Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun Facts

I'm a bit of a word geek (a wordsmith to be precise), though I am horrendous at grammar. Who knows where to put all those commas?? And I am an acknowledged abuser of the exclamation point, making Seinfeld's episode even funnier to me. But this week I'm going to speak of a rather touchy subject. The mispronunciation of the word "mischievous". (do those quotation marks go before or after the period?!?)

I know everyone loves the word "mischievous"... I hear it all the time. "My little funny baby is SOOOO..." and then they say the word... "mis-CHEE-VEE-uhs". And I want to pull out some eyelashes. See, if you break down the word and say it phonetically, it is "MIS-chee-vuhs." There are only three syllables, not four. There is no "i" or "e" after the "v"... it is not spelled "mischievIous" or "mischievEous". It is simply "mischievous".

Due to the rampant mispronunciation of this word, the dictionary is calling the incorrect pronunciation nonstandard, making it appear that though it is not the norm it is acceptable. But it isn't nonstandard and it isn't an acceptable variation ... it's just plain wrong (note that the "it's" has an apostrophe because it is a contraction. If you can't say "it is" don't put an apostrophe... I guess that will be another post.) So, the next time you are tempted to add an extra syllable, think of me... and please don't force me to pull out much needed, extremely beneficial body hair. :)

Have a great Fun Fact Friday!


  1. LOL! Great post! I also get a little irritable about common mispronunciations :-) The worst to me are nuclear being pronounced "nucular" and specific as "pacific". A professor in nursing school did both and I wanted to scream everytime I heard it!

  2. first...quotes before the period. are in the south and you should expect that everyone here will add an extra sylabol. that how you spell sylabol? It kinda looks weird...

  3. Who knew? Thanks for enlightening me. You should send that in to John Tesh for his "Intelligence for Life" show... ;o)