Friday, May 15, 2009

Blurting It Out

Juliet over at Profoundly Inarticulate is anything but. She recently won a one-minute writing contest with an amusing childhood memory, and her nicely crafted, very concise reflection reminded me of a couple of funny things I was mistaken about, way back when.

I felt foolish at the time, but I'm over it now.

My mother never allowed me to watch "The Guiding Light" or any similar t.v. shows, at least until I was a teenager and could be a little more critical about what I was seeing. Her rationale was that she didn't want me to think life was really like that. For a long time, all I knew was that if I was changing the channels and found a soap opera, she would say "Oh, that's a soap opera, turn that off!" I learned the words by hearing them, and I thought those shows were called "so poppers." Finally I said the words out loud to someone, who set me straight.

I also learned a lot of words by reading. As long as I could figure out the meaning from the context, I never looked them up, or worried too much about how they were pronounced. (Now I read with a dictionary handy and fill in any blanks as I go.) Once, when my high school friends and I were playing some kind of a quiz game, the question asked for the word that means an author's pen name. I knew that one, but only by approximation. What did I say? "Psuedonym," pronounced "suede-o-nim," not "pseudonym." I guess I thought the author was keeping their identity kind of fuzzy? Yeah, I got some grief for that one, too.

Maybe you have some, too, you'd like to share?


  1. Euthanasia, as in "Youth in Asia"

    but why were they dying?

  2. Thanks for linking me! Having been an avid reader all my life, I've had similar pronunciation issues. I think this must be very common among bookish types. :-)


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