low back merger--austentacious

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Sat Mar 13 10:14:01 UTC 2010


From: "Tom Zurinskas" <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>

> Depends.  Hard to know what he's thinking.


Depends on what you mean by hard.  The original report had a contestant at
(I presume) a spelling bee misconstruing "ostentatious" as "austentatious",
reported in the context of spell-check programs.

Presumably this would be generated by memories of a spell-check program
correcting a typed-in "austin" to (Jane) Austen.

Thus the quite rationally (mis)constructed *visual (re)spelling, extending
this to the nature of the entirely unrelated "ostentatious".

Nothing whatsoever to do with either dyslexia or pronunciation.

Just the small change of the price we pay for teknology.  Or spelling bees.


(My email spell-check has just suggested that I replace "austentatious" by
"ostentatious" and "austin" by "Austen".

[Actually, my spellchecker, which obviously prioritises towns over literary
figures, suggested "Austin" rather than "Austen".  Go figure.  R.]

> For instance how does he say th=
> e word "audio".  I hear many folks (incorrectly I believe) say AH-de-oh
> ~aa=
> deeyoe.  So perhaps he is used to seeing letters "au" for the "ah" sound
> an=
> d thus when he hears ah-sten-TAY-shis ~aastenttaeshis spoken he would
> liken=
> it to "audio" and would spell it with "au" for the "ah" sound.
> =20
> Truespel uses ~au for the "awe" sound=2C although the letter "o" is used 5
> =
> times more often to spell that sound.  But the letter "o" spells a lot of
> s=
> ounds.
> Tom Zurinskas=2C USA - CT20=2C TN3=2C NJ33=2C FL7+=20
> see truespel.com phonetic spelling
> =20
> =20
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail
>> header -----------------=
> ------
>> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster: Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject: low back merger--austentacious
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ------
>> CNN had a story this morning=2C which I haven't been able to find on
>> their site=2C on the question of whether spellcheck is making kids into
>> worse spellers. One of the misspellings they showed was
>> "austentatious." I was in a noise room when I saw the story=2C so I
>> didn't see the location. The teenage boy behind the misspelling at
>> least had a perceptual contrast=2C if not also a productive one.
>> Herb

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