The Fine Art of Arguing Pronunciation
January 25, 2012
I love words. I love them so much that sometimes I make up my own*, drop them in random conversation, and watch people stare back at me in disbelief.
One phrase you’ll hear me utter quite a bit is, "Is this the correct way to pronunciate that word?"
The looks I get for that one! Does she really think ‘pronunciate’ is a word? Well, no, but I sure wish it was! And as much as I want to sell you on this fantastic word, what I’m really interested in is its (made-up) meaning. Pronunciate: A combination of pronounce and enunciate. This totally-not-real gem fills a void in my vocabulary and leads me to my real point:
How much blood has been shed over the disagreement of the correct pronunciation of words? How many families torn apart? How many decades-long feuds? Well, probably not that many, but we all know things can get heated when two people disagree about words. Words like PEONY, LITERALLY, and what about the oft argued NUCLEAR?
In our Research Databases, we have a whole slew of awesome dictionaries and thesauruses, but let me point you toward one you’ll find useful in bloodlessly defusing a pronunciation-related argument: Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. Simply look up a word, click on the red speaker icon, and in addition to finding its definition, you’ll hear the pronunciation(s) as well. Sometimes, you’ll even find you were both right!
- Mariah H.
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*There's some argument around the web that this is a real word, just not in American English. So I don't think I can really claim ownership.Tags: online resources, dictionaries, databases