Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spell-check doesn't catch everything

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning:  the message on an electronic bulletin board in Indiana might have made it through spell-check, but I'm hoping it was an error anyway.  Spelling counts, folks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here's (or "heah's") a really good word: rhotic

Not to be a snob, but it isn't often that the Boston Globe uses words that are unfamiliar to me. This morning, however, Ty Burr's review of Ben Affleck's movie "The Town" sent me running for the dictionary.

Burr refers to Hollywood actors struggling with "non-rhotic speech patterns".

Shucks, I didn't even know what "rhotic" was, let alone "non". Burr does leave us a good hint; you will have to check out his review yourself (click on the link above, or look in the real paper on page 16G).
So: rhotic. Thanks to the Wordnik app on my phone, I was able to define it in seconds (and without paper cuts, for a change):

Of an English accent, pronouncing the letter r wherever it appears, as in bar (/bɑːr/) and bard or barred (/bɑːrd/); this trait is common in much of the United States, Canada, many parts of the north and west of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Non-rhotic then means omitting the "r" in speech. Fabulous. Or should I say "mahvelous".

I hope the movie is as good as the review.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh, just you wait!!

Amelia Slawsby mailed me this link to the Huffington Post's coverage of  some of the longest words in English.  Read 'em and weep! Weep for joy, that is, that most of them never crossed our mind as we composed prior years' word lists.

Next time is a new time...and you can count on seeing some more of these, even if only for comic relief. I may have to retire hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, now that Greg Kahoun caught me spelling it wrong in last year's list...but we still have 10 others.

Click on the Huffington Post link and enjoy their clever photographs and concise definitions. I notice there are no pronunciation guides. Hmmm.

Thanks, Amelia, for the fun read!