Common Misnomers

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,379
Tucson
What about colonel?

Isn't that the way it's pronounced in French?

It is a French word, but there's still no R in the word!
Apparently there is an obsolete version of the word with an R: coronel.


As with much, in etymology, there are no solid certainties, but a lot of possibilities. My opinion is that the proper pronunciation is Co-Lo-Nel with long Os, but in the rush of everyday speech, it has been mildly corrupted to “kernel”. I’ve always thought of British English as proper, and by the rules, but even in Britain, there are some accents that must drain the blood from the queen’s ears.

I was born, and spent my early years in Minnesota, so I don’t have an accent; it’s everyone else that does. :) (One of my grade school teachers actually said something very similar to this.)
 

drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
19,724
Plymouth, MN
There's the whole nauseous, nauseated, nauseating.

Nauseated is what you feel, nauseating is what makes you feel that way. Nauseous can be either, although most people use it in the first sense. So, technically you could be both nauseous yourself as well as making others feel the same way, especially if you threw up on yourself!
 

Sabato

Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
2,760
Massachusetts
It is a French word, but there's still no R in the word!
Interesting tidbit:
Why does colonel have an R sound?
Then there's the influence of France on “colonel.” The French also took this word from the Italians. But when they added it to their language, they changed the word "colonnelo" to "coronel." Language experts say this is because the French wanted to have the "r" sound in the word, instead of the two "l" sounds.
Of course, every old guy south of the mason-dixon line is a colonel.....
When I was in the USAF, a "full bird" colonel was a major deal, especially if they'd been through the Academy.
 

Winnie Thomas

Synchromatic
Jun 13, 2011
612
Cochise AZ
When I lived in New Jersey in the 70's there was a billboard on Route 46 not far from Delaware Water Gap. It advertised a resort in PA called "Big Bass Lake". Inevitably someone climbed up there and covered over the "B".
 

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
2,833
Fremont, California
Then there are all the pointless "gh"'s---through thorough thought though, knight (why the k?) draught, highway, cough, bough, enough, height, sigh, etc.

It is said English is made up of three (or more) other languages. At least we don't have to deal with genders for every word. Try counting in French. I feel sorry for people trying to learn English. Our slang and composite words have to drive them crazy, not to mention all of the native English speakers who have no decent command of the language. When you can't figure out which form of to (two, too) or your (you're, your, yore) it's hard to explain it to someone trying to learn the right way.
English is easy to learn on basic level, difficult to master.
 

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
2,833
Fremont, California
At Purdue, the Creative Arts building's sign had an F added to it.
When I lived in Germany I drove around with some British friends in the southern part of the country. We came across a town called Wank. A stop and pictures next to the town sign were required. Gave good laughs for few miles: "look, there are bunch of ****ers going to the game" etc.

The we realized that there is also a town called Wankdorf. Dorf meaning a village.
 

Sabato

Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
2,760
Massachusetts
When I lived in Germany I drove around with some British friends in the southern part of the country. We came across a town called Wank. A stop and pictures next to the town sign were required. Gave good laughs for few miles: "look, there are bunch of ****ers going to the game" etc.

The we realized that there is also a town called Wankdorf. Dorf meaning a village.
We got the same laugh for a corporation's sign on the highway: "Wang"
 


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