It’s been a while since we tested our verbiage acumen; how’s about we do a little Funk & Wagnall thang?
Whoa. I just like saying Funk & Wagnall, don’t you? Try it. Very relaxing. I think our nation would be a much kinder, gentler, sleepier place if we all chanted “Funk & Wagnall” three times a day.
Okay, listen up word nerds, I think I can stump you this time. Care to prove me wrong? Are you up to the challenge? I’m telling you, it ain’t easy.
Each of the following words follows a unique alphabetical pattern. Can you identify it?
Good luck with that. I’m not going to give you the correct answers unless you ask for them (below). Hint: I only got one right (the first) and nearly pulled a gray matter muscle when I first saw this in Reader’s Digest. (STOP! Get your sticky fingers off Google; looking them up is called “cheating” – can you come up with three synonyms?)
This next part isn’t nearly as blow-your-mind difficult as the last; we do tend to be creatures of habit and many are bad habits at that. I predict that my Southern drawl will not work to my advantage, but I’ll bet a hot fudge sundae with nuts that you, too, are currently mispronouncing at least FOUR of these ten most-likely-to-garble words (I’ll ‘fess up if you will – I only had half of them right!):
- Colonel: “Ker-nal” (Easy peasy; who doesn’t sneak KFC?)
- Mischievous: “MIS-chiv-us” (Say what??? I’ve added an extra “i” before the “ous” my whole life.)
- Draught: “draft” – rhymes with “laugh” (Since I was old enough to read this word in books, I’d have sworn it rhymed with “rot.”)
- Anemone: “ah-NEM-o-nee” (Yeppers, I, too, was ed-u-ma-ca-ted by watching Nemo.)
- Transient: “tran-shent” in two syllables (Nope, no, uh-uh. If you don’t make the “i” it’s own syllable, nobody south of the Mason-Dixon will get it.) This one reminds me of another of my British pet peeves – schedule. Drives me crazy when Doc Martin says “shed-ule.” Anybody watch that show? Totally cracks me up.
- Status: “Stay-tus” (Bother. Another one bites the dust.)
- Valet: “Val-it” (See me grin? I’ve gotten this bad boy down ever since I downed Downton Abbey.)
- Foyer: “Foy-ur” (Not “foy-ay,” the very place my childhood pastor sent us kids when we got too noisy.)
- Applicable: “APP-lic-able” (Bummer. This lazy tongue finds it much easier to emphasize the lic.)
- Advertisement: “Ad-ver-TISE-ment” (Okay, okay, so nobody says it this way except us belles but I just had to try. I’ve had a running disagreement with dear yankee Spouse since the first day of our honeymoon when he insisted it was “ad-VER-tis-ment.” I hear this very dangerous word divides continents … and couples. Even the dictionary dudes disagree; Funk prefers the former but Wagnall booted him in the keister in favor of the latter. Which do you use? (Actually F & W compromised and say either is acceptable. Unless your wife disagrees.)
So dear BBFFs (Blessed Blog Readers Forever), who’s up for another great giveaway? What would you like to win? (This is NOT a rhetorical question; please do reply.)
P.S. If you enjoy reading my weekly blog posts (and even if you don’t), please do me a HUGE favor and take a moment to subscribe to my blog. I’m getting ready to pitch a new book idea and publishers take a long hard look at how many subscribers you have on your blog and how many have signed up for your newsletter; they call that your platform. Won’t you help add a few new planks to mine? You can find both sign-ups at my website www.DeboraCoty.com. Many thanks!!!