The Bardess is Pissed

Via The Alternate Brain, we find a link to an update in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary under the entry for nuclear:
Pronunciation: 'nü-klE-&r, 'nyü-, ÷-ky&-l&r
Eh? There are now suddenly two acceptable pronunciations for nuclear? How did that happen?
Though disapproved of by many, pronunciations ending in \-ky&-l&r\ have been found in widespread use among educated speakers including scientists, lawyers, professors, congressmen, U.S. cabinet members, and at least one U.S. president and one vice president. While most common in the U.S., these pronunciations have also been heard from British and Canadian speakers.
So, much like everything else in George’s World, as long as he keeps saying it enough, it eventually becomes acceptable. Gordon comments:
Oh fucking swell. So in order to be a good American, you not only have to think ignorant, now you have to talk ignorant as well? Phooey.
Phooey is right. As someone who seeks to communicate my thoughts through writing, I take particular offense to changes in language based on the mispronunciations and malapropisms of people who should, by virtue of a top shelf education and every opportunity to access the finest society has to offer, know better.

Language is fluid, ever-changing. We add new words to our already expansive collective vocabulary all the time; years ago, blog had no meaning. I take no issue with broadening our language in keeping with a dynamic world, but I do take exception to editing it solely to indulge the ignorance of powerful men.

Such adjustments to accommodate verbal peccadilloes may not, in practical terms, wreak the same havoc with our culture as will the uncontested undermining of our rule of law at the whim of those who seek advantage otherwise impeded by its boundaries, or the unchallenged abolition of checks and balances in furtherance of an ideological agenda. But they are of a likeness in their complicity to empower those who exhibit a manifest refusal to conform to the social contract. The existence of an agreed-upon language is the foundation of our ability to communicate, to share ideas, to progress; those interested in doing any of the above should abide by the standards forged by common linguistic tradition. There is no reason to change our language on the basis of a mistake common among dignitaries aside from accommodating their weaknesses.

In and of itself, this is no lingering concern. But I wonder where the pandering will stop. There are truths in this world, and there are things that right and things that are wrong. And it seems to me that there is no end to the things that are made to be right, in order so that Mr. Bush will not be wrong.

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