Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Answer to the Quick Quiz of Three Days Ago

To make sense of this post, you need to first read the previous one, which asks you to identify the mispronounced word in a 19-second video clip.

Next, my customary declaration for posts on “mispronounced words”: The objective is NOT to denigrate or ridicule someone. Instead, I feature such posts out of my belief that if a highly educated person is mispronouncing a particular word, there is an extremely high probability that at least a few of my blog readers are making the same error.

Answer: The mispronounced word is momentous which, in the video clip, Hari Sreenivasan is heard pronouncing as moh-MEN-choo-us instead of moh-MEN-tus. 

Likely cause of the stumble?  Regular viewers of PBS NewsHour know that Hari Sreenivasan’s enunciation is immaculate. So, in my judgment, the pronunciation screw-up was the result of a typo. The person who typed up the headlines for Mr. Sreenivasan to read must have thought that the last part of the word momentous is spelled similar to presumptuous, sumptuous, etc. 

No spell-checks at PBS?

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

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