FW: nuclear/nucular (and dict coverage)

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Oct 24 19:19:41 UTC 2002

Yes, what Wendalyn N says is correct -- Kennedy and (I think) Nixon said
"NOO-klee- at r" (not what I mistakenly typed before).  THAT is the "right
way", my jocular way of saying that the "NOO-klee- at r" pron is given first in
most dictionaries, and that it is the pron that pedants, schoolmarms, and
other miscellaneous correctors of speech insist on.

I myself say "NOO-klee- at r", btw; it is simply a matter of personal
preference.  My view (ahem) is that people can and even should pronounce
"nuclear" -- and all other words -- as they learned them, either from their
parents and peers, or as they were taught in school.  And if one has never
actually heard a word pronounced at all, that person should (I know and
accept that most folks don't) look up that word in a good, up-to-date
dictionary of American English.

Any of the Big 4 "college" dicts (Web New World, Random House,
Merriam-Webster, or Amer Heritage) do nicely for pron help.  Though they
differ on usage and other such advice (and some other things, too), they
generally get the basic facts right most of the time.  Another good choice
for prons (and other things) is the New Oxford American Dictionary, or its
abridged descendant, the just-published Oxford American College Dictionary.
Like the Big 4, the new Oxford American dicts were edited in the USA by
American lexos.  And the NEW Oxford American dicts are up-to-date, having
just been completed in the past 2 years.

DO NOT EVER USE the "Oxford American Dictionary" (copyright 1980 or so), and
please, PLEASE do not buy it.  It has a telltale red jacket in its
mass-market edition, and a yellow jacket in the trade paperback edition --
the latter is the very same book, page-for-page, just larger trim size and
type.  In fact, it is one book that I would like to see all copies of
destroyed -- that's how awful, and now woefully out-of-date, it truly is.

For Oxford American dicts, use the ones with the BLUE jackets.  AVOID the
old one (check the copyright date) with the red or the yellow jacket --
that's the bad one.

Sorry to go on so about dicts, but I wanted to get this off my chest.

Frank Abate

At 12:28 PM 10/24/02 -0400, Frank Abate wrote:
>2. Kennedy said "NOO-ky at -l@r" (that is, the "right way").  I'm pretty sure
>heard an audio clip of Nixon on this, and I believe he too was a
>"NOO-ky at -l@r"-sayer.

Don't you mean "NOO-klee- at r" as the "right way"?

Wendalyn Nichols

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