This week, a co-worker told me that one of his family members had conjugal heart failure (not congenital heart failure - condition present at birth) Sadly, I know more than a few marriages that might lead to heart failure. :)
At the beginning of May, I began another list of words I discovered in my reading but of which I didn't know the meanings. I also found a few terms/ words that seem to have now become (incorrectly) common, and I had no idea I was mispronouncing them or using them in an incorrect way.
cardsharp: OK, I knew this one from long ago. But, I often catch myself saying cardshark. (Not that I say it frequently!)
diphtheria: Honestly, until this week, I didn't realize there was an 'h' after the 'p'.
lambaste: I didn't remember there being an 'e' at the end of this word, but there is one. And, all of the dictionaries I could find list the the long A pronunciation (lam bayst') as the only or preferred version. I didn't know.
schism: I heard someone say (siz-uhm) the other day. So, I looked it up. And, the pronunciation was there in the dictionary... often before the (skiz-uhm) way.
spit and image: I also had no idea that this is considered the original and correct term that one should use when describing an exact likeness to someone else. My research may be incorrect, but it seems that when the term was condensed to 'spit-n-image', others began saying the popular 'spitting image'.
tenterhooks: I don't think I had ever read the word (or paid attention to it) before, but I thought everyone was saying or writing 'tenderhooks'. It now makes sense that "feeling anxious, in suspense" is linked to how tenterhooks would hold fabric on a tenter (cloth frame) while it was being stretched.
Of course, I am also the person who learned how to correctly write "pique my interest" and "whet my apetite" in my post-graduate school years. (I had only heard the phrases and had never written or typed them until then.) So, for those of you who knew all of this and have known this for years, please forgive my ignorance.
I have also learned about the word syncope. (sing' kuh pee)
Definition: the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in the reduction of never to ne'er. More commonly, American pronunciations of interesting (in' trist ing), family (fam' lee), chocolate (chaw' klit), and temperature (temp' er cher) are cited as examples.
After making these discoveries, it seems best that I keep my mouth shut! =)