized it had a “d” early on in the word. I must have grown up in a world where it was pronounced “Whensday”. Apparently it never appeared on a spelling test nor did I use it in a paper in college or graduate school. Anyway, … enjoy the article