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Clawsterphobic vetrens?

October 8, 2007

Is that some nasty disease?  How about a little known part of human anatomy?  Nope, just mispronunciations of two rather common words:  claustrophobia and veteran.  I’ve noticed a lot of people mispronounce these words; it seems to have gotten worse since you-know-who stole the 2000 election.  It seems that the chimp-in-chief’s lack of smarts and elocution is detrimental to our way of speaking.  If the “president” can’t say it, neither can I!

Maybe the claustrophobic mistake isn’t about smarts.  A lot of people drop or add consonants to words, depending on what geographic location influences his/her speech pattern (e.g. Boston).  But what happens if people start to spell claustrophobic the way they pronounce it?  Will English become a language based on stupidity and laziness?

I think that’s what is happening to veteran.  Dictionary.com says it’s OK to pronounce it “vetren.”  But that’s just because people have gotten lazy, so the alternate pronunciation is “acceptable.”  If it’s OK to pronounce the word incorrectly, it will become OK to spell it incorrectly.

I know, I know, when soldiers are getting killed and maimed for no reason, this topic of pronunciation is hardly a hot-button issue.  Nonetheless, I view this as an indicator of the laziness, ignorance, and malaise that plagues the US.  If US citizens would take the time to educate themselves, we wouldn’t be 6.5 years into the degradation of our country.

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