The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


June 4, 2014

Jim Bailey: There’s a word for it, and supposably it sounds like this

If you peruse the latest dictionary these days, either print or online, you are apt to find forms of certain words you were taught in school were absolute no-nos.

Well, that’s the way they sound. So the illiterati, when compelled to put them on paper or in the computer, spell them the way they imagine they are “sposed” to be rendered. (In fact, maybe you’ve noticed forums such as Facebook reveal what a generation of horrible spellers we’ve produced, either through ignorance or shorthand.)

For instance:

Supposably. You may remember it from your school spelling tests when it was supposedly.

For all intensive purposes. Huh? Yeah, the phrase for all intents and purposes sort of winds around Robin Hood’s barn.

Irregardless. We used to be taught there is no such word. Regardless gives us the negative, adding an additional prefix makes it a double negative.

I could care less. Maybe you could, but I couldn’t care less.

Expresso. What’s that supposed to be, home delivery of Starbuck’s espresso?

Pacifically. Maybe on the West Coast, but to be specific it’s specifically.

Ex cetera. I know, they don’t teach Latin in school anymore, so you can’t be expected to know it’s et cetera, which means and so forth.

I seen it. That’s as old as the hills, used by people who never learned the proper conjugation of seen and saw.

Of upmost importance. That elevates it to a new plain, one of utmost importance.

I need to lay down. See “I seen it.”

Nucular. We’ve had presidents who pronounced nuclear this way, so how can we expect the general populace to do any better?

Confectionary sugar. Or maybe confectionery. Confectioners, confectioner’s or confectioners’ are preferred, but all of the above are listed as possibilities. Why not just settle for powdered sugar, which is what it is?

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