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curmdgeon.GIF (1254 bytes) Curmudgeons' Corner

Guest-mudgeon Brad Ward has an L of a time...

Please explain to me how the word almond... with the L sounded has now ended up in the Webster dictionary pronounced as "amond"? Same with palm, calm, etc... now pronounced "pam" and "cam" with the A sounding like "aahhh". This is how Northeasterners [U.S.] pronounce these words. I am from Pennsylvania and grew up being taught that almond, palm and calm all are pronounced with the L sounded.  I have been arguing with my mother-in-law (from New York City) about this pronunciation for years.  I swear I saw an older 1950's dictionary showing the L as sounded in these words. When did it change? My pet peeve is when we change the pronunciation of words over time to fit the "common" pronunciation due to regional accents rather than teaching people to overcome the accent and enunciate properly.  Improper enunciation has lead to reading problems with our children as more and more words are not spelled the same as they are pronounced...too many letters in words that are "silent"...

We both [Malcolm and Barb] agree with you about pronunciation.  Words should be pronounced properly and syllables and letters should not be elided!

Don't tell Melanie and Mike, though.  They'll say, "Yes, it is unfortunate, but it's the evolution of language, and it has been happening since the "birth" of English over one thousand years ago."

Is there something you read or hear that sends you up the wall?

Do tell us. 

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