Sunday, October 5, 2008

English speaking tips


1) The word nuclear is pronounced nuclear and not nucular. Let me slow it down for you. It's noo-clee-er. Say it with me...noo-clee-er. Nuclear. Just because President Bush and Jack Bauer mispronounce it doesn't mean it's right. 

2) Coupon is pronounced koo-pon. Not Q-pon. Do you know why the product Q-tip is not pronounced koo-tip? Because it's not spelled Cou-tip. So get out your coupon (koo-pon), go to the store, and get that .50 cents off on Q-tips (not Cou-tips).

3) The phrase is "all intents and purposes" not "all intensive purposes". Please refrain from being retarded. Thank you.

4) Irregardless of what you may think, irregardless is not a word. The proper word is regardless. Do us all a favor and leave out the I-R. If you learn this skill you won't sound quite as stupid in conversation (although you probably are).

5) Do you like coffee? Do you ever drink expresso? If you answered yes you're a liar because it's "espresso" Starbuck not "expresso". Ahab is going to throw you overboard if you keep mispronouncing it. X marks the spot but is not included in the spelling of this drink. 

6) Have you ever axed someone a question? No, of course not. You can axe someone to death but you can't axe them a question. It's ask fool not aks. A-S-K. Pronounce the letters in the correct order. Thanks a lot!

7) You might read the first six and say "hey Mr. Disencouragement I could care less about your grammar tips." Well valued reader my reply to that is it's "I couldn't care less" not "I could care less". If you say you could care less you're saying that you do have some level of caring about the first six tips. So if you truly don't care to learn your mother tongue properly you need to say "I couldn't care less".

Your homework assignment is to see if Disencouragement is a word. 

Stop playing Guitar Hero, watching TV and texting that chick that doesn't like you and read something. Learn your language properly. 
For all intensive purposes you generally speak it okay. But I'm aksing you to study a little more. Irregardless of the fact that caffeine is bad for you and gives you a headache like a nucular bomb, drink some of that expresso you bought with your q-pon if you need to stay awake.
Loved by linguists everywhere!


johnny said...

hahahahahah! nuclear is a scary one, especially after the recent debates with Ms. Palin...

Lukey said...

Esteemed Mr. Disencouragement,

I find your animadversion of our present vernacular to be quite illuminating however validated in a myopic and imprudent temper.

As I'm sure you, in your infinite wisdom, know that language is a dynamic entity ruled by various shaping influences which lend to language subtle nuances which become manifest in turns of idiomatic phrase, vernacular of the hoi polloi as differs from that of the bourgeoisie, colloquialisms, slang (Urban Dictionary), etc. In this fecund garden of the tongue we find the scarce fruit of many a permutation: that which has come to fruition is the culmination of plethoric pruning from the supple branch of speech.

For example, consider the hollow and rotting trunk of that once prodigious language whose aurelian flame has long since been extinguished (Alas! Luceo non Uro!), but whose progeny flourish and thrive. Could not Latin be saved? No. It simply became engulfed by the tide of mutability, to be seen in shadows but live nevermore.

Moreover, take into account the geographic influence on language; as a grain of salt dissolving in a swimming pool so too does language dilute proportionally to the distance from its origin of inception.

A second retort to your sardonic editorial regards an exceedingly interesting footnote to your ask vs. aks (axe) entry. Given the aforementioned condition that language is a malleable organism, it sometimes comes to pass that the continuum of change inevitably causes reversion. Does not the water in a swiftly moving river occasionally eddy back on itself causing little whirlpools amidst the pervasively puissant current? Aye, here’s the rub: approximately 500 to 800 years ago the correct English for “ask” was indeed “axe (aks)!”

See for yourself:

Language is indeed a fickle mistress. Who knows but that in a few hundred years the phrase “cynical Greek prick” may be a term of endearment.

One can only hope.

With kindest regards,

P. Adam Lukey, Esq.