The Right Word

A good way to detect phonies is to hear them speak.
Here is a short compendium of key giveaways.



 


There is a class of phonies, with no interest in understanding the meaning of language, but rather in a speaking style they believe will create the impression of sophistication.
Amongst the class they seek to impress, they only create the opposite.


 

nuclear
When you hear a politician or pundit say,
nukiler, be very skeptical about this guy,
since he probably doesn't know what he's talking about.
Knowing this might have have saved us from George W. Bush.
    On the other hand, Bush garnered the nukiler vote,
which was his margin of victory.
Do not be surprised to find dictionaries of the near future
list nukiler as an alternate pronunciation.

convince
Phonies think convince sounds more intellectual than persuade.
Unfortunately for them, it has just the opposite effect.
You do not say, "He convinced them to review the proposal."
You do say, "He persuaded them to review the proposal."
You do say, "He convinced them that they should review the proposal."
Or "He convinced them of the proposal's merits."
See the difference?

often
Another little giveaway that betrays pretense over substance.
The pretentious often say off-ten,
real folk say off-en.

phenomenon
A phenomenon is singular.
Phenomena are plural.
Got that?

Same with
criterion

badly
"I'm feeling badly" means my fingers are numb.
"I'm feeling bad" means I don't feel well.
If someone says he feels "badly," just tell him to take two aspirin and go soak his head.

he
When speaking about someone of indefinite gender,
using he/him/his is not male chauvinism but merely a convention.
(If you don't know what a convention is, look it up.  On second thought, don't.)
Using they is just another mindless decree from the Academy of Political Correctness.

Beijing - Peking
The capital city of China is Peking.  "Beijing," is the imposition of linguistic hacks
who, having usurped our language, regard it as their sacred task
to root out politically incorrect speech.  Peking, of course,
is what English-speaking "imperialists" called the city.  Beijing is the way
native speakers of a certain dialect pronounce Peking.
But we do not say Paree, like the French, or Mnchen, like the Germans
or Firenze, like the Italians.  When you hear a phony i.e. media types
say Beijing, spit Peking right back! 

normalcy
Brought into currency by Warren G. Harding,
a president known for his dimness (like a couple of more recent presidents).
If you wish to follow Harding's example, by all means impress yourself.
Otherwise, normality will do just fine.

valet
Va-lay is the guy who parks your car.
Valet (as in mallet) is the man's man of a man who knows how to pronounce the word.

forte
Again, it's pretense over substance.
Fort (for-tay) is a way of playing music strongly.
A pianofort is a musical instrument.
Forte (pronounced fort) means strength,
Unless you're talking music, fort means pretense.
The same goes for . . .

homage
Oh-mage is brought to us by the nitwits who brought us valay and fortay.
This one is handy for art phonies.
Homage is pronounced the way it looks to literates.

Ok, repeat after me . . .
"A" comes before a consonant or anything sounding like a consonant.
"An" comes before a vowel or anything sounding like a vowel.
If you lust for freedom, it's ok to say, "an historian."
Think that's grade school stuff?  Just listen to the phonies.

Discretely indiscreet
Discrete means individual or distinct.
Discreet means keeping one's trap shut, a lost art amongst the chattering class.
Thanks, I.B.

      Finally . . .
It's "all right," not alright, all right?

 

Stay tuned for more zeitgeist giveaways!


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