Monday, April 27, 2009

The Things I Learn From Spell-checkers

Up until two minutes ago, you could have won money from me by betting that I could not correctly spell barbiturates.

I have gone my whole life unaware of the second R. I certainly don't pronounce it, and my aural memory is that no one else does, either. (Am I wrong about this? (too?))

In case you're wondering, no, I don't say "Feb-yoo-ary," but I might have to stop getting so irritated at people who do.

But "nuke-yoo-ler" is still right out.

And no, I am not contemplating a change in my chemical intake, either. I'd explain the context in which the word came up, but I think I have already written the most boring blog post on the Internet.


Beth said...

Not boring at all.
Amusing and educational.
Now get back to your barbituRates! ;)

bjkeefe said...

Heh. Thanks, Beth.

Rick said...

I've just come back from a peek at my OED (and 2 other dictionaries). I can't believe this. I'm stunned, in fact (this from alleged English "teacher" who, in the context of "teaching" English to medical students, has actually written the word on the board several times--incorrectly!!).
Damn! You're not alone, Brendan.

bjkeefe said...

Glad to hear it's not just me. Thanks, Rick.

If you lived in America, Michele Bachmann would undoubtedly call for you to be fired for malpractice.

Unknown said...

Huh. That is weird. I, too, never noticed the 2nd R. Apparently we're not alone: Google finds 171,000 "barbituates," vs 864,000 "barbiturates."

For some reason this brings to mind bestiality, which everyone thinks has a "beast" in it, since, after all, it's a word defining sex with beasts -- right? ;-)

bjkeefe said...

Good point on bestiality, Twin. I do pronounce that one with a leading "beast," but for whatever reason, my fingers have the correct spelling down.

Maybe I secretly think bestiality is best?

(Sheepishly yours, and so forth ...)

TC said...

Along the same line, a couple of others often misspelled and or mispronounced:


surprisingly often mispronounced "ree-lah-tore" rather than "real-tore."

The business that sells the food has the "n", but the person who runs the business does not. But you knew that already.