Words, words, words…

I’m sitting here listening to NPR’s streaming feed, a repeat of Friday’s stuff, but since I was at work and away from my desk a lot on Friday, I didn’t hear much of it.

Anyway, they’re talking about a book (didn’t catch the title) the evolution of language, and word usage, and what spellcheck has done to language. They’ve mentioned that it’s largest problem isn’t so much that it offers synonyms that aren’t really appropriate, but that it doesn’t always pickup on misused words that are spelled correctly (ex: they’re/there/their).

What I found more interesting, though, was the comparison of how past (and current) US Presidents have mispronounced the word “nuclear” – they find it notable that George Bush pronounced it correctly – “nu-cle-ar” – but that George W. does not. He says “nu-cu-lar”.

And of course, I also find it interesting that linguists are more interested in the evolution of words like “the” than* words like “serendipity.”

*Edited to correct a typo. For the record, it was a “Melissa was doing too many things at once” thing.”