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Friday 16 April |

Myzzled by phonics

Simcha Fisher - published on 11/06/13

Ha- this is funny.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz stumbles into the people-who-read-too-much mispronunciation of “misled”:

I recently ran into this myself, when I was recording my audiobook last weekend.  It seems that I use kind of a lot of words that I am not 100% sure how to pronounce.  (John Herried called this “Homeschooler’s Syndrome.”  Oh lawsy, there she goes again, attacking homeschoolers!!!1!)  It happened a few times, but the one I really struggled with was “minutiae.”   I asked the producer, and he didn’t know, either.  I think I ended up saying “my-NOO-shee-aye.”  I did my best to make it sound authoritative.

My kids all learned to read pretty early, and although I flogged them with phonics, they definitely got in some skimming habits.  One child who shall remain nameless was recently heard to make reference to “filling a lamp with kernose.”  My grandmother told me she once met a guy who thought “fatigued” was pronounced “fatty-gayed.”  He’d surely heard the word pronounced, but I guess he just somehow assumed all his life that there were two separate words, which both meant “tired.”

I just love it when little fissures of naivete are introduced into the professional world like this.  We’re all faking it, at one level or another.

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