The Right Coast

February 09, 2006
Check out this website of common errors in English
By Tom Smith

And this WSU English Prof is scoring about 100K hits a month on his web page. I'm jealous. Oops. I really mean, envious. Lots of cool stuff. Duck tape. Asterisk. Celtic like kilt, not like the Boston Celtics, which is mispronounced, bizarrely given how many Irish Americans there are in Boston. (But then my mother's family says Coughlin like "Coff-lin", not "Cock-lin", as they do in Eire; no idea why. Maybe trying not to sound Irish?) And an extremely valuable and clear discussion of affect vs. effect. Please read it and never misuse those words around me again. Somewhere he says -- "Nobody said English was easy. Just memorize it and get on with your life." They don't make many professors like this anymore.

My own little suggestion would be, you don't have to pronounce aunt as "ahhnt" or envelope as "ahhnvelope," and for heaven's sake do not say, Nevahhhda, Orygone, or Colorahhhhdo, but please, put the accent on the second syllable of propane, cement, and insurance, not the first, unless you want somebody to think you chew tabacky and are married to your first through third cousin.

MORE FUN with words. Hat tip to LS.