Archive for Pronunciation

Bad transliterations

I’ve tried a couple of times to start reading William Gibson’s novel Idoru, but I keep getting too distracted and annoyed by the title to focus on the book. Apparently the title is supposed to represent the Japanese version of the English word idol. But the Japanese word that Gibson intended to refer to, the […]

Stressing THE wrong word

I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek lately, and I’ve noticed something that happens a lot: A character is supposed to refer to some science or tech thing, but they put primary stress on the wrong word of the phrase. For example, they might refer to the Omicron Theta star system, but they emphasis […]

The Chaos: Full version

(Content warning for referring to, and writing out in full, a specific racial slur.) Back in column ggg, I attempted to piece together the famous poem about English pronunciation “The Chaos,” based on a bunch of fragmentary online sources. And then in 2013, I came across the website of the English Spelling Society, which provided […]

Uranus

On the radio the other day, someone said "Uranus" in such a way that it sounded like an adjective, "urinous." According to Wikipedia, that's actually the earliest of the current...