"" Writer's Wanderings: It Must Be Genetic

Thursday, August 05, 2010

It Must Be Genetic


Most of the time I do not need to use the old dictionary that sits next to my computer and with spellcheck (provided I remember to use that) I am relatively certain that what I write has been spelled correctly. I don't normally second guess myself unless the word happens to be maintenance.

My mother had two words in her vocabulary that she was forever mispronouncing. One was municipal. She would pronounce it something like mun-UNZ-i-pel. No matter how hard she tried, it just never came out with the accent on the right syllable.

The same was true of maintenance. Her pronunciation was main-TAIN-unce. I don't seem to have a problem with municipal but remembering her pronunciation of maintenance always sends me to the dictionary to be sure I've spelled it right.

This is the same mother (I only had one) who thought the spice, marjoram, was pronounced "marijuana." I loved her dearly. I only wish a few of those spelling/pronunciation genes hadn't been passed on.

4 comments:

Adele said...

Seems we could have been sisters..My mom's words were "afa-gan" and "arthur-itis" Lots of good memories! Thanks

Denise S. said...

My mother pronounces Maintenance that way too. My husband is forever pointing it out when she says it. I have 6-1/2 year old twins and they are correcting her when she reads to them. I an not good at spelling but maybe that is because of all mispronounced words my mom used. Here are some others.. sill (seal), chimney (chim-lee), and fustrated (flustrated)[this one is a combination of frustrated and flustered. Your little ditty made me laugh. Thank you!

Karen said...

Thanks for your comment, Denise. I have twins too! But they are about to turn 40 and they rely on spellcheck.

Karen said...

Thanks, Adele. I think I used Arthur Itis as a line in a book once.

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