[DWJ] "Orthogonal" (orthogonally to T-shirt slogans)

Elizabeth Parks henx19 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 7 21:20:02 EDT 2010


On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 7:07 PM, Ellen Willcox <eawil3 at email.wm.edu> wrote:

>  After all, who should get to decide how English
> is spelled but the English?)
>
> - Nic
>
>
>
I'm not sure why, but that just gave me a flashback to my first month or so
as a(n American) student at St.Andrews, and having an English student make
some cutting remark to me about how Americans were so slavishly devoted to
pronouncing every letter in every word, as if we had to prove that we could
read.

As a child, I got in trouble not so much for using Briticisms, but for using
really old-fashioned English--I loved Louisa May Alcott, and read more than
four of the Little Peppers books, and everything by L.M. Montgomery (did
anyone else really love the book Rilla of Ingleside?), and I still have to
stop myself sometimes from over-hyphenating and from expressing really quite
maudlin and saccharine emotional responses (see: The Five Little Peppers and
sequels).

My most embarrassing I've-only-read-the-word mispronunciation was *
archipelago*, when I was seventeen or so, and working as a teacher's aide,
and a nine year old corrected me.  I still forget how to pronounce
synecdoche sometimes, because I've heard so many strange and wonderful
versions of it mis-spoken over the years.

lizzie


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