February, Library, Besmirch, research

January 31, 2013

“Barry knew that  meant many hours in the . His less academic peers  his efforts in .”

Conventional wisdom says “spell it like it sounds”.

For February and library, this is a convention best defied–these words are pronounced differently around the country.

In some places, library may sound like “lye-berry”–that first ‘r’ has disappeared. It sounds like a fruit, not a building full of books.

Similarly, February may sound like “Feboo-wary”. “Feb-roo..” or “Feb-yoo..” are the most commonly accepted pronounciations for those first two syllables.

You could even drag Wednesday into this theme. Quite often you hear “Wins-day” “wenz-dey” or “Winds-day”. This creates a spelling challenge because the “d” is silent, the n dominates, yet you know that “d” is in there somewhere.

So, if spelling is a challenge–and to be fair I think it is for everyone spelling American English words–here’s some rhyming devices:

  • RaRe book at the libRaRy.
  • FEBRice and BRyce, both born in FeBRuary.””
  • They WED NEStled in bed on WEDNESday.

**=Maybe I could have said “FEBReeze on sale in FEBRuary”, but “Febreze” wasn’t a word until that fabric refresher spray came out on in 1998. It’s a hybridization of actual words “fabric” and “breeze”, and yes, some liberties were taken in the spelling.

Besmirch and research were chosen for this tweet because they rhyme, and they fit the “studying” theme of the tweet. To besmirch means to detract or tarnish an object’s finish or a person’s reputation, by the way; this is what tabloids do every day, but if they used that word in their branding, that would mean besmirching themselves.

For these grammar and spelling themed tweets, I try to think of name that blends with the sentence through sound, or has some literary signficance. Hence Barry, over Mary, Carrie, Kerry, or Larry.


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