Friday, June 15, 2007

Say What?

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! =)


jsarber said...

This has nothing to do with your blog post, but I thought it was hilarious.

Create a tagline for a new line of plastic bedsheets.
Crinkly, In Case You Go Tinkly

That's funny.

Chelle said...

At my house, syncope is a medical condition! :o)

Dani said...

You know, I don't really speak English, and being in England just further proves that. I speak and too often write in Southern American English. For example it's to "to get a hold on/of" someone, but "get aholt"

Of course aholt is the orginals Scots.

Good to be home and catch up on reading all your blogs.

strem said...

jsarber: Thanks for thinking that my "funny" on my profile was actually funny. I'm always amazed by what random question is generated by blogger for each user. That happened to be the one I received from the start, and it made me laugh.

chelle: Thanks for stopping by. It has been so busy lately that I have fallen way behind on my craft projects. But, I am so glad I have you and the other ladies to inspire me. I look forward to seeing you next week.

Dani: You're home!!! I can't wait to hear about your time overseas. I bet you've learned some neat phrases. Welcome back.