The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, March 15, 2004

"NUCULER" REACTION
nuculer activity
The President's been a pretty reliable source for comic fodder with his commonly-acknowledged mispronounciation of the word "nuclear". But is he really flubbing it? Maybe not, since both "noo-clee-ar" and "new-cew-lar" are so frequently used that both versions are gaining currency.

What can I say but, "That's My Bush!"

Language is evolutionary, of course. And nothing accelerates that evolution more than what comes out of the mouths of prominent personages, Presidential or otherwise. So Bush is probably helping the much-disparaged pronounciation become more acceptable.

I have to admit that I sometimes slip up and use the "nuculer" version. I think the real reason for it is the frequent use of the shorthand "nuke", most often used as slang for cooking something in a microwave. The "noo" sound in "nuke" seems to lend itself more to being followed by another "oo" syllable. I'm just going by my own instincts on that; I don't know if there's any real linguistic basis to it.