Saturday, May 20, 2006

friday five on saturday :: wordplay

This one is tough:

Please tell us five words you had to think about really hard before saying them out loud for the first time, or that you discovered you had misapprehended when someone corrected your pronunciation.

  • Episiotomy — I had to hear this one a few times before I had the courage to try it myself! Now it rolls off my tongue — almost.
  • Plethora — I was sure it was "PLETH-o-ra," but sometimes I hear it said "pleth-OR-a," and I'm still not positive. I suppose I could look it up in a dictionary, huh?!
  • Myriad — I learned this word in school to be used as an adjective — as in, "The utensil has myriad uses." Since then, I've heard it used as a noun, as in, "The utensil has a myriad of uses." I'm not sure if one is preferred over the other (or if one is just plain wrong), and I'm also not sure if it should only be used with countable objects. (I suppose a trip to the dictionary could clear that one up, too.) At any rate, it just feels awkward to say. Doesn't "many" suffice in most cases?
  • Versace — I used to read this name all the time in Vogue et al, but I never had a clue about how to say it out loud. My guesses were along the lines of "ver-SASE" or "VER-sase." When Gianni Versace got shot a few years ago and they said his name on the news, the lightbulb went off: It's Italian. Of COURSE it's "ver-SAH-chi"!
  • Hermione — Same problem as above, except Harry Potter instead of Vogue. I think a fan site might have put me right, but the movie clinched it.
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