Sunday, April 12, 2009

Axing about asterixes

We visited with one of our most edjumacated friends recently and were surprised, nay, horrified to hear said friend refer to the little star thingy that sits atop the number eight on a standard QWERTY keyboard as an "asterix."

It is, of course, an "asterisk," and the word is pronounced not with an "ix" sound at the end, but with an "isk" sound. Correctly pronounced, that is.

Since then, we've taken note of a variety of "isks" being pronounced as "ixes," and we wonder what the heck is going on here.

We have heard a friend talk about Houdini as an excape artist. He can't excape the notion that it's pronounced "escape," just like it's spelled.

How about another grim misuse, the full pronunciation of the Latin et cetera (often abbreviated "etc.") mangled as "excetera?"

Another blow stricken for illiteracy and idiocy. We axe you, doesn't this deserve today's idiot flag?

Er, ask, that is.


Gregory said...

Hey! That was me! I also occasionally refer to a drawer as a draw. Perhaps in our conversation I was referring to the Gallic cartoon hero and friend of Obelisk.

Gad said...

I will defend with all my power our citizens' right to misspell, mispronounce, misappropriate and misuse our language. To quote Nathan Hale, "I only regret that I have but one asterisk for my country."