it’s not that hard to get it right

New York Times: Confronting `NOO-kyuh-luhr' Proliferation by Jesse Sheidlower

Of the many language controversies that arouse passions, no other -- not "hopefully," not the split infinitive, not "most unique" -- seems to bother people as much as this. Even though this pronunciation is now included as a variant in all major American dictionaries, a usage panel convened for the "Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage" rejected it by a factor of 99 to 1. Steve Kleinedler, the pronunciation editor of the "American Heritage Dictionary," said complaints about this variant are the most frequent comment he gets. Merriam-Webster editors have written a special form letter to respond to those who write in to criticize the inclusion of this pronunciation.

Yet the use of "NOO-kyuh-luhr" is not uncommon, even among prominent and educated people, including four of the nation's last 10 presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was widely admonished for it; Gerald R. Ford; Jimmy Carter, who did graduate work in nuclear physics, and also used "NOO-kee-yer"; and now George W. Bush.

I don't care WHO pronounces it wrong: mispronouncing "nuclear" makes a person sound like he or she didn't get past the 6th grade.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/13/02 at 08:30 PM
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