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DAY-LUGE OF MISPERNOUNCIATIONS CAN BERRY THE ALERT LISNER

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LIKE EVERYONE else, I guess, there are some things that people regularly say that really raise my dander. No. 1 on the list is the word NUCLEAR pronounced NOOK-U-LER instead of the correct NOOK-LEE-ER.

One day I was watching the network evening news when Les Aspin, formerly the secretary of defense, mind you, used the pronunciation NOOK-U-LER. I submit to you that if the secretary of defense cannot pronounce such a crucial word in his own job description, we are in very deep doo-doo (i.e., consult George Bush).This must be the real reason Aspin is no longer secretary of defense.

Another that rubs me the wrong way is this familiar statement (should I have said FER-MILIAR?): "I just CAME ACROSST some information on that."

Why in the world would anyone feel the need or inclination to put a T on the end of the word ACROSS? It might have something to do with accent. But it just sounds very uneducated to me.

And there are people who make their living on television who say it!

Another one that really bugs me is the substitution of TRY-ANT-U-LA for the well-known, very large, hairy spider, the TA-RANT-U-LA. Now, wouldn't any contact with such a scary arachnid cause a person to remember what it is called?

How many people do you know who seriously use the word LI-BERRY instead of LI-BRARY? That doesn't irritate me as much, because I'm suspicious that many of them are doing it on purpose.

Then there's the famous blah-month - FEBRUARY, pronounced FEB-RU-ARY. Yes, that's the way it's spelled, but is it me or doesn't EVERYONE pronounce it FEB-U-ARY? On the other hand, it's such a yukky month with snow and fog and gloom and cold that maybe it deserves to be mispronounced.

We also do funny things with days of the week. The worst offender is WENS-DEE for WEDNESDAY. No, no, I really don't expect anyone to say WED-NEZ-DAY, but WENS-DEE is kind of silly.

Although I do have to admit that when I lived in Massachusetts I started uttering this little phrase like the natives: "Let's go pick BLUE-BREES next SA-DEE." (That means BLUEBERRIES next SATURDAY.)

Have you noticed how many people say EX-CAPE for ES-CAPE (ESCAPE)? Does that irritate you just a little bit? EX-PECIALLY instead of ES-PECIALLY? Or how about saying HEIGH-TH instead of HEIGHT? In truth, the word has no TH sound - as far as I know.

Then there is the guy who says, "This situation is SIM-U-LER to the one you faced just the other day." Do You think he just might mean SIM-I-LAR?

A lot of people say "I want you to meet me there IR-REGARDLESS" when they ought to say simply REGARDLESS. IRREGARDLESS is not a word. Trust me on that.

Have you noticed that if someone loses CONSCIOUSNESS, some people say, "It hit him on the head, causing him to be UN-CONSCIENCE?" Now, those are two different words - CONSCIOUS and CONSCIENCE. The latter causes you to do the right thing, and the former means you are awake enough to know what's happening.

A lot of people prefer to pronounce the word STATISTIC in a slovenly way. They say SU-TIS-TIC, as in "I'm going to my SUTISTICS class." That's a long WAYS - or I mean a long WAY - from being correct.

There's one more: There are too many people who insist on saying, "We will be pleased now to listen to the Jay Welch COR-RAL," with the flat A, when in fact the correct word is CHO-RALL, spelled CHORALE. I have a FILL-ING - or I mean FEE-LING - there are no horses in that one.